Thermal Drying and Alkaline Treatment of Biosolids: Effects on Nitrogen Mineralization



Biosolids from the Cañeveralejo WWTP were dehydrated by filter press and then applied two processes to reduce pathogens (PRP): thermally dried biosolid (TDB) and alkalinized biosolid (AB). Untreated, dehydrated biosolid (DB) was used as a control. We evaluated the impact of thermal drying and alkaline treatments on nitrogen mineralization in these substrates. Moreover, agronomic rates for biosolid applications to sugarcane were estimated for each of the treatments leading to application rates of 35.8, 36.4, and 54.5 t/ha for DB, TDB, and AB, respectively, to meet the nitrogen requirement (200 kg N/ha) for sugarcane cultivation (Saccharum officinarum). The results showed that the biosolid rates used increased the mineral nitrogen content of soils by an average of 93.8 and 439.8 mg/kg for all biosolids and the PRP (thermal drying and alkaline treatment) in biosolids had significant effects on mineralization rate, showing better results for the TDBs.