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Frankston East, Australia

Wijesekara H.,University of New South Wales | Bolan N.S.,University of New South Wales | Vithanage M.,Sri Lanka Institute of Fundamental Studies | Xu Y.,University of South Australia | And 9 more authors.
Advances in Agronomy | Year: 2016

Globally, around 0.4×106 km2 area of land is estimated to be disturbed by mining activities, thereby contributing to severe environmental consequences including the generation of large amounts of mine spoils. The shortfall in topsoil due to poor striping practices and low levels of organic matter have been identified as common problems in rehabilitation of mining spoil. High heavy metal concentrations in mine spoil can adversely impact microbial activity and subsequent revegetation succession. The release of acids associated with mine spoils (ie, acid mine drainage through oxidation of pyrite) can also create adverse effects on the surrounding vegetation.Large quantities of biowaste, such as manure compost, biosolids, and municipal solid waste (MSW) that are low in contaminants [including metal(loid)s] can be used to rehabilitate mine spoils. These biowastes provide a source of nutrients and improve the fertility of spoils. These biowastes also act as a sink for metal(loid)s in mine tailings reducing their bioavailability through adsorption, complexation, reduction, and volatilization of metal(loid)s.This review provides an overview of the sources of biowastes and the current regulations for utilization; describes their benefits in terms of improving the physical, chemical, and biological properties of mine spoils; and elaborates on the role of the utilization of biowastes on mine spoil rehabilitation through several case studies. Finally, future research needs and strategies are identified in terms of sustainable biowaste utilization in mine spoil rehabilitation. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. Source

Dassanayake K.B.,University of Melbourne | Jayasinghe G.Y.,University of Melbourne | Jayasinghe G.Y.,Ruhuna University | Surapaneni A.,South East Water | Hetherington C.,Transpacific Industries Group Ltd
Waste Management | Year: 2015

Alum salts are commonly used in the water industry to promote coagulation in the production of clean drinking water, which results in the generation and accumulation of 'waste' by-product 'alum sludge' in large volumes. Effective and efficient management of alum sludge in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner remains a significant social and environmental concern with ever increasing demand for potable water as a result of rapidly escalating world population and urban expansion. Various intensive practices have been employed to reuse the alum sludge in an attempt to figure out how to fill the gap between successful drinking water treatment process and environmentally friendly alum sludge management for over the years. This paper primarily aimed at comprehensive review of the existing literature on alum sludge characteristics, its environmental concerns and their potential utilization, especially in agricultural and horticultural sectors leading to update our recent state of knowledge and formulate a compendium of present and past developments. Different types of alum sludge utilizations in various fields were recognized and examined. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and potential risks of alum sludge reuse options with particular reference to agriculture were highlighted and knowledge gaps were identified. Research priorities and future challenges that will support in the development of effective alum. sludge. management practices in agriculture with multi-prong strategies were discussed. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Dow N.,Victoria University of Melbourne | Roehr J.,Victoria University of Melbourne | Murphy D.,Melbourne Water | Solomon L.,Melbourne Water | And 10 more authors.
Water Practice and Technology | Year: 2015

Combining ceramic membranes with ozonation and allowing ozone residual to contact the membrane surface is well known to control fouling, allowing for higher membrane fluxes. This means that the more robust, longer lasting and higher integrity ceramic material can potentially be used in water recycling in a cost competitive way. This paper presents additional results from a previously reported ozonation/ceramic membrane trial in Melbourne, Australia. The results assisted in understanding the cause of the high fluxes by quenching the residual ozone upstream of the membrane, to isolate its effects on organic species from those on the membrane. Ozone quenching was directly attributed to lost membrane performance which confirmed that ozone has a direct effect on the membrane which contributes to the higher fluxes. Tests to reduce cleaning chemical use (sodium hypochlorite) at high fluxes were also conducted. Sodium hypochlorite consumption generally was not significant, but trading better stability and higher fluxes for reduced chemical use needs to be justified. Ceramic membranes coupled with pre-ozonation exhibit unique properties in water treatment, offering potential advantages such as increased backwash disinfection, as well as higher flux rates or reduced chemical consumption. © IWA Publishing 2015. Source

Thangarajan R.,University of South Australia | Thangarajan R.,Cooperative Research Center for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment | Bolan N.S.,University of South Australia | Bolan N.S.,Cooperative Research Center for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

The effects of temperature (18, 24, and 37 °C) and form of nitrogen (N) input from various sources (organic—green waste compost, biosolids, and chicken manure; inorganic—urea) on N transformation in three different Australian soils with varying pH (4.30, 7.09, and 9.15) were examined. Ammonification rate (ammonium concentration) increased with increase in temperature in all soil types. The effect of temperature on nitrification rate (nitrate concentration) followed 24 > 37 > 18 °C. Nitrification rate was higher in neutral and alkaline soils than acidic soil. Mineral N (bioavailable N) concentration was high in urea treatments than in organic N source treatments in all soil types. Acidic soil lacked nitrification activity resulting in low nitrate (NO3) buildup in urea treatment, whereas a significant NO3 buildup was noticed in green waste compost treatment. In neutral and alkaline soils, the nitrification activity was low at 37 °C in urea treatment but with a significant NO3 buildup in organic amendment added soils. Addition of organic N sources supplied ammonia oxidizing bacteria thereby triggering nitrification in the soils (even at 37 °C). This study posits the following implications: (1) inorganic fertilizer accumulate high NO3 content in soils in a short period of incubation, thereby becoming a potential source of NO3 leaching; (2) organic N sources can serve as possible source of nitrifying bacteria, thereby increasing bioavailable N (NO3) in soils regardless of the soil properties and temperature. © 2013, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Surapaneni A.,South East Water | Smith D.,South East Water | Stevens D.,Atura Pty Ltd | Wilkinson K.G.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Darvodelsky P.,Pollution Solutions and Designs Pty Ltd.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014

There is currently very limited use of biosolids in Australian horticulture, though it is more widely used in the cropping, cattle grazing, sheep grazing and fodder industries. We review the international scientific literature which documents potential productivity increases from the horticultural use of biosolids and a range of improvements to soil physical, chemical and biological conditions. A significant body of research has also addressed metal bioavailability, food quality, and environment impacts. Despite these findings, the stigma attached to the use of biosolids in food production is probably the main barrier to the beneficial use of biosolids in horticulture today. Greater utilization of biosolids is also not helped by the lack of regulation governing the land application of other organic wastes like poultry litter. In the US there have been no known negative human health impacts documented when biosolids meet US federal regulations and have been applied to land under best management practices. With the right quality control systems in place, assured product quality and the prospect of a revision of metal guidelines as a result of recent Australian research, biosolids could become an attractive alternative fertilizer and organic amendment for use in Australian horticulture. Source

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