Kelley Hestmark, Graduate Student, Biological Systems Engineering, University of California, Davis
Impact of Green Waste and Compost Addition on the Efficacy of Soil Biosolarization
Soil biosolarization is a nonchemical pest control alternative to fumigants. The increased temperatures coupled with the increased microbial metabolism responsible for the production of volatile fatty acids act to inactivate pathogens. This study investigated the efficacy of biosolarization when both green waste and compost are introduced into the soil system. The in‐lab trials determined the optimum levels
of compost and green waste to incorporate while also testing for a saturation relationship between the acid accumulation and percent green waste added. A field trial was conducted to measure the amount of volatile fatty acids produced, the temperatures reached and the oxygen concentration at two depths when soil, green waste and compost mixtures were subjected to solarization conditions. Results determined that biosolarization with compost as the bacterial inoculum and green waste as the organic amendment did not result in higher volatile organic acid accumulation compared to biosolarization without compost in the field trial environment.
Kelley received her undergraduate degrees in Environmental Engineering and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado in Boulder. After an internship at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, she decided to pursue an advanced degree in order to better prepare for a career in sustainability research and implementation. She researched Zero Net Energy projects with Prof. Kurt
Kornbluth and for her MS thesis research she has been investigating with Prof. Jean VanderGheynst techniques to improve the efficacy of soil biosolarization.
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