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Nitrogen Levels in Compost Leachate

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Tom Thompson For assistance with method research. Teresa Matteson For suggesting the project and ... John Kish and Katie Mckiernan My project partners ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Nitrogen Levels in Compost Leachate


1
Nitrogen Levels in Compost Leachate
  • From Experimental Development to Final Data
  • Brian Wakefield
  • Philomath High School Senior Project
  • Presentation April 13, 2007
  • Cluster Advisor Mrs. Molly OMalley Philomath
    High School
  • Community Mentor Dr. David Myrold Oregon State
    University

2
Project Rationale
  • Agricultural manure poses an
  • environmental threat
  • Cultural Eutrophication
  • Composting is a disposal method that results in a
    useful commercial product
  • Compost still presents an environmental hazard
  • My part help document potential nitrogen
    entrance into environment from compost
  • Hypothesis no significant nitrogen loss

3
Compost Sampling and Leachate Extraction
4
Colorimeter Method Problems with Color
Interference
  • Absorbance based method
  • Leachate dark brown
  • No discernable color change when reagent added

5
Initial Attempts to Circumvent Color Interference
  • Vacuum Filtering
  • Filters Clogged
  • Dilutions
  • Odd data
  • Chemical Decolorization
  • Interfered with reagent
  • 20 - 30 - 40

6
Standard Addition
  • Started just testing leachate
  • Over 800 ppm nitrate
  • Tested series of known unknowns
  • Nitrate values off by more than 20
  • Ammonia fairly accurate

7
Non-linear Nitrate Calibration Curve
8
Lessons from Method Development
  • Perseverance
  • Patience
  • Dont always trust the method

9
Finally! The Diffusion Method
  • Diffuses ammonia gas out of solution
  • Converts nitrate to ammonia
  • Bypasses non-linear curve
  • Modified from Conway, 1957

10
Final Data Change in Nitrogen Levels and
Composition as Pile Matures
11
(No Transcript)
12
Conclusions
  • Diffusion method was successfully used to obtain
    reliable data
  • Leachate was found to have high concentrations of
    biologically available nitrogen
  • Ammonium converted to nitrate over time
  • Data suggests some nitrogen lost covered vs.
    uncovered
  • Hypothesis disproved

13
Whats Next?
  • Website
  • Article in BioCycle
  • Assist Soilsmith Services
  • Personal Benefits skills and experience

14
Acknowledgements
  • Molly OMalley Cluster advisor
  • Jeff Mitchell For suggesting the project
  • David Myrold Community mentor
  • Tom Thompson For assistance with method
    research
  • Teresa Matteson For suggesting the project and
    assisting with sampling
  • Clare Reimers Laboratory assistance and method
    development
  • Daniel Merino For suggesting the project
  • Shepard Smith For allowing us to use his
    compost and providing inspiration for this
    project through Soilsmith Services
  • John Kish and Katie Mckiernan My project
    partners
  • Benton County Dept. of Environmental Health For
    funding
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