University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Keywords

Struvite, Phosphorus, Corn, Greenhouse, potted-plant, Wastewater-recycled, Fertilizer, Electrochemically precipitated

Abstract

The ability to recycle phosphorus (P) from wastewaters could provide a sustainable, continuous source of P that might also help protect surface water quality from P enrichment. The mineral struvite (MgNH4PO4 · 6H2O) is an understudied material that can be created from P- and nitrogen (N)-containing wastewater and has been shown to have agricultural fertilizer value. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of electrochemically precipitated struvite (ECST), chemically precipitated struvite (Crystal Green; CG), diammonium phosphate (DAP), monoammonium phosphate (MAP), rock phosphate (RP), and triple superphosphate (TSP) on corn (Zea mays) response in a greenhouse pot study. The effects of fertilizer treatment on select plant properties were evaluated. Corn plant properties and elemental tissue concentrations differed (P < 0.05) among fertilizer amendments. Belowground dry matter from ECST was 1.9 times greater than that from CG, TSP, DAP, and the No P/+N, and No P/-N control treatments. Corn cob-plus-husk tissue P concentration from ECST was similar to that from MAP and DAP and was 1.2 times larger than that from CG. Corn stem-plus-leaves tissue P concentration from ECST differed from that from all other treatments and was 1.8 times greater than that from the No P/+N control. Results generated from this study not only provide information on the new, thus understudied, electrochemically precipitated struvite material, but also further demonstrate why more research should be conducted on the implementation of struvite as an alternative fertilizer-P source and struvite’s potential impact on sustainable food production and the preservation of water resources.

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