Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020ND085B

Soil Amendment for Reducing the Runoff of Nutrients from Agricultural Lands

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-02-29 End Date: 2021-02-27
Total Federal Funds: $5,192 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,384

Principal Investigators: Feng

Abstract: The runoff of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural lands is responsible for 40% of the impaired lake/river area in the U.S. This project proposes to develop and experiment with a novel carbonaceous bio-soil amendment (CSA) from biomass (renewable) resources to retain nutrients and act as a controlled-release form of N and P. The substrate is bio-char made by pyrolysis of biomass materials, such as crop residue and agricultural waste materials, at moderate temperature and under limited oxygen supply. The CSA will be produced by optimally binding phosphate, ammonium and metal cations (i.e., magnesium (Mg) or calcium (Ca)) on the surface of bio-char. The key hypotheses are 1) in combination with metal ions, nano-crystallites of struvite (MgNH4PO4) and calcium ammonium phosphate (CaNH4PO4) precipitates will be deposited on surfaces and in pores of char; and 2) such precipitates are sparingly soluble and will act as controlled-release supplies of N and P.