Dresden Groundwater Research Center

Dresden, Germany

Dresden Groundwater Research Center

Dresden, Germany
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Kloss S.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Kloss S.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Zehetner F.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Wimmer B.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science | Year: 2014

Biochar (BC) application as a soil amendment has aroused much interest and was found to considerably improve soil nutrient status and crop yields on poor, tropical soils. However, information on the effect of BC on temperate soils is still insufficient, with effects expected to differ from tropical soils. We investigated the effects of BC on soil nutrient dynamics, crop yield, and quality in a greenhouse pot experiment. We compared three agricultural soils (Planosol, Cambisol, Chernozem), and BCs of three different feedstocks (wheat straw [WS], mixed woodchips [WC], vineyard pruning [VP]) slowly pyrolyzed at 525°C, of which the latter was also pyrolyzed at 400°C. The BCs were applied at two rates (1% and 3%, which would correspond to 30 and 90 t ha-1 in the field). Three crops, namely mustard (Sinapis alba L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), and red clover (Trifolium pretense L.) were grown successively within one year. The investigated soil properties included pH, electrical conductivity (EC), cation-exchange capacity (CEC), calcium-acetate-lactate (CAL)-extractable P (PCAL) and K (KCAL), C, N, and nitrogen-supplying potential (NSP). The results show a pH increase in all soils. The CEC increased only on the Planosol. The C : N ratio increased at 3% application rate. Despite improving the soil nutrient status partly, yields of the first crop (mustard) and to a lesser extent of the second crop (barley) were significantly depressed through BC application (by up to 68%); the yield of clover as third crop was not affected. Only the BC from WS maintained yields in the range of the control and even increased barley yield by 6%. The initial yield reduction was accompanied by notable decreases (Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn) and increases (Mo) in micronutrient concentrations of plant tissues while nitrogen concentrations were hardly affected. The results of the pot experiment show that despite additional mineral fertilization, short-term growth inhibition may occur when applying BC without further treatment to temperate soils. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Kloss S.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Kloss S.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Zehetner F.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Buecker J.,Dresden Groundwater Research Center | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

Various biochar (BC) types have been investigated as soil amendment; however, information on their effects on trace element (TE) biogeochemistry in the soil-water-plant system is still scarce. In the present study, we determined aqua-regia (AR) and water-extractable TEs of four BC types (woodchips (WC), wheat straw (WS), vineyard pruning (VP), pyrolyzed at 525 °C, of which VP was also pyrolyzed at 400 °C) and studied their effects on TE concentrations in leachates and mustard (Sinapis alba L.) tissue in a greenhouse pot experiment. We used an acidic, sandy agricultural soil and a BC application rate of 3 % (w/w). Our results show that contents and extractability of TEs in the BCs and effectuated changes of TE biogeochemistry in the soil-water-plant system strongly varied among the different BC types. High AR-digestable Cu was found in VP and high B contents in WC. WS had the highest impact on TEs in leachates showing increased concentrations of As, Cd, Mo, and Se, whereas WC application resulted in enhanced leaching of B. All BC types increased Mo and decreased Cu concentrations in the plant tissue; however, they showed diverging effects on Cu in the leachates with decreased concentrations for WC and WS, but increased concentrations for both VPs. Our results demonstrate that BCs may release TEs into the soil-water-plant system. A BC-induced liming effect in acidic soils may lead to decreased plant uptake of cationic TEs, including Pb and Cd, but may enhance the mobility of anionic TEs like Mo and As. We also found that BCs with high salt contents (e.g., straw-based BCs) may lead to increased mobility of both anionic and cationic TEs in the short term. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Kloss S.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Kloss S.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Zehetner F.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Oburger E.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 5 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

Biochar application to agricultural soils has been increasingly promoted worldwide. However, this may be accompanied by unexpected side effects in terms of trace element (TE) behavior. We used a greenhouse pot experiment to study the influence of woodchip-derived biochar (wcBC) on leaching and plant concentration of various TEs (Al, Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn, As, B, Mo, Se). Three different agricultural soils from Austria (Planosol, Cambisol, Chernozem) were treated with wcBC at application rates of 1 and 3% (w/w) and subsequently planted with mustard (Sinapis alba L.). Soil samples were taken 0 and 7months after the start of the pot experiment, and leachate water was collected twice (days 0 and 54). The extractability (with NH4NO3) of cationic TEs was decreased in the (acidic) Planosol and Cambisol after wcBC application, whereas in the (neutral) Chernozem it hardly changed. In contrast, anionic TEs were mobilized in all three soils, which resulted in higher anion concentrations in the leachates. The application of wcBC had no effect on Al and Pb in the mustard plants, but increased their B and Mo concentrations and decreased their Cd, Cu and Mn concentrations. A two-way analysis of variance showed significant interactions between wcBC application rate and soil type for most TEs, which indicates that different soil types may react differently upon wcBC application. Correlation and partial correlation analyses revealed that TE behavior was primarily related to soil pH, whereas the involvement of other factors such as electrical conductivity (EC), organic carbon (OC) content and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was found to be more soil and TE-specific. The application of wcBC may be a useful strategy for the remediation of soils with elevated levels of cationic TEs, but could lead to deficiencies of cationic micronutrients and enhance short-term translocation of anionic TEs towards the groundwater at high leaching rates. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Bilek F.,Dresden Groundwater Research Center
Applied Geochemistry | Year: 2012

Using groundwater quality data from the Lusatian post-mining district a hydrogeochemical model is derived for the evolution of mining affected groundwaters in pyrite-rich dumps which consist mainly of silicates and variable amounts of calcite. Pyrite oxidation paralleled by buffer processes leads to gypsum saturation in a significant portion of the water. Gypsum precipitation controls SO 4 and Ca concentrations in groundwaters above an ionic strength (I) of 60mM. It has been found that there is always a clear relationship between I, SO 4 and Ca concentrations. In particular, there is a tendency that Ca concentrations decrease with increase in ionic strength above I=60mM and a striking rareness of samples with SO 4 concentrations between 20 and 30mM above an ionic strength of 100mM. These observations are explained by a genetic model. This model also explains the observed relationship between the c(Fe)/c(SO 4)-ratio, the ionic strength, and the observed pH-values. Based on the field data and supported by geochemical equilibrium calculations, it is shown that silicate weathering along with calcite dissolution must be a significant buffering process at least in some areas. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Bilek F.,Dresden Groundwater Research Center | Wagner S.,Dresden Groundwater Research Center
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2012

Chemolithoautotrophic sulfate reduction (CSR) was tested to treat natural acid mine drainage influenced groundwaters. The long term behavior was studied for more than 3years under groundwater conditions (10°C, autochthonous sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB)) without biomass replenishment in a 190L bench scale reactor. The process produces water with alkalinity >10mM. pH can be controlled by p(CO 2) for all expectable water qualities. SRB were immobilized using an expanded clay bed. After 1.3years of operation, a constant biomass content and sulfate reduction rate of 0.25-0.30mmolSO4(Lh)-1 were established. The sulfate reduction rate was limited by biomass content. Most of the electrons were used for sulfate reduction (98%). The hydrogen turn over in competing processes like methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis was successfully suppressed by adjusting the sulfate concentration to be >2mM in the runoff. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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