Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
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    Estimated nitrous oxide emissions from nitrogen fertilizer use on multispecies grassland compared to monocultures
    Grassland agriculture faces increasing demands in terms of sustainability; economic, social, and environmental. Soils are critical to sustainable agriculture, in terms of maintaining soil fertility and quality, protecting water quality and mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There is evidence to suggest that greater sward diversity may have benefits in this regard. We report results from SmartGrass; a three year field study at two sites in Ireland investigating grass sward diversity along a gradient from perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) monoculture to grass-legume mixes to more complex grass-legume-herb mixes of up to nine species. Results reported include estimates of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from fertiliser nitrogen (N), soil temperature and moisture conditions, plant-available soil N, changes in soil organic carbon (C) and plant-available phosphorus (P). Estimated direct N2O emissions from N fertiliser (g N2O-N t DM-1 ha-1 yr-1) decreased from 146 for the monoculture at 250 kg fertiliser N ha-1 yr-1 to 35 for the monoculture at 90 kg fertiliser N ha-1 yr-1, to approximately 16 for the grass-legume and grass-legume-herb mixes, also at 90 kg fertiliser N ha-1 yr-1. This was due to a combination of the grass-clover and mixed swards maintaining high DM yields at low fertiliser N input, and the fact that the fertiliser N for these treatments was applied entirely as urea. These results indicate significant potential for more diverse swards to mitigate GHG emissions from fertiliser N use in grassland agriculture.
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    Analysis of N2O emissions and isotopomers to understand nitrogen cycling associated with multispecies grassland swards at a lysimeter scale
    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas associated with nitrogen fertiliser inputs to agricultural production systems. Minimising N2O emissions is important to improving the efficiency and sustainability of grassland agriculture. Multispecies grassland swards composed of plants from different functional groups (grasses, legumes, herbs) have been considered as a management strategy to achieve this goal.
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    Source partitioning using N2O isotopomers and soil WFPS to establish dominant N2O production pathways from different pasture sward compositions
    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted from agricultural soils and is influenced by nitrogen (N) fertiliser management and weather and soil conditions. Source partitioning N2O emissions related to management practices and soil conditions could suggest effective mitigation strategies. Multispecies swards can maintain herbage yields at reduced N fertiliser rates compared to grass monocultures and may reduce N losses to the wider environment. A restricted-simplex centroid experiment was used to measure daily N2O fluxes and associated isotopomers from eight experimental plots (7.8 m2) post a urea-N fertiliser application (40 kg N ha−1). Experimental pastures consisted of differing proportions of grass, legume and forage herb represented by perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), white clover (Trifolium repens) and ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), respectively. N2O isotopomers were measured using a cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) instrument adapted with a small sample isotope module (SSIM) for the analysis of gas samples ≤20 mL. Site preference (SP = δ15Nα – δ15Nβ) and δ15Nbulk ((δ15Nα + δ15Nβ) / 2) values were used to attribute N2O production to nitrification, denitrification or a mixture of both nitrification and denitrification over a range of soil WFPS (%). Daily N2O fluxes ranged from 8.26 to 86.86 g N2O-N ha−1 d−1. Overall, 34.2% of daily N2O fluxes were attributed to nitrification, 29.0% to denitrification and 36.8% to a mixture of both. A significant diversity effect of white clover and ribwort plantain on predicted SP and δ15Nbulk indicated that the inclusion of ribwort plantain may decrease N2O emission through biological nitrification inhibition under drier soil conditions (31%–75% WFPS). Likewise, a sharp decline in predicted SP indicates that increased white clover content could increase N2O emissions associated with denitrification under elevated soil moisture conditions (43%–77% WFPS). Biological nitrification inhibition from ribwort plantain inclusion in grassland swards and management of N fertiliser source and application timing to match soil moisture conditions could be useful N2O mitigation strategies.
      151Scopus© Citations 11
  • Publication
    3D printing of PEEK reactors for flow chemistry and continuous chemical processing
    Chemically resistant parts for flow chemistry, with integrated mixing elements have been produced using the 3D printing process of fused filament fabrication, from poly(etheretherketone). Poly(etheretherketone) has greater chemical resistance than common fused filament fabrication materials such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polypropylene, or even high-performance plastics like poly(etherimide), in addition to having superior thermal resistance and excellent mechanical strength. Printed reactors were demonstrated to be suitable for liquid–liquid extraction and flow chemistry and to be capable of withstanding pressures of at least 30 bar allowing superheated solvents to be used. Burst tests in simple geometries of 20 minute duration have indicated that increased operating pressures of up to 60 bar could be accommodated in future reactor designs. The ability to use fused filament fabrication for these reactors allows highly customisable, cost effective flow reactors and equipment to be fabricated on relatively inexpensive benchtop scale printers. X-ray microcomputed tomography was utilised to non-invasively image and verify the internal structure of the prints to ensure fidelity in reactor fabrication. This non-invasive method of equipment validation shows potential in helping to demonstrate regulatory compliance for bespoke additively manufactured components, for example in continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing where the methods and printer used in this work should be sufficient to produce, (continuous) manufacturing scale equipment.
      370Scopus© Citations 29
  • Publication
    Sward composition and soil moisture conditions affect nitrous oxide emissions and soil nitrogen dynamics following urea-nitrogen application
    Increased emissions of N2O, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), from agricultural soils is a major concern for the sustainability of grassland agriculture. Emissions of N2O are closely associated with the rates and forms of N fertilisers applied as well as prevailing weather and soil conditions. Evidence suggests that multispecies swards require less fertiliser N input, and may cycle N differently, thus reducing N loss to the environment. This study used a restricted simplex-centroid experimental design to investigate N2O emissions and soil N cycling following application of urea-N (40 kg N ha−1) to eight experimental swards (7.8 m2) with differing proportions of three plant functional groups (grass, legume, herb) represented by perennial ryegrass (PRG, Lolium perenne), white clover (WC, Trifolium repens) and ribwort plantain (PLAN, Plantago lanceolata), respectively. Swards were maintained under two contrasting soil moisture conditions to examine the balance between nitrification and denitrification. Two N2O peaks coincided with fertiliser application and heavy rainfall events; 13.4 and 17.7 g N2O-N ha−1 day−1 (ambient soil moisture) and 39.8 and 86.9 g N2O-N ha−1 day−1 (wet soil moisture). Overall, cumulative N2O emissions post-fertiliser application were higher under wet soil conditions. Increasing legume (WC) proportions from 0% to 60% in multispecies swards resulted in model predicted N2O emissions increasing from 22.3 to 96.2 g N2O-N ha−1 (ambient soil conditions) and from 59.0 to 219.3 g N2O-N ha−1 (wet soil conditions), after a uniform N application rate. Soil N dynamics support denitrification as the dominant source of N2O especially under wet soil conditions. Significant interactions of PRG or WC with PLAN on soil mineral N concentrations indicated that multispecies swards containing PLAN potentially inhibit nitrification and could be a useful mitigation strategy for N loss to the environment from grassland agriculture.
      119Scopus© Citations 15