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The impact of sludge amendment on gas dynamics in an upland soil: Monitored by membrane inlet mass spectrometry

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Neil GrayORCiD, Professor Ian Head


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Studies of the land disposal of biosolids and municipal sewage have focused largely on the potential pollution of the soil with pathogens, toxic compounds or heavy metals. Little is known about the impact of sludge amendment on carbon source and sink concentrations in soils. In this study gas concentrations in Scottish soil cores (from limed and unlimed plots) were monitored continuously at 3 cm depth before, during and after sludge application using membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS). Following sludge application to soil cores, significant and sustained increases in CH4 (for 8 days) and CO 2 (for between 16 and 120 days) concentration were observed. This suggested short-term stimulation of indigenous methanogens, provision of a new methanogenic inoculum, or inhibition of methane oxidizers (for example by heavy metals or NH4 in sludge). Soil microbial fermentative activity was enhanced over periods of a few months as shown by elevated CO2 concentrations. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sheppard SK, Gray N, Head IM, Lloyd D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bioresource Technology

Year: 2005

Volume: 96

Issue: 10

Pages: 1103-1115

ISSN (print): 0960-8524

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2976

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2004.10.006

PubMed id: 15683900


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