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International Journal of Soil Science
Year: 2016  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 94 - 101

Effect of Olive Mill Solid Waste on Soil Physical Properties

Ghaida Abu-Rumman    

Abstract: Background and Objective: Addition of organic wastes to agricultural soils is becoming a common practice as a disposal strategy and to improve the physical and chemical soil properties and increase the soil productivity. Amendments of agricultural lands with olive pomace become a common practice in the middle East. However, the olive mills waste contains small fraction of oil which might affects soil water retention and infiltration. The objectives of this study were to investigate changes in soil physical properties resulted from the addition of Olive Mill Solid Waste (OMSW). The properties studied were: Penetration depth, water holding capacity, accumulated intake and bulk density. Materials and Methods: The Olive Mill Solid Waste (OMSW) at three rates: 3, 6 and 9% by weight were added to two soils classified as clay (clay 55, silt 25 and sand 20%) and sandy clay (sand 55, clay 40 and silt 5%) soils. A pressure plate apparatus was used to construct soil water retention curves at a pressure varies between 0.30 (Wilting) to 1500 kPa (Saturation). The infiltration tests were performed using FEL5 demonstration infiltration apparatus. Results: The application of (OMSW) significantly improved the physical properties of the soils studied relative to untreated soil (control). For clay soil and application rate of 9%, the penetration depth and accumulated water intake were increased 30 and 29%, respectively. The corresponding increases in sandy clay soil were 25 and 32%, respectively. At application rate of 9%, the soil (WHC) increased were 10.3 and 16.5% for clay and sandy clay soils, respectively. Accumulation intake increased as application rate increased; while bulk density decreased as a result of the dilution effect resulting from mixing organic matter with the more dense soil minerals. Conclusion: Applications of OMSW increases the organic content of the soil and at the same time reduces its bulk density. The increase in (WHC) at field capacity and wilting point can be attributed to changes in soils textures which resulted from increases in soil organic C. The Water Holding Capacity (WHC), penetration depth and accumulated infiltration increased as (OMSW) application rates increased. The increases in (WHC) depend on soil texture, for fine-textured soils, the increase in (WHC) at wilting point is less than at field capacity. The opposite occurred in coarse-textured soils as a result of sand fraction, significant increase in (WHC) at wilting point rather than at field capacity.

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