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Biochar accelerates organic matter degradation and enhances N mineralisation during composting of poultry manure without a relevant impact on gas emissions

Biochar accelerates organic matter degradation and enhances N mineralisation during composting of poultry manure without a relevant impact on gas emissions

Bioresource Technology 192: 272-279

ISSN/ISBN: 0960-8524

PMID: 26038333

DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2015.05.003

A composting study was performed to assess the impact of biochar addition to a mixture of poultry manure and barley straw. Two treatments: control (78% poultry manure + 22% barley straw, dry weight) and the same mixture amended with biochar (3% dry weight), were composted in duplicated windrows during 19 weeks. Typical monitoring parameters and gaseous emissions (CO2, CO, CH4, N2O and H2S) were evaluated during the process as well as the agronomical quality of the end-products. Biochar accelerated organic matter degradation and ammonium formation during the thermophilic phase and enhanced nitrification during the maturation phase. Our results suggest that biochar, as composting additive, improved the physical properties of the mixture by preventing the formation of clumps larger than 70 mm. It favoured microbiological activity without a relevant impact on N losses and gaseous emissions. It was estimated that biochar addition at 3% could reduce the composting time by 20%.

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Accession: 057301303

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