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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 565174, 8 pages
Research Article

Risk of Leaching in Soils Amended by Compost and Digestate from Municipal Solid Waste

1Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria sn, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2CEIGRAM, Campus Sur de Prácticas de la E.T.S. Ingenieros Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 26 March 2014; Accepted 19 May 2014; Published 3 June 2014

Academic Editor: Antonio Paz González

Copyright © 2014 Marta García-Albacete et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


New European directives have proposed the direct application of compost and digestate produced from municipal solid wastes as organic matter sources in agricultural soils. Therefore information about phosphorus leaching from these residues when they are applied to the soil is increasingly important. Leaching experiments were conducted to determine the P mobility in compost and digestate mixtures, supplying equivalent amounts to 100 kg P ha−1 to three different types of soils. The tests were performed in accordance with CEN/TS 14405:2004 analyzing the maximum dissolved reactive P and the kinetic rate in the leachate. P biowaste fractionation indicated that digestate has a higher level of available P than compost has. In contrast, P losses in leaching experiments with soil-compost mixtures were higher than in soil-digestate mixtures. For both wastes, there was no correlation between dissolved reactive P lost and the water soluble P. The interaction between soil and biowaste, the long experimentation time, and the volume of leachate obtained caused the waste’s wettability to become an influential parameter in P leaching behavior. The overall conclusion is that kinetic data analysis provides valuable information concerning the sorption mechanism that can be used for predicting the large-scale behavior of soil systems.