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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 457; doi:10.3390/su9030457

Management of Animal Carcass Disposal Sites Using a Biochar Permeable Reactive Barrier and Fast Growth Tree (Populus euramericana): A Field Study in Korea

1
Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Seoul, Seoul 02504, Korea
2
Department of Ecology, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
3
BYUCKSAN Engineering, Seoul 07286, Korea
4
Department of Agronomy & Medicinal Plant Resources, Gyeong Nam National University of Science and Technology, Jinju-si 52725, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Geonha Kim and Marc A. Rosen
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 19 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Abstract

Among many disposal options of animal carcasses due to animal diseases including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and avian influenza (AI), on-farm burial has been the most frequently used one in Korea. Animal carcasses generate contaminants such as ammonium-N and chloride. This study aimed at testing biochar (BC) as a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) material in combination with fast growing tree species (Populus euramericana) to mitigate groundwater pollution from animal burial sites. For this, a PRB filled with BC was installed and 400 poplar tree (P. euramericana) seedlings were planted. Tested BC was obtained from rice husk and its efficiency to mitigate contaminant migration from a burial site of pig carcasses was tested using ammonium-N, chloride, electrical conductivity (EC), and pH as monitoring parameters. Monitoring wells downstream from the burial site were used. Leachates from a monitoring well, three wells inside the burial site close to PRB and three wells outside the burial site close to PRB were sampled and analyzed for ammonium-N, Cl, EC, and pH for four years from PRB installation. The pH, EC, and ammonium-N of leachate fluctuated during the test period depending on precipitation. pH, EC, and ammonium-N of the leachate samples collected from outside of the burial site close to PRB decreased compared to those from inside of the burial site close to PRB. The concentrations of ammonium-N in the leachate from the monitoring well kept under the threshold value of 10 mg·L−1 for two years from PRB construction. In addition, the growth of poplar plants appeared to be increased via uptaking available N and P released from the burial sites. Achieved results suggest that BC PRBs can be used to in situ mitigate contaminant release from buried animal carcasses. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; contaminants leaching; groundwater quality; livestock disease; on-farm burial; permeable reactive barriers biochar; contaminants leaching; groundwater quality; livestock disease; on-farm burial; permeable reactive barriers
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yoon, J.-H.; Kim, Y.-N.; Shin, D.-C.; Kim, K.-R.; Kim, K.-H. Management of Animal Carcass Disposal Sites Using a Biochar Permeable Reactive Barrier and Fast Growth Tree (Populus euramericana): A Field Study in Korea. Sustainability 2017, 9, 457.

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