Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (MSBiosyAgE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture; Engineering


Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Dwayne Edwards


Land application and storage of horse manure and municipal sludge can increase nutrient and bacteria concentrations in runoff. Biochar increases soil nutrient retention when used as a soil amendment. The objectives of this study were to determine if biochar, when mixed with horse manure or sludge, affects runoff concentrations of total Kjehldahl nitrogen (TKN), ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N), nitrate (NO3-N), total phosphorus (TP), dissolved phosphorus (DP), total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and fecal coliforms (FC). Horse manure and sludge were applied to 2.4 x 6.1 m fescue plots (six each), with three plots of each material amended with 5-8% biochar w/w. Simulated rainfall (101.6 mm/h) was applied to the 12 treatment plots and three control plots. The first 0.5 h of runoff was collected and analyzed for the above-listed parameters. The data were analyzed using an ANCOVA, with SCS runoff curve number (CN) used as the covariate. In general, CN was directly correlated to runoff concentrations of parameters. Plots with low CN values displayed no treatment differences for any measured parameter. Biochar reduced runoff concentrations of TKN and NH3-N for municipal sludge treatments, and TKN, NH3-N, TP, TSS, and FC for horse manure treatments.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)