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Effectiveness of recycled P products as P fertilizers, as evaluated in pot experiments

  • Ricardo CabezaEmail author
  • Bernd Steingrobe
  • Wilhelm Römer
  • Norbert Claassen
Original Article

Abstract

World phosphorus (P) resources are limited and may be exhausted within 70–175 years. Therefore recycling of P from waste materials by chemical or thermal processes is important. This study evaluated the effectiveness of recycled P products from sewage sludge and animal wastes as P fertilizer. Four products were obtained from chemical processes, three magnesium-ammonium-phosphates (MAP) of different sewage treatment plants and a Ca phosphate precipitated from wastewater (Ca-P) and four from thermal processes, an alkali sinter phosphate (Sinter-P), a heavy metal depleted sewage sludge ash (Sl-ash), a cupola furnace slag made from sewage sludge (Cupola slag) and a meat-and-bone meal ash (MB meal ash). The effectiveness of these products as P fertilizers compared with triple superphosphate (TSP) and phosphate rock (PR) was determined in a 2-year pot experiment with maize (Zea mays L., cv. Atletico) in two soils with contrasting pH (pH(CaCl2) 4.7 and 6.6). The parameters used to evaluate the effectiveness were P uptake, P concentration in soil solution (CLi) and isotopically exchangeable P (IEP). MAP products were as effective as TSP in both soils, while Ca-P was only effective in the acid soil. Sinter-P was as effective as TSP in the acid soil, while Cupola slag was in the neutral soil. The products Sl-ash and MB meal ash were of low effectiveness and were comparable to PR. The effect of the fertilizers on IEP, but not on CLi, described their effectiveness. Recycled P products obtained by chemical processes, especially MAP, could be directly applied as P fertilizers, while products such as Sl-ash and MB meal ash are potential raw materials for P fertilizer production.

Keywords

Phosphorus recycled products P fertilizer efficiency Isotopically exchangeable P P in soil solution Struvite Ash Slag Soil reaction 

Abbreviations

P-0

Unfertilized

TSP-60

Triple superphosphate (60 mg P kg−1)

TSP-200

Triple superphosphate (200 mg P kg−1)

PR

Phosphate rock

Ca-P

Calcium phosphate

MAP-Sb

Magnesium-ammonium-phosphate (MAP) Seaborne

MAP-Gf

MAP Gifhorn

MAP-St

MAP Stuttgart

Sinter-P

Sinter phosphate

Sl-ash

Sewage sludge ash

MB meal ash

Meat and bone meal ash

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the Ph.D. scholarship granted to the corresponding author. This project was supported by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (Project code: 02WA0786). The authors gratefully acknowledge the Laboratory for Radio Isotopes (LARI) of George-August University, especially Prof. Dr. Polle, Gabriele Lehmann, Bernd Kopka and Thomas Klein.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Cabeza
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bernd Steingrobe
    • 2
  • Wilhelm Römer
    • 2
  • Norbert Claassen
    • 2
  1. 1.Departmento de Ingeniería y Suelos, Facultad de Ciencias AgronómicasUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Department of Crop Sciences, Section of Plant Nutrition and Crop PhysiologyGeorg-August UniversityGöttingenGermany

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