ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 108, No. 4 (2021), p. 331–338
Effect of biochar addition method on ammonia volatilization and quality of chicken manure compost
Mahmoud G. M. Abd EL-RAHIM, Sen DOU, Liu XIN, Shuai XIE, Ahmed SHARAF, Abdourazak ALIO MOUSSA, Mamdouh A. EISSA, Abdel-Rahman A. MUSTAFA, Gomaa A. M. ALI, Mahdy H. HAMED
Composting chicken manure causes negative impacts on environmental ecosystem by increasing ammonia (NH3) emissions. Split addition of maize straw-derived biochar (Bi) during composting of chicken manure may promote the composting process, increase the quality of produced compost and reduce NH3 volatilization. To build composting piles, fresh chicken manure and maize straw were mixed (2:1 w/w). Biochar (10% w/w) was applied to the compost piles in different addition modes: one-time applied biochar (OTABi), 10% at the beginning of the trial, and split-applied biochar (SABi), 2.5% at 0, 3, 7 and 15 days of the composting. In addition to the control (without biochar) treatment, measurements of NH3 emissions were performed in a bench-scale composting experiment. To evaluate the phytotoxicity and maturity of the compost, germination tests were performed in Petri dishes. Compared with the control and OTABi treatments, SABi had a great positive effect (by 40% and 33%) on the final general characteristics of the compost and reduced the cumulative NH3 emissions. Although OTABi treatment had faster degradation during composting, it did not enhance humification. In the mature compost, the humic substances of SABi treatment were 17% and 40% higher than control and OTABi treatments. In addition, in SABi, the values of humic acid carbon (HAC) and humification index (HI) were significantly higher than in other treatments. By the end of composting, both biochar application modes exhibited low water-extractable organic carbon and high seed germination index compared with the control treatment.
This study suggests that during chicken manure composting split application of biochar is a crucial practice for reducing N loss, mitigating NH3 emissions and enhancing humification.
Key words: composting characteristics, germination index, humification, NH3 volatilization.