Safety and agronomic efficiency of compost application on vineyard with respect to its organic micropollutants content

The objective of this study was to determine the fate of NPE, LAS, PAH, PCB, PCDD/F and PAE after compost application at the lab- and field-scale in a vineyard agronomic context of low organic matter Mediterranean soil.

The production of sewage sludge in the European Union is about 9 millions tons, about which around 37% are applied to agricultural soils. The obvious benefit of this practice is the recycling of plant nutrients and organic matter for crops production. The Sewage Sludge Directive (86/278/EEC) encourages composting of sewage sludge to ensure stabilisation and sanitation. However, concerns about sludge and compost-derived micropollutants entering soil-plantaquifer systems are increasing. Indeed, a large number of compounds such as nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE), linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), polychlororinated biphenyls (PCB), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/F) and phthalates (PAE) have been detected in sewage sludge and compost. Hence, there is a public concern about these pollutants, particularly because they may potentially generate health hazards. Thus, it seems essential to study the fate of micropollutants after compost application. The objective of this study was to determine the fate of NPE, LAS, PAH, PCB, PCDD/F and PAE after compost application at the lab- and field-scale in a vineyard agronomic context of low organic matter Mediterranean soil. For this purpose, an industrial composted sludge was chemically characterised and used in either pot or field experiments planted with vineyards. The lab-scale pot experiment was set up with 5 kg of the soil used for the field experiment, amended with the industrial composted sludge spiked with individual 14C-labelled organic compound and planted with vineyard scions to study the transfer to the vineyard leaves. The chemical analysis gave a good overview of the composition of the composted sludge. The concentration ranges for each compound follow the general European trend : high levels of LAS (200-250 mg/kgDM), medium levels of PAE (20 mg/kgDM) and NPE (10 mg/kgDM) and low to very low levels of PAH (1500 μg/kgDM), PCB (150 μg/kgDM) and PCDD/F (21 ng eq/kgDM). These values are also lower than those listed in the third draft of the EU Sludge Directive project for sludge spreading on agricultural soils. This composted sludge was spread on a vineyard field (10 t fresh matter/ha) in fall 2005. The presence of organic pollutants in soil and grapes was followed until grapes harvesting in fall 2006. The impact of compost application was only observed for LAS and NPE with a significant increase of pollutant concentration in the soil by comparison to the control, one day after the spreading. However, after six months, the LAS and NPE level of the amended soil remained the same as in the control due to biodegradation or bound residues formation. No transfer of pollutant was observed through grapes analysis.



Copyright: © European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Source: Orbit 2008 (Oktober 2008)
Pages: 9
Price: € 8,00
Autor: Prof. Dominique Patureau
N. Delgenès
J.P. Delgenès
C. Lhoutellier
F. Laurent

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