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    Recovered fertilizers (a highly stabilized digestate and ammonium sulphate) obtained from anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge, were used on plot trials with a maize crop, in a comparison with synthetic fertilizers. After three consecutive cropping seasons, the soils fertilized with the recovered fertilizers (RF), compared to those fertilized with synthetic fertilizers (SF), did not show significant differences either in their chemical characteristics or in the accumulation of inorganic and organic pollutants (POPs). The RF ensured an ammonia N availability in the soil equal to that of the soil fertilized with SF, during the whole period of the experiment. Furthermore, no risks of N leaching were detected, and the use of RF did not result in a greater emission of ammonia or greenhouse gases than the use of SF. The agronomic results obtained using RF were equivalent to those obtained with SF (fertilizer use efficiency of 85.3 ± 10 and 93.6 ± 4.4% for RF and SF respectively). The data show that utilising a very stable digestate can be a good strategy to produce a bio-based fertilizer with similar performance to that of a synthetic fertilizer, without environmental risks. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Massimo Zilio, Ambrogio Pigoli, Bruno Rizzi, Axel Herrera, Fulvia Tambone, Gabriele Geromel, Erik Meers, Oscar Schoumans, Andrea Giordano, Fabrizio Adani. Using highly stabilized digestate and digestate-derived ammonium sulphate to replace synthetic fertilizers: The effects on soil, environment, and crop production. The Science of the total environment. 2022 Apr 01;815:152919

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    PMID: 34998783

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