Nitrogen dynamics and biological processes in soil amended with microalgae grown in abattoir digestate to recover nutrients

Article


Shayesteh, Hajar, Jenkins, Sasha N., Moheimani, Navid R., Bolan, Nanthi, Buhlmann, Christopher H., Gurung, Sun Kumar, Vadiveloo, Ashiwin, Bahri, Parisa A. and Mickan, Bede S.. 2023. "Nitrogen dynamics and biological processes in soil amended with microalgae grown in abattoir digestate to recover nutrients." Journal of Environmental Management. 344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118467
Article Title

Nitrogen dynamics and biological processes in soil amended with microalgae grown in abattoir digestate to recover nutrients

ERA Journal ID5850
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsShayesteh, Hajar, Jenkins, Sasha N., Moheimani, Navid R., Bolan, Nanthi, Buhlmann, Christopher H., Gurung, Sun Kumar, Vadiveloo, Ashiwin, Bahri, Parisa A. and Mickan, Bede S.
Journal TitleJournal of Environmental Management
Journal Citation344
Article Number118467
Number of Pages12
Year2023
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN0301-4797
1093-0191
1095-8630
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118467
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479723012550
AbstractThe use of microalgae for nutrient recovery from wastewater and subsequent conversion of the harvested biomass into fertilizers offers a sustainable approach towards creating a circular economy. Nonetheless, the process of drying the harvested microalgae represents an additional cost, and its impact on soil nutrient cycling compared to wet algal biomass is not thoroughly understood. To investigate this, a 56-day soil incubation experiment was conducted to compare the effects of wet and dried Scenedesmus sp. microalgae on soil chemistry, microbial biomass, CO2 respiration, and bacterial community diversity. The experiment also included control treatments with glucose, glucose + ammonium nitrate, and no fertilizer addition. The Illumina Mi-Seq platform was used to profile the bacterial community and in-silico analysis was performed to assess the functional genes involved in N and C cycling processes. The maximum CO2 respiration and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) concentration of dried microalgae treatment were 17% and 38% higher than those of paste microalgae treatment, respectively. NH4+ and NO3? released slowly and through decomposition of microalgae by soil microorganisms as compared to synthetic fertilizer control. The results indicate that heterotrophic nitrification may contribute to nitrate production for both microalgae amendments, as evidenced by low amoA gene abundance and a decrease in ammonium with an increase in nitrate concentration. Additionally, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) may be contributing to ammonium production in the wet microalgae amendment, as indicated by an increase in nrfA gene and ammonium concentration. This is a significant finding because DNRA leads to N retention in agricultural soils instead of N loss via nitrification and denitrification. Thus, further processing the microalgae through drying or dewetting may not be favorable for fertilizer production as the wet microalgae appeared to promote DNRA and N retention.
KeywordsMicroalgae; Nutrient cycling; Soil chemistry; Diversity profiling; In-silico functional gene analysis
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020401102. Environmentally sustainable engineering
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Byline AffiliationsMurdoch University
University of Western Australia
Centre for Agricultural Engineering
Richgro Garden Products, Australia
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