Effect of biosolid hydrochar on toxicity to earthworms and brine shrimp
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Melo, T.M., Bottlinger, M., Schulz, E. et al. Environ Geochem Health (2017). doi:10.1007/s10653-017-9995-5
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.
KeywordsSewage sludge Hydrothermal carbonization Ecotoxicology
|Funder Name||Grant Number||Funding Note|
|Seventh Framework Programme ((FP7/2007-2013) (FP7-2011))|