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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 659–671 | Cite as

Poultry biogas slurry can partially substitute for mineral fertilizers in hydroponic lettuce production

  • Lei Wang
  • Shirong Guo
  • Ying Wang
  • Dandan Yi
  • Jian WangEmail author
Research Article
  • 59 Downloads

Abstract

Poultry biogas slurry, a by-product of the biogas production process, is rich in nutrients. However, improper handling increases the potential for serious environmental contamination and resource waste. The preparation of nutrient solutions for hydroponic lettuce production requires large amounts of mineral fertilizers, which provides an opportunity for poultry biogas slurry to enter the crop nutrient cycle. To assess the feasibility of the application of poultry biogas slurry, we used different proportions of biogas slurry and mineral fertilizers in a hydroponics experiment with lettuce. Four treatments were established: HS (half-strength Hoagland solution), BS (2.6% biogas slurry), BS + HS (1.3% biogas slurry + quarter-strength Hoagland solution), and BS + MF (2.6% biogas slurry + mineral fertilizers). The addition of poultry biogas slurry (BS + HS) did not have an adverse effect on lettuce growth, significantly increased the soluble sugar concentration, reduced the nitrate concentration, and the concentrations of heavy metals were still within the safety standards. In addition, the application of poultry biogas slurry could effectively reduce the production costs, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions of hydroponically grown lettuce. Based on our study, poultry biogas slurry could replace 50% of the mineral fertilizer used in hydroponic lettuce production. The key is to control the electrical conductivity and replenish the nutrients that are lacking in the biogas slurry, especially magnesium.

Keywords

Poultry biogas slurry Substitute fertilization Quality Heavy metals Economic and ecological benefits Lettuce 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The work was financially supported by Jiangsu Province Scientific and Technological Achievements Special Fund (no. BA2014147), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (no. 2016YED0201007), China Agriculture Research System (no. CARS-23-B12), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (6J1009). In addition, the authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the editors for their comments to improve the paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lei Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shirong Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ying Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dandan Yi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Nanjing Agricultural University (Suqian) Academy of Protected HorticultureSuqianChina

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