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Part One — A Case Study of Projecting the Costs and Land Requirements for a Sustainable Biosolids Land-Application Program for Columbus, Ohio

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The City of Columbus Ohio (Columbus) recently completed a solids master planning study. As part of the larger solids master planning effort, land application was evaluated as one of the end use options. Overall viability, costs, energy impact, and greenhouse gas (GHG) production were all considered. This paper explores the methods utilized and the results for determining 1) land application costs and 2) the land-base requirements for near-100% beneficial use via land application. The land-base determination strongly affected annual fleet mileage, and is therefore critical for factoring the energy requirements, net GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts. This is the first part of a two-part paper regarding land application as an option for Columbus Ohio.

For a sustainable long-term 100% land-application biosolids management program, 67,000 acres is required. Each year, 500,000 miles would be driven to reach those acres with a combination of cake and liquid application; over 800,000 miles would be driven if the program is entirely liquid application. A full-scale land application program would require an average round-trip distance of 64 miles. Both the distance traveled and the number of round trips affects the mileage and the GHG impact (or value) of the program. The GHG implications are examined in the second paper.
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Keywords: bio-available phosphorus; biosolids; deterministic model; land application; plant-available nitrogen; residual nitrogen; stochastic model

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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