Event Title

Effects of Added Allophane on the Carbon and Nutrient Dynamics of Compost Generated from Food Waste

Poster Number

069

Faculty Mentor

Scott Werts, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Geology and Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Location

Richardson Ballroom (DIGS)

Start Date

20-4-2018 2:15 PM

End Date

20-4-2018 4:15 PM

Description

It is estimated that 40% of all waste that enters landfills is derived from food waste. This waste will ultimately end up as methane emissions from the landfill sites, contributing to greenhouse gasses. Food waste that is redirected and composted as an alternative to landfills often contains between 35-55% carbon, which can be returned to the soil as fertilizer. While some of this carbon will be broken down by soil fauna and returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, other portions will become more stable and remain in the soil for decades or longer. Allophane, a clay derived from volcanic ash, is known to stabilize soil carbon for much longer periods of time, as it creates organic-inorganic complexes that are more recalcitrant than traditional organic material. Our experiment investigated the affect of adding allophane to compost generated from food waste in order to determine whether the allophane would work to stablize the carbon in the short term following composting. We wish to determine the degree to which carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous will remain in the compost following the course of a growing season. We established five sets of pots containing 0%, 5%, 10%, 25%, and 50% allophane combined with a 50/50 soil/compost mixture. We measured total organic carbon and nitrogen, nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate every two weeks throughout the growing season. Our experiment showed no consistent trends in total organic carbon or nitrogen through the experiment. More experimentation is needed in order to determine any significant trends in the loss or sequestration of nitrate, ammonium and phosphate.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Fourth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2018

Grant Support?

Supported by a grant from the Winthrop University Research Council and by the Margaret E. Spencer Summer Undergraduate Fellowship from the Environmental Program at Winthrop University

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 20th, 2:15 PM Apr 20th, 4:15 PM

Effects of Added Allophane on the Carbon and Nutrient Dynamics of Compost Generated from Food Waste

Richardson Ballroom (DIGS)

It is estimated that 40% of all waste that enters landfills is derived from food waste. This waste will ultimately end up as methane emissions from the landfill sites, contributing to greenhouse gasses. Food waste that is redirected and composted as an alternative to landfills often contains between 35-55% carbon, which can be returned to the soil as fertilizer. While some of this carbon will be broken down by soil fauna and returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, other portions will become more stable and remain in the soil for decades or longer. Allophane, a clay derived from volcanic ash, is known to stabilize soil carbon for much longer periods of time, as it creates organic-inorganic complexes that are more recalcitrant than traditional organic material. Our experiment investigated the affect of adding allophane to compost generated from food waste in order to determine whether the allophane would work to stablize the carbon in the short term following composting. We wish to determine the degree to which carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous will remain in the compost following the course of a growing season. We established five sets of pots containing 0%, 5%, 10%, 25%, and 50% allophane combined with a 50/50 soil/compost mixture. We measured total organic carbon and nitrogen, nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate every two weeks throughout the growing season. Our experiment showed no consistent trends in total organic carbon or nitrogen through the experiment. More experimentation is needed in order to determine any significant trends in the loss or sequestration of nitrate, ammonium and phosphate.