Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
To suppress microbial activity during P sorption experiments, antimicrobials such as toluene, chloroform, or formaldehyde are often added to the soil-solution mixture. The drawback to this approach, however, is that these are all organic compounds and therefore contribute dissolved organic carbon (
DOC) to the solution which has been shown to affect P sorption behavior. In addition, there is a lack of studies demonstrating that microbial activity significantly affects P sorption behavior during the typical 24-hr equilibration time commonly used in P sorption experiments. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the affect commonly used antimicrobials have on P sorption behavior to soils. Four antimicrobials were tested as part of this study: toluene chloroform, formaldehyde, and sodium azide. Also, to determine whether the antimicrobials themselves affect P sorption behavior, P sorption studies were conducted on sterilized soils and the P sorption behavior compared between treatments. Results indicate that under most conditions, the application of antimicrobials is not needed because microbial activity is minimal when using air dried soils.