Effect of biosolid hydrochar on toxicity to earthworms and brine shrimp

  • Tatiane Medeiros Melo
  • Michael Bottlinger
  • Elke Schulz
  • Wilson Mozena Leandro
  • Adelmo Menezes de Aguiar Filho
  • Yong Sik Ok
  • Jörg Rinklebe
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10653-017-9995-5

Cite this article as:
Melo, T.M., Bottlinger, M., Schulz, E. et al. Environ Geochem Health (2017). doi:10.1007/s10653-017-9995-5

Abstract

The hydrothermal carbonization of sewage sludge has been studied as an alternative technique for the conversion of sewage sludge into value-added products, such as soil amendments. We tested the toxicity of biosolid hydrochar (Sewchar) to earthworms. Additionally, the toxicity of Sewchar process water filtrate with and without pH adjustment was assessed, using brine shrimps as a model organism. For a Sewchar application of 40 Mg ha−1, the earthworms significantly preferred the side of the vessel with the reference soil (control) over side of the vessel with the Sewchar treatments. There was no acute toxicity of Sewchar to earthworms within the studied concentration range (up to 80 Mg ha−1). Regarding the Sewchar process water filtrate, the median lethal concentration (LC50) to the shrimps was 8.1% for the treatments in which the pH was not adjusted and 54.8% for the treatments in which the pH was adjusted to 8.5. The lethality to the shrimps significantly increased as the amount of Sewchar process water filtrate increased. In the future, specific toxic substances in Sewchar and its process water filtrate, as well as their interactions with soil properties and their impacts on organisms, should be elucidated. Additionally, it should be identified whether the amount of the toxic compounds satisfies the corresponding legal requirements for the safe application of Sewchar and its process water filtrate.

Keywords

Sewage sludge Hydrothermal carbonization Ecotoxicology 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
    Seventh Framework Programme ((FP7/2007-2013) (FP7-2011))
    • PIRSES-GA-2012-317714
    • PIRSES-GA-2012-317714

    Copyright information

    © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

    Authors and Affiliations

    • Tatiane Medeiros Melo
      • 1
    • Michael Bottlinger
      • 2
    • Elke Schulz
      • 3
    • Wilson Mozena Leandro
      • 4
    • Adelmo Menezes de Aguiar Filho
      • 5
    • Yong Sik Ok
      • 6
      • 7
    • Jörg Rinklebe
      • 6
      • 8
    1. 1.Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water- and Waste-Management, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Soil and Groundwater ManagementUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany
    2. 2.Department of Hydrothermal CarbonizationTrier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus BirkenfeldBirkenfeldGermany
    3. 3.Department of Soil EcologyHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)HalleGermany
    4. 4.Department of AgronomyFederal University of Goiás (UFG)GoiâniaBrazil
    5. 5.Department of Chemical EngineeringFederal University of Bahia (UFBA)SalvadorBrazil
    6. 6.Soil and Groundwater ManagementUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany
    7. 7.Korea Biochar Research Center, School of Natural Resources and Environmental ScienceKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
    8. 8.Department of Environment and EnergySejong UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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