Paper No. 21
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM
INVESTIGATION INTO POTENTIAL NUTRIENT CONTENT FROM WOOD PROCESSING WASTE
At a site in northwest North Carolina, processed wood waste was land applied to agricultural fields under a permit issued by the NC Department of Natural Resources. Field monitoring shows high nitrogen levels in the groundwater below the agricultural fields, a violation of the discharge permit. This research project investigated the wood waste to see if it was a potential source of excess nitrogen. Leaching experiments were performed on the waste using deionized water to simulate rainfall events on the agricultural fields; the extract was analyzed for pH, total dissolved solids, soluble nitrogen species, soluble phosphorus, and dissolved organic carbon. A sequential leaching experiment was also performed to qualitatively assess the impact of multiple rainfall events on soluble salt production from the wood wastes. Initial experiments show that the waste is a potential source for dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus in the groundwater. However, all nitrogen was in the reduced form (NH3, organic nitrogen), not in the form found at the field site. Additionally, phosphorus may also be a major issue at this site although levels do not currently exceed permitted levels.