Protection of Waters from Nitrides

Marion Kreins

project report

Due to the support of biomass cultivation as part of the turnaround in energy policy, the nitrogen input will increase in groundwater and surface water. Nevertheless, the more intensive use of biomass is an inevitable part of increasing the sustainability of our energy economy. Hence, an increase in pressure on the groundwater caused by nitrate leaching is expected. Presently, the European Water Framework Directive is not achieving its aims concerning groundwater quality, especially in regions with many biogas plants. Consequently, it is foreseeable that the expansion of biomass cultivation will further aggravate the problem. This paper investigates different methods of reducing nitrate leaching to ground water. Here, the nitrate seepage was tested and evaluated on 12 experimental areas with different combinations of nitrification inhibitors and the intertillage yellow mustard. For sole use of nitrification inhibitors, it was found that the nitrification inhibitor PIADIN® shows the highest effect with a reduction of nitrate leaching of 40%. However, if the nitrification inhibitors are combined with an intertillage, the combination reduces the nitrate inputs by up to 97% compared to the untreated testing area. Thus, an increased use of nitrification inhibitors, especially in combination with catch crop or main crop cultivation, would make a significant contribution to reducing surface water and groundwater contamination.

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