Nutrients and heavy metals distribution in thermally treated pig manure

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Ash from pig manure treated by combustion and thermal gasification was characterized and compared in terms of nutrient, i.e., potassium (K), phosphorus (P) and heavy metal, i.e., cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) contents. Total nutrient and metal concentrations were measured using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis. Acid (HNO3, H2SO4) and water-extractable concentrations were also measured both in non-classified ash and in selected ash particle size fractions using flame atomic absorption spectrometry and colorimetric spectrometry. Results indicate that ash from gasified manure contained more water-extractable K in comparison with combusted manure whereas the opposite was the case with respect to P. Heavy metals Ni, Cr and Cd were present in higher concentrations in the fine particle size fractions (< 30 µm of particle diameter), whereas K, P, Zn and Cu exhibited higher concentrations in the coarser particle size fractions (> 30 µm).

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