Biosolid degradation in soil comprises important biological and geochemical processes that operate in the soil matrix and on the soil surface. The microbial ecology is assumed to be associated with mineral soil surface area because of the large surface area of soil. Biological degradation rates for 27 fields (10°C and 10% moisture) ranged from 0.01 to 0.30 yr−1 and were determined by applying a degradation rate model (DRM). A 1-year-long laboratory study was also conducted to determine biosolid microbial degradation rates (21°C and 20% moisture) for soils from eight of the fields. Changes in degradation rates were correlated with changes in mineral soil surface area (1–10 m2/g) with larger degradation rates associated with soils with larger surface areas. The annual soil sequestration rate was calculated to increase from 1 to 6% for field conditions and from 4 to 14% for laboratory conditions when the soil total surface area increased from 1 to 10 m2/g. Therefore, land application of biosolids is an effective way to enhance carbon sequestration in soils and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Carbon Capture and Storage