Biochar from Pyrolysis of Biosolids for Nutrient Adsorption and Turfgrass Cultivation
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Water Envirionment Federation
Water Environment Research
Original Item ID
At water resource recovery facilities, nutrient removal is often required and energy recovery is an ever-increasing goal. Pyrolysis may be a sustainable process for handling wastewater biosolids because energy can be recovered in the py-gas and py-oil. Additionally, the biochar produced has value as a soil conditioner. The objective of this work was to determine if biochar could be used to adsorb ammonia from biosolids filtrate and subsequently be applied as a soil conditioner to improve grass growth. The maximum carrying capacity of base modified biochar for NH3−N was 5.3 mg/g. Biochar containing adsorbed ammonium and potassium was applied to laboratory planters simulating golf course putting greens to cultivate Kentucky bluegrass. Planters that contained nutrient-laden biochar proliferated at a statistically higher rate than planters that contained biosolids, unmodified biochar, peat, or no additive. Nutrient-laden biochar performed as well as commercial inorganic fertilizer with no statistical difference in growth rates. Biochar from digested biosolids successfully immobilized NH3−N from wastewater and served as a beneficial soil amendment. This process offers a means to recover and recycle nutrients from water resource recovery facilities.