ASHBACK – Environmentally safe application of biofuel ash as fertilizers in biofuel production

Main area:Ecology
 
Target group:Biology
 
Educational level:Bachelor, Masters
 
Project description:

Ash from biofuel contains plant nutrients, but also heavy metals. Because of the heavy metal content only a limited amount of ash can legally be spread to soils. Therefore, we currently deposit a large amount of ash from biofuel combustion as waste instead of applying the ash as fertilizers in new biofuel production. In the ASHBACK project we assess the effects of bio-ash on important soil organisms to determine whether we can raise the limits for bio-ash application to soil without jeopardizing the environment. Our findings will thus potentially ensure a more environmentally and economically sustainable energy production.

In BSc/MSc projects you can investigate:
• Ecotoxicological effects of bio-ash and heavy metals on specific organisms
• Effects of bio-ash on soil biodiversity
• Effects of bio-ash and heavy metals on soil food webs
• Effects of bio-ash on ecosystem functioning

You can work with microorganism (bacteria, fungi, protozoa), nematodes, enchytraeids, earthworms, microarthropods (e.g. mites and collembola), arthropods (e.g. ground beetles and spiders). You can apply a broad range of techniques, e.g. molecular, stable isotope and culturing techniques, microscopy, heavy metal and chemical soil analysis.

 
Methods used:E.g. molecular, stable isotope and culturing techniques, microscopy, heavy metal and chemical soil analysis
 
Keywords:Ecotoxicology, Ecosystem functioning, Microorganisms, Soil fauna, Diversity
 
Project home page: http://www.ashback.dk
 
Supervisor(s):  Flemming Ekelund, Rasmus Kjøller, Mette Vestergård, Søren Christensen, Louise Hindborg Mortensen, Carla Cruz Paredes, Sara Bentzon-Tilia
 
Email:fekelund@bio.ku.dk