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Monitoring the fate and transport of vinasse chemical components applied to different soil types


Vinasse is a important byproduct of ethyl alcohol production from sugar cane. Concerns have arisen about the environmental fate of various chemicals (including especially nitrate and potassium) present in vinasse when applied to agricultural soil profiles. The main objective of the present work is to monitor the fate and transport of these chemicals in different soils using soil solution extractors and time domain reflectometry. Breakthrough curves of the various vinasse chemical components will be monitored on undisturbed soil cores taken from several points in the profiles. Using inverse procedures, several transport parameters will be estimated from the breakthrough curves. These parameters include the retardation factor (R), the diffusion coefficient (Do) and the dispersivity (l). The parameters thus obtained are needed in computational models to predict the subsurface transport vinasse chemical components, and for evaluating alternative management practices that limit the adverse environmental impacts of vinasse when applied to agricultural lands. (AU)

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