Dr. Mohamed Rashad

Committee: International Scientific Committee of Environmental and Ecological Engineering
University: City of Scientific Research and Technological Applications
Department: Land and Water Technologies Department
Research Fields: Environmental Soil Biology, Environmental soil Biochemistry

Publications

1 Influence of Environment-Friendly Organic Wastes on the Properties of Sandy Soil under Growing Zea mays L. in Arid Regions

Authors: Mohamed Rashad, Mohamed Emran, Mohamed Hafez, Emad Aboukila, Ibrahim Nassar

Abstract:

Environment-friendly organic wastes of Brewers' spent grain, a byproduct of the brewing process, have recently used as soil amendment to improve soil fertility and plant production. In this work, treatments of 1% (T1) and 2% (T2) of spent grains, 1% (C1) and 2% (C2) of compost and mix of both sources (C1T1) were used and compared to the control for growing Zea mays L. on sandy soil under arid Mediterranean climate. Soils were previously incubated at 65% saturation capacity for a month. The most relevant soil physical and chemical parameters were analysed. Water holding capacity and soil organic matter (OM) increased significantly along the treatments with the highest values in T2. Soil pH decreased along the treatments and the lowest pH was in C1T1. Bicarbonate decreased by 69% in C1T1 comparing to control. Total nitrogen (TN) and available P varied significantly among all treatments and T2, C1T1 and C2 treatments increased 25, 17 and 11 folds in TN and 1.2, 0.6 and 0.3 folds in P, respectively related to control. Available K showed the highest values in C1T1. Soil micronutrients increased significantly along all treatments with the highest values in T2. After corn germination, significant variation was observed in the velocity of germination coefficients (VGC) among all treatments in the order of C1T1>T2>T1>C2>C1>control. The highest records of final germination and germination index were in C1T1 and T2. The spent grains may compensate deficiencies of macro and micronutrients in newly reclaimed sandy soils without adverse effects to sustain crop production with a rider that excessive or continuous use need to be circumvented.

Keywords: Micronutrients, Macronutrients, Plant Growth, compost, water holding capacity, Spent grain

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Abstracts

3 Influence of Applied Inorganic and Organic Nitrogen Fertilizers on Nitrogen Forms in Biochar-Treated Soil

Authors: Mohamed Rashad, Eman H. El-Gamal, Maher E. Saleh, Ibrahim Elsokkary, Mona M. Abd El-Latif

Abstract:

Biochar application to calcareous soils could potentially influence the nitrogen dynamics that affect the bioavailability of plants. This study was carried out to investigate the effect of incubation periods on the changes of nitrogen levels (total nitrogen TN and exchangeable ammonium NH₄⁺ and nitrate NO₃⁻) in biochar-treated calcareous soil. The incubation course was extended to 144 days at 30 ± 3 ℃ and at 50% of soil water holding capacity (WHC). Two types of biochars were obtained by pyrolysis at 500 ℃ from rice husk (RHB) and sugarcane bagasse (SCBB). The experiment was planned in a factorial experimental design with three factors (6 periods '24 days for each period' × 3 biochar types 'un-amended, RHB and SCBB' × 3 nitrogen fertilizers 'control, ammonium nitrate; AN and animal manure; AM') in a completely randomized design. The results obtained showed that the highest level of TN was found in the first 24 days of the incubation period in all treatments. However, the amount of TN was decreased with proceeding incubation period up to 144 days and reached to the lowest level at the end of incubation with values of change rate was 17.5, 16.6, and 14.6 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ for the un-amended, RHB and SCBB treated soil, respectively. The values of change rate in biochar-soils treated with nitrogen fertilizers were decreased gradually through the whole incubation time from 127.22 to 12.45 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ and from 65.00 to 13.43 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ for AN and AM respectively, in the case of RHB-soil. While in SCBB-soil, these values were decreased from 70.83 to 12.13 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ and from 59.17 to 11.48 g kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ for AN and AM treatments, respectively. The lowest concentration of exchangeable NH₄⁺ was generally found through the period from 24-48 days of incubation. However, the addition of nitrogen fertilizers, enhanced NH₄⁺ production through incubation periods. In the case of RHB-soil, the value of change rate in NH₄⁺ level in the first 24 days of incubation was 0.43 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ and with the addition of AN and AM this value increased to 1.54 and 4.38 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹, respectively. In the case of SCBB-soil, the value of change rate in NH₄⁺ level was 0.29 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ which increased to 1.04 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ at the end of incubation, and due to the addition of AN and AM this value increased to 2.78 and 1.90 mg kg⁻¹ day⁻¹ in the first 24 days of incubation period, respectively. However, as compared to the control treatment, the lowest rate of change in NH₄⁺ level was found at the end of incubation. On the other hand, incubation of all biochars-amended soil and treated with AN and AM decreased the concentration levels of NO₃⁻, especially through the first 24-72 days of incubation period. As a result, the values of change rate in NO₃⁻ concentrations in all treatments were almost negative.

Keywords: Biochar, rice husk, sugarcane bagasse, ammonium nitrate, animal manure

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2 Influence of Environment-Friendly Organic Wastes on the Properties of Sandy Soil under Growing Zea mays L. in Arid Regions

Authors: Mohamed Rashad, Mohamed Emran, Mohamed Hafez, Emad Aboukila, Ibrahim Nassar

Abstract:

Environment-friendly organic wastes of Brewers' spent grain, a byproduct of the brewing process, have recently used as soil amendment to improve soil fertility and plant production. In this work, treatments of 1% (T1) and 2% (T2) of spent grains, 1% (C1) and 2% (C2) of compost and mix of both sources (C1T1) were used and compared to the control for growing Zea mays L. on sandy soil under arid Mediterranean climate. Soils were previously incubated at 65% saturation capacity for a month. The most relevant soil physical and chemical parameters were analysed. Water holding capacity and soil organic matter (OM) increased significantly along the treatments with the highest values in T2. Soil pH decreased along the treatments and the lowest pH was in C1T1. Bicarbonate decreased by 69% in C1T1 comparing to control. Total nitrogen (TN) and available P varied significantly among all treatments and T2, C1T1 and C2 treatments increased 25, 17 and 11 folds in TN and 1.2, 0.6 and 0.3 folds in P, respectively related to control. Available K showed the highest values in C1T1. Soil micronutrients increased significantly along all treatments with the highest values in T2. After corn germination, significant variation was observed in the velocity of germination coefficients (VGC) among all treatments in the order of C1T1>T2>T1>C2>C1>control. The highest records of final germination and germination index were in C1T1 and T2. The spent grains may compensate deficiencies of macro and micronutrients in newly reclaimed sandy soils without adverse effects to sustain crop production with a rider that excessive or continuous use need to be circumvented.

Keywords: Soil Carbon Sequestration, water holding capacity, corn and squash germination, environmentally friendly organic wastes, spent grains as soil amendment

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1 Effect of Land Use and Abandonment on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Depletion by Runoff in Shallow Soils under Semi-Arid Mediterranean Climate

Authors: Mohamed Rashad, Mohamed Emran, Giovanni Pardini, Maria Gispert

Abstract:

Land use and abandonment in semi-arid degraded ecosystems may cause regressive dynamics in vegetation cover affecting organic matter contents, soil nutrients and structural stability, thus reducing soil resistance to erosion. Mediterranean areas are generally subjected to climatic fluctuations, which modify soil conditions and hydrological processes, such as runoff and water infiltration within the upper soil horizons. Low erosion rates occur in very fragile and shallow soils with minor clay content progressively decrease organic carbon C and nitrogen N pools in the upper soil horizons. Seven soils were selected representing variant context of land use and abandonment at the Cap de Creus Peninsula, Catalonia, NE Spain, from recent cultivated vines and olive groves, mid abandoned forests standing under cork and pine trees, pasture to late abandoned Cistus and Erica scrubs. The aim of this work was to study the effect of changes in land use and abandonment on the depletion of soil organic carbon and nitrogen transported by runoff water in shallow soils after natural rainfall events during two years with different rainfall patterns (1st year with low rainfall and 2nd year with high rainfall) by i) monitoring the most significant soil erosion parameters at recorded rainfall events, ii) studying the most relevant soil physical and chemical characteristics on seasonal basis and iii) analysing the seasonal trends of depleted carbon and nitrogen and their interaction with soil surface compaction parameters. Significant seasonal variability was observed in the relevant soil physical and chemical parameters and soil erosion parameters in all soils to establish their evolution under land use and abandonment during two years of different rainfall patterns (214 and 487 mm per year), giving important indications on soil response to rainfall impacts. Erosion rates decreased significantly with the increasing of soil C and N under low and high rainfall. In cultivated soils, C and N depletion increased by 144% and 115%, respectively by 13% increase in erosion rates during the 1st year with respect to the 2nd year. Depleted C and N were proportionally higher in soils under vines and olive with vulnerable soil structure and low soil resilience leading to degradation, altering nutrients cycles and causing adverse impact on environmental quality. Statistical analysis underlined that, during the 1st year, soil surface was less effective in preserving stocks of organic resources leading to higher susceptibility to erosion with consequent C and N depletion. During the 2nd year, higher organic reserve and water storage occurred despite the increasing of C and N loss with an effective contribution from soil surface compaction parameters. The overall estimation during the two years indicated clear differences among soils under vines, olive, cork and pines, suggesting on the one hand, that current cultivation practices are inappropriate and that reforestation with pines may delay the achievement of better soil conditions. On the other hand, the natural succession of vegetation under Cistus, pasture and Erica suggests the recovery of good soil conditions.

Keywords: Land Use, soil erosion, land abandonment, nutrient's depletion

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