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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Bowling Green, Kentucky » Food Animal Environmental Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341830

Research Project: Developing Safe, Efficient and Environmentally Sound Management Practices for the Use of Animal Manure

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research

Title: Use of biochar amendments for removing bacteria from simulated tile-drainage waters

item Bolster, Carl

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2017
Publication Date: 10/26/2017
Citation: Bolster, C.H. 2017. Use of biochar amendments for removing bacteria from simulated tile-drainage waters. American Society of Agronomy Meetings. Poster No. 1505.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The addition of biochar has been shown to increase bacterial removal rates by several orders of magnitude in sand-packed columns, suggesting that biochar may be a suitable amendment for use in end-of-tile filter systems to remove indicator and pathogenic microorganisms in tile-drainage waters. Additional research, however, is needed to determine the best combination of biochar and porous media characteristics for maximizing bacterial removal from drainage waters. Research was conducted to determine whether biochar-amended sand filters are an effective management strategy for removing pathogenic and indicator microorganisms from tile-drainage waters. Experiments using a commercially-available biochar (Biochar NOW) were conducted at application rates of 15 and 30 % (by volume). Two sand sizes (0.8 and 1.3 mm) were also investigated. Results indicate that the addition of Biochar NOW greatly reduces the transport of E. coli and Salmonella through laboratory-scale biofilters. The rate of removal of bacteria was shown to be a function of biochar concentration, flow rate, composition of carrier solution, and total bacterial loading.