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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Efficient Management and Use of Animal Manure to Protect Human Health and Environmental Quality

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research Unit

Title: Influence of biochar feedstock on transport of pathogenic bacteria in unsaturated biochar-amended soil

Authors
item Abit Jr, Sergio
item Bolster, Carl

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 20, 2012
Publication Date: October 24, 2012
Citation: Abit Jr, S.M., Bolster, C.H. 2012. Influence of biochar feedstock on transport of pathogenic bacteria in unsaturated biochar-amended soil. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Abstract.

Technical Abstract: Recent studies have shown that biochar amendment influences bacterial transport in soils. In this study we investigated the effect of biochar feedstock on the transport of pathogenic bacteria through fine sand under partially saturated conditions was investigated in column experiments. Biochars produced from five feed stocks including pine chips, sun hemp, dairy manure, swine manure and sun hemp-swine manure combination that were pyrolyzed at 700'C were separately added to fine sand (2% w/w) and packed in cylindrical columns. Transport of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium, Enterococcus faecalis and Listeria monocytogenes were evaluated in separate partially-saturated columns. Results indicate that biochars produced from cellulosic feed stocks such as pine chips and sun hemp were more effective than biochars produced from animal manures in limiting the transport of pathogenic bacteria under unsaturated conditions. Furthermore, mixing sun hemp residue with swine manure prior to pyrolysis produced a biochar that was more effective than the biochar produced from swine manure alone in limiting bacterial transport. Results suggest that addition of the appropriate biochar is important in improving the soil’s ability to limit the transport of pathogenic bacteria. The results also indicate the promise of utilizing a mixture of residues to produce biochars that are effective in limiting the transport of pathogenic bacteria.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014