This study investigates the phosphorus (P) availability in lime stabilised biological phosphorus removal sludges. Lime-stabilised sludge amendments (LS), non-stabilised sludge amendments (S) and amendments with a chemical fertiliser (TSP) were compared through plant uptake of P and Olsen-extractable P for this purpose. In the first part of the study, pot experiments were performed, where a dewatered biological phosphorus removal sludge was applied to pots at increasing rates of P. A P-deficient, alkaline soil was used in the experiments and Lollium perenne was the testing plant. In the second part (incubation tests), the waste activated sludge from an Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) process was mixed with the same soil at a pre-determined P-based rate. The pot experiments showed that, the efficiency of the fertilising materials, based on the minimum P applied to reach the maximum yield, was in the following order: S∼LS>TSP. However, the P concentration in the plant tissue was in the order of TSP>S>LS for all P application rates. In the incubation tests, the EBPR sludge raised the soil P-level from the low range to the medium range. The P-availability in TSP decreased rapidly with time whereas that in S and LS remained almost constant.

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