Main content area

Leachability of Nitrate from Sandy Soil using Waste Amendments

Irshad, Muhammad, Waseem, Amir, Umar, Muhammad, Sabir, Mohammad Amjad
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2014 v.45 no.5 pp. 680-687
charcoal, fertilizers, leachates, leaching, management systems, nitrates, nitrogen, recycling, sandy soils, sawdust, soil amendments, urea, wood ash
Environmental issues associated with intensive use of nitrogenous fertilizers have generated an interest in alternative management systems. An experiment was conducted to mitigate nitrate leaching from sandy soil using different waste materials such as charcoal, manure, sawdust, wood ash, and control (no amendment). Urea was applied at the rate of 300 kg nitrogen (N) ha ⁻¹. Nitrate was determined during six leaching events. During an incubation experiment, nitrate release was also determined in soil amended with charcoal at the rates of 0, 10, 20, and 40 t ha ⁻¹. Urea was applied at the rates of 0, 100, 200, 400, and 1000 ppm N. Results indicated that urea application increased nitrate (NO ₃) concentration in leachate. Soil amendments substantially reduced NO ₃ in leachates irrespective of the type of material used. Waste amendments differed for NO ₃ leaching as follows: charcoal < wood ash < sawdust < manure. Leaching of NO ₃ enhanced up to the fourth leaching event and thereafter reduced significantly. Nitrate retention in soil varied among material in the order of manure > charcoal > wood ash > sawdust. Nitrate accumulation occurred in the lower layer (25–50 cm) of soil column after the leaching process. Application of charcoal retained greater NO ₃ level as compared to control soil during an incubation. Enhanced urea applications also enhanced NO ₃ release. This experiment suggests that waste material can be viably recycled to mitigate NO ₃ concentration in water.