Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (MSBiosyAgE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture; Engineering

Department

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Carmen T. Agouridis

Abstract

Biochars have been created and characterized from a variety livestock manure biomass including poultry, dairy, and swine. However, no research has been conducted on the physical and chemical makeup of biochar pyrolyzed from horse muck. Two horse muck derived biochars containing either straw (HS) or woodchip (HW) bedding were pyrolyzed at 700°C and characterized for their physical and chemical properties. Tests revealed both biochars had high alkalinity, moderate specific conductivity, and low surface area as compared to other biochars in the literature. HS contained more mineral structures than HW. Scanning electron microscopy presented differences in particle shape, size, and presence of xylemic structures. The chemical makeup of both biochars was similar, while HW contained about 23% more C than HS while HS contained more calcium and magnesium. The effect of biochar-amended soils on the transport of two Escherichia coli isolates was studied using saturated soil columns. The results show that HW significantly reduced the transport of isolate SP2B07 over the Soil control, and reduced the transport of isolate SP2B07 more than isolate SP1H01. Horse muck biochars may show promise in reducing bacterial transport though agricultural soils.

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