Impacts of greenwaste biochar on ammonia volatilisation from bauxite processing residue sand

Chen, C.R. and Phillips, I.R. and Condron, L.M. and et al, . (2012) Impacts of greenwaste biochar on ammonia volatilisation from bauxite processing residue sand. Plant Soil. pp. 1-12.

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Background and Aims The objective of this study was to test the suitability of greenwaste biochar to aid nitrogen (N) retention in rehabilitated bauxite-processing residue sand (BRS). Methods Bauxite residue sand was collected from the Alcoa of Australia Pinjarra refinery. The pH of BRS was adjusted to values of 5, 7, 8 and 9 and subsequently amended with different rates (1, 5, 10 and 20 %, w/w) of greenwaste biochar. The loss of N via NH3 volatilization following addition of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) was determined using an acid trapping method. Results At low pH (5), increasing pH rather than adsorption capacity, resulting from biochar addition, caused greater losses of N through volatilization from BRS. In BRS with medium pH (7, 8), increasing adsorption capacity, induced by biochar addition, played the more dominant role in enhancing adsorption of NH4 +-N /NH3-N and lowering NH3 volatilization. In the BRS with high pH (9), the majority of NH4 +-N /NH3-N pools was lost via NH3 volatilization due to the strong acid-base reaction at this pH. Conclusions It is concluded that the interaction of changes in pH and adsorption capacity induced by greenwaste biochar addition affects the availability and dynamics of NH4 +-N/ NH3-N in BRS amended with DAP.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This research was supported under Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects funding scheme (project number LP0989670, FT0990547) and by Alcoa World Alumina, Australia. Associate Professor CR Chen is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (project number FT0990547).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nitrogen dynamics, Adsorption, NH3, NH4+, pH
Author Affiliation: Environmental Futures Centre, Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Nathan, Qld 4111, Australia e-mail:
Subjects: Atmosperic Science
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2012 06:56
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2012 06:56
Official URL:

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