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E
Future Soil Issues, El-Ramady, Hassan, Alshaal Tarek, Abdelrahman Hamada, and El-Hady Omar , The Soils of Egypt, (2019) Abstract

Soils are among the key resources of sustainable development in Egypt. There would be no development, in any nation, without policies and implementation for soil protection, conservation, and sustainability. This is due to the role soils play in almost all fields, including agriculture and its subsectors (farming of animals and plants to produce food, feed, fiber, fuel, etc.), as well as the industrial sector. Egypt faces, currently, great and serious challenges related to the changes in land use, new challenges for soil sciences scientists. Other important future soil issues include the role of soils in global climate changes mitigation/adaptation, establishment of soil protection law, and enforcing it. To solve emerging soil-related problems in Egypt, potential contributions from soil scientists, policymakers, and society are expected. Therefore, this chapter is an attempt to focus on emerging concern on soil and to suggest suitable solutions under the Egyptian conditions.

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Growth Response of Blue Panic Grass (Panicum antidotale) to Saline Water Irrigation and Compost Applications, Farrag, Karam, Abdel Hakim Sara, Abd El-Tawab Amr Ramadan, and Abdelrahman Hamada , Water Science, Volume 35, Issue 1, p.31-38, (2021) AbstractWebsite

A pot experiment was conducted to examine the ability of Blue Panic grass (Panicum anti- dotale) to grow in slightly saline soils (2.40 dS m–1) under different levels of saline irrigation water in the presence or absence of compost. Eight treatments were set up in a randomized block design with five replicates as follows: T1 (Freshwater), T2 (Freshwater + compost at 20%), T3 (Saline water 5000 mg L–1), T4 (T3 + compost at 20%), T5 (Saline water 10000 mg L–1), T6 (T5 + compost at 20%), T7 (Saline water 15000 mg L–1) and T8 (T7 + compost at 20%). Growth parameters of Blue Panic Grass were evaluated at the end of the experimental period as plant and root length, shoot, and root fresh and dry weights, total chlorophyll, and total carbohy- drates. In general, tested Blue Panic Grass appeared to be tolerant to high salt concentrations in irrigation water, and slightly significant differences were found for all the measured para- meters. A remarkable growth increase occurred in plants grown in compost-amended soils, with respect to the unamended soils. The results demonstrate the possibility to stabilize the yield of blue panic grass, an important feed crop in Egypt, irrigated with saline water, which can secure animal feed resources without reducing the already limited freshwater availability.

H
Historical charcoal additions potentially improve stability of soil organic carbon due to altered particulate carbon fractions, HOFMANN, Diana, Steffen Bernhard, Abdelrahman Hamada, Disko Ulrich, and Borchard Nils , The 18th Conference of the International Humic Substances Society, , Kanazawa, Japan, (2016)
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Wheat and maize-derived water-washed and unwashed biochar improved the nutrients phytoavailability and the grain and straw yield of rice and wheat: A field trial for sustainable management of paddy soils, Korai, Punhoon Khan, Sial Tanveer Ali, Pan Genxing, Abdelrahman Hamada, Sikdar Ashim, Kumbhar Farhana, Channa Siraj Ahmed, Ali Esmat F., Zhang Jianguo, Rinklebe Jörg, et al. , Journal of Environmental Management, 2021, Volume 297, p.113250, (2021) AbstractWebsite

A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of different biochars on grain yield and phytoavailability and uptake of macro- and micro-nutrients by rice and wheat grown in a paddy soil in a rotation. Soil was treated with i) maize raw (un-washed) biochar (MRB), ii) maize water-washed biochar (MWB), iii) wheat raw biochar (WRB) or iv) wheat water-washed biochar (WWB) and untreated soil was used as control (CF). Inorganic fertilizers were applied to all soils while biochar treated soils received 20 ton ha−1 of designated biochar before rice cultivation in rice-wheat rotation. The WRB significantly (P < 0.05) increased rice grain yield and straw by up to 49%, compared to the CF. Biochar addition, particularly WRB, significantly increased the availability of N, P, K and their content in the grain (26–37%) and straw (22–37%) of rice and wheat. Also, the availability and grain content of Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu increased significantly after biochar addition, particularly after the WRB, due to WRB water dissolved C acting as a carrier for micronutrients in soil and plant. However, the water-washing process altered biochar properties, particularly the water extractable C, which decreased its efficiency. Both wheat- and maize-derived biochars, particularly the WRB, are recommended to improve nutrients availability and to improve grain yield in the rice-wheat rotation agro-ecosystem. These results shed light on the importance of crop straw transformation into an important source for soil C and nutrients necessary for sustainable management of wheat-rice agro-ecosystem. However, with the current and future alternative energy demands, the decision on using crop biomass for soil conservation or for bioenergy becomes a challenge reliant on regulatory and policy frameworks.

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Microbial inoculants and struvite improved organic matter humification and stabilized phosphorus during swine manure composting: Multivariate and multiscale investigations, Li, Huanhuan, Zhang Tao, Shaheen Sabry M., Abdelrahman Hamada, Ali Esmat F., Bolan Nanthi S., Li Guoxue, and Rinklebe Jörg , Bioresource Technology, Volume 351, p.126976, (2022) AbstractWebsite

The combined effects of microbial inoculants (MI) and magnesium ammonium phosphate (MAP; struvite) on organic matter (OM) biodegradation and nutrients stabilization during biowaste composting have not yet been investigated. Therefore, the effects of MI and MAP on OM stability and P species during swine manure composting were investigated using geochemical and spectroscopic techniques. MI promoted the degradation of carbohydrates and aliphatic compounds, which improved the degree of OM mineralization and humification. MI and MAP promoted the redistribution of P fractions and species during composting. After composting, the portion of water-soluble P decreased from 50.0% to 23.0%, while the portion of HCl-P increased from 18.5% to 33.5%, which mean that MI and MAP can stabilize P and mitigate its potential loss during composting. These findings indicate that MI can be recommended for enhancing OM biodegradation and stabilization of P during biowastes composting, as a novel trial for the biological waste treatment.

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A combined approach of geostatistics and geographical clustering for delineating homogeneous zones in a durum wheat field in organic farming, M., Diacono, D. De Benedetto, A. Castrignanò, P. Rubino, C. Vitti, H.M. Abdelrahman, and D. Sollitto , Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences , (2013) AbstractWebsite

Agricultural practices need to be adapted to variable field conditions to increase farmers' profitability and environmental protection, so contributing to sustainability of farm management. This study proposes a combined approach of multivariate geostatistics and non-parametric clustering to delineate homogeneous zones that could be potentially managed with the same strategy. In a durum wheat field of Southern Italy, in organic farming, some soil physical and chemical properties (electrical conductivity; pH; exchangeable bases; total nitrogen; total organic carbon; available phosphorous), elevation and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index were determined and interpolated by using geostatistics.
The clustering approach, applied to the (co)kriged estimates of the variables, produced the delineation of four sub-field zones. A significant relation between soil fertility and yield was not found in such zones. Despite this, the proposed approach has the potential to be used in future applications of precision agriculture. Further work could focus on site-specific nitrogen fertilization with suited machinery.

Influence of crop rotation, tillage and fertilization on chemical and spectroscopic characteristics of humic acids, Mastro, Francesco De, Cocozza Claudio, Traversa Andreina, Savy Davide, Abdelrahman Hamada M., and Brunetti Gennaro , Plos One, Volume 14(6):e0219099, (2019) AbstractWebsite

The changes in soil organic matter composition induced by anthropogenic factors is a topic of great interest for the soil scientists. The objective of this work was to identify possible structural changes in humic molecules caused by a 2-year rotation of durum wheat with faba bean, lasted for a decade, and conducted with different agricultural practices in a Mediterranean soil.
Humic acids (HA) were extracted at three depths (0-30, 30-60 and 60-90 cm) from a Mediterranean soil subjected to different tillage (no tillage, minimum tillage and conventional tillage), crops (faba bean and wheat), and fertilization. The changes in HA quality were assessed by several chemical (ash, yield and elemental analysis) and spectroscopic techniques (solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance, Fourier transform infrared and fluorescence).
The results suggest that the different agronomic practices strongly affected the quality of HA. Smaller but more aromatic molecules were observed with depth, while the fertilization induced the formation of simpler and less aromatic molecules due to the enhanced decomposition processes. Under no tillage, more stable humic molecules were observed due to the less soil aeration, while under conventional tillage larger and more aromatic molecules were obtained. Compared to wheat, more aromatic and more oxidized but less complex molecules were observed after faba bean crop.
The inorganic fertilization accelerates the decomposition of organic substances rather than their stabilization. At the end of each crop cycle, humic matter of different quality was isolated and this confirms the importance of the rotation practice to guarantee a diversification of the soil organic matter with time. Finally, no tillage induces the formation of more stable humic matter.

Herbal plants- and rice straw-derived biochars reduced metal mobilization in fishpond sediments and improved their potential as fertilizers, Mehmood, Sajid, Ahmed Waqas, Alatalo Juha M., Mahmood Mohsin, Imtiaz Muhammad, Ditta Allah, Ali Esmat F., Abdelrahman Hamada, Slaný Michal, Antoniadis Vasileios, et al. , Science of The Total Environment, 2022, Volume 826, p.154043, (2022) AbstractWebsite

Fishpond sediments are rich in organic carbon and nutrients; thus, they can be used as potential fertilizers and soil conditioners. However, sediments can be contaminated with toxic elements (TEs), which have to be immobilized to allow sediment reutilization. Addition of biochars (BCs) to contaminated sediments may enhance their nutrient content and stabilize TEs, which valorize its reutilization. Consequently, this study evaluated the performance of BCs derived from Taraxacum mongolicum Hand-Mazz (TMBC), Tribulus terrestris (TTBC), and rice straw (RSBC) for Cu, Cr, and Zn stabilization and for the enhancement of nutrient content in the fishpond sediments from San Jiang (SJ) and Tan Niu (TN), China. All BCs, particularly TMBC, reduced significantly the average concentrations of Cr, Cu, and Zn in the overlying water (up to 51% for Cr, 71% for Cu, and 68% for Zn) and in the sediments pore water (up to 77% for Cr, 76% for Cu, and 50% for Zn), and also reduced metal leachability (up to 47% for Cr, 60% for Cu, and 62% for Zn), as compared to the control. The acid soluble fraction accounted for the highest portion of the total content of Cr (43–44%), Cu (38–43%), and Zn (42–45%), followed by the reducible, oxidizable, and the residual fraction; this indicates the high potential risk. As compared with the control, TMBC was more effective in reducing the average concentrations of the acid soluble Cr (15–22%), Cu (35–53%), and Zn (21–39%). Added BCs altered the metals acid soluble fraction by shifting it to the oxidizable and residual fractions. Moreover, TMBC improved the macronutrient status in both sediments. This work provides a pathway for TEs remediation of sediments and gives novel insights into the utilization of BC-treated fishpond sediments as fertilizers for crop production.

Posidonia-based Compost as a Peat Substitute for Lettuce Transplant Production, Mininni, C., Santamaria P., Abdelrahman H. M., Cocozza C., Miano T., Montesano F. F., and Parente A. , HortScience, Volume 47, Issue 10, p.1438-1444, (2012) AbstractWebsite

Posidonia [Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile] is a marine phanerogam endemic of the Mediterranean Sea that grows all along the coast forming extensive underwater meadows. Senescent posidonia leaves, together with fibers (residues of rhizomes and decomposed leaves), periodically accumulate along Mediterranean beaches, covering vast areas of coast. Removal and disposal of these large volumes of plant biomasses represent a high cost for local administrations. Therefore, in this experiment, beached residues of posidonia were composted with olive pruning and green wastes with the objective to assess the efficacy of posidonia-based compost (63% on a volume basis) as a peat replacement. The compost was then mixed with a peat-based commercial substrate at rates of 0% (C0, pure peat-based commercial substrate tested as control), 25% (C25), 50% (C50), 75% (C75), and 100% (C100, pure posidonia-based compost) v/v. Mixtures were used as growing media to produce lettuce seedlings for transplant. Two lettuce cultivars (8511RZ and Satine) were tested. Main physical and chemical properties of the five growing media, shoot and root fresh and dry weight, leaf area, root morphology, and elemental leaf tissue composition were studied. Growing media containing posidonia-based compost, C25 and C50 in particular, showed good physical properties. Increasing compost proportions in the mixtures resulted in enhanced: 1) availability of macro- and micronutrients in the growing media; and 2) overall growth parameters of lettuce seedlings, in particular for the cultivar Satine. In conclusion, posidonia-based compost shows a considerable potential as a peat substitute in horticultural substrates; posidonia residues are a low-cost renewable material. In growing media for lettuce seedlings production, posidonia-based compost could be used as a complement to peat at a rate of 25% or 50% to obtain optimal physical properties and to limit the negative effects of high B content, which are typical of posidonia residues.

Effetti Della Sostituzione Della Torba Con Compost Di Posidonia Sulla Produzione Di Piantine Di Lattuga, Mininni, C., Montesano F., Abdelrahman H. M., Cocozza C., Miano T., Santamaria P., and Parente A. , the XXIX convegno nazionale, "relazione suolo-pianta e qualita' delle produzioni, Foggia, Italy, p.61, (2011)
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The significance of eighteen rice genotypes on arsenic accumulation, physiological response and potential health risk, Niazi, Nabeel Khan, Hussain Muhammad Mahroz, Bibi Irshad, Natasha, Shahid Muhammad, Ali Fawad, Iqbal Jibran, Shaheen Sabry M., Abdelrahman Hamada, Akhtar Waseem, et al. , Science of The Total Environment, 2022, Volume 832, p.155004, (2022) AbstractWebsite

Rice is an important food crop that is susceptible to arsenic (As) contamination under paddy soil conditions depending on As uptake characteristics of the rice genotypes. Here we unveiled the significance of eighteen (fine and coarse) rice genotypes against As accumulation/tolerance, morphological and physiological response, and antioxidant enzymes-enabled defense pathways. Arsenic significantly affected rice plant morphological and physiological attributes, with relatively more impacts on fine compared to coarse genotypes. Grain, shoot, and root As uptake were lower in fine genotypes (0.002, 0.020, and 0.032 mg pot−1 DW, respectively) than that of coarse (0.031, 0.60, and 1.2 mg pot−1 DW, respectively). Various biochemical (pigment contents, hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxidation) and defense (antioxidant enzymes) plant parameters indicated that the fine genotypes, notably Kainat and Basmati-385, possessed the highest As tolerance. Arsenic-induced risk indices exhibited greater hazard quotient (up to 1.47) and carcinogenic risk (up to 0.0066) for coarse genotypes compared to the fine ones, with the greatest risk for KSK-282. This study elaborates the pivotal role of genotypic variation among rice plants in As accumulation, which is crucial for mitigating the associated human health risk. Further research is required on molecular aspects, e.g., genetic sequencing, to examine rice genotypes variation in defense mechanisms to As contamination.

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Elemental characterization of wild edible plants from countryside and urban areas, Renna, Massimiliano, Cocozza Claudio, Gonnella Maria, Abdelrahman Hamada, and Santamaria Pietro , Food Chemistry, Volume 177, p.29–36, (2015) AbstractWebsite

Abstract: Wild edible plants (WEP) represent a nutritious and important food source in many countries. In this study the content of 13 elements (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Cr, Co, Cd, Ni and Pb) in 11 different genotypes of WEP was determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy. Each genotype was collected from the inner countryside and from fields near the highways of the metropolitan area of Bari (Apulia region). The elements intake by the consumption of potential serving sizes of WEP was also evaluated and discussed.Independently from the harvesting area, Borago officinalis and Papaver rhoeas could be considered good sources of Mn and Fe, respectively. Amaranthus retroflexus and Sinapis arvensis may contribute to an adequate intake for Ca, while Portulaca. oleracea may be a good source of Mg. In contrast, the Pb content in Plantago lagopus (1.40 mg kg-1 FW) and A. retroflexus (0.33 mg kg-1 FW) - both harvested from the inner part of the countryside (IPC) areas - was over the maximum level fixed by the in EC regulation 1881/2006. The Cd content of A. retrof

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The Future of Agriculture in Egypt (Version 2.0): Comparative Full Cost Accounting Study of Organic and Conventional Crop Production Systems in Egypt., Saeda, T., Mohamed R., Abdou D., Bakr Hassan Abou, Abdelrahman Hamada, Elaraby Tarek, and Abouleish Helmy , 06, Cairo, p.30, (2020) Abstractthe-future-of-agriculture-in-egypt-study2.pdf

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Removal of toxic elements from aqueous environments using nano zero-valent iron- and iron oxide-modified biochar: a review, Shaheen, Sabry M., Mosa Ahmed, Natasha, Abdelrahman Hamada, Niazi Nabeel Khan, Antoniadis Vasileios, Shahid Muhammad, Song Hocheol, Kwon Eilhann E., and Rinklebe Jörg , BIOCHAR, 2022, Volume 4, Issue 1, p.24, (2022) AbstractWebsite

Biochar (BC) has gained attention for removal of toxic elements (TEs) from aqueous media; however, pristine biochar often exhibits low adsorption capability. Thus, various modification strategies in BC have been developed to improve its removal capability against TEs. Nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) and iron oxides (FeOx) have been used as sorbents for TE removal. However, these materials are prone to agglomeration and also expensive, which make their usage limited for large-scale applications. The nZVI technical demerits could be resolved by the development of BC-based composite sorbents through the loading of nZVI or FeOx onto BC surface. Nano zero-valent iron modified BC (nZVIBC), FeOx-modified BC (FeOxBC) have attracted attention for their capability in removing pollutants from the aqueous phases. Nonetheless, a potential use of nZVIBC and FeOxBC for TE removal from aqueous environments has not been well-realized or reviewed. As such, this article reviews: (i) the preparation and characterization of nZVIBC and FeOxBC; (ii) the capacity of nZVIBC and FeOxBC for TE retention in line with their physicochemical properties, and (iii) TE removal mechanisms by nZVIBC and FeOxBC. Adopting nZVI and FeOx in BC increases its sporptive capability of TEs due to surface modifications in morphology, functional groups, and elemental composition. The combined effects of BC and nZVI, FeOx or Fe salts on the sorption of TEs are complex because they are very specific to TEs. This review identified significant opportunities for research and technology advancement of nZVIBC and FeOxBC as novel and effective sorbents for the remediation of TEs contaminated water.

Manganese oxide-modified biochar: production, characterization and applications for the removal of pollutants from aqueous environments - a review, Shaheen, Sabry M., Natasha, Mosa Ahmed, El-Naggar Ali, Faysal Hossain Md, Abdelrahman Hamada, Niazi Nabeel Khan, Shahid Muhammad, Zhang Tao, Tsang Yiu Fai, et al. , Bioresource Technology, 2022, Volume 346, p.126581, (2022) AbstractWebsite

The development of manganese (Mn) oxides (MnOx) modified biochar (MnOBC) for the removal of pollutants from water has received significant attention. However, a comprehensive review focusing on the use of MnOBC for the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants from water is missing. Therefore, the preparation and characterization of MnOBC, and its capacity for the removal of inorganic (e.g., toxic elements) and organic (e.g., antibiotics and dyes) from water have been discussed in relation to feedstock properties, pyrolysis temperature, modification ratio, and environmental conditions here. The removal mechanisms of pollutants by MnOBC and the fate of the sorbed pollutants onto MnOBC have been reviewed. The impregnation of biochar with MnOx improved its surface morphology, functional group modification, and elemental composition, and thus increased its sorption capacity. This review establishes a comprehensive understanding of synthesizing and using MnOBC as an effective biosorbent for remediation of contaminated aqueous environments.

Sustainable applications of rice feedstock in agro-environmental and construction sectors: A global perspective, Shaheen, Sabry M., Antoniadis Vasileios, Shahid Muhammad, Yang Yi, Abdelrahman Hamada, Zhang Tao, Hassan Noha E. E., Bibi Irshad, Niazi Nabeel Khan, Younis Sherif A., et al. , Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2022, Volume 153, p.111791, (2022) AbstractWebsite

Rice is second only to maize among the world's most important cereal crops, with a global harvested area of approximately 158 million hectares and an annual production of more than 700 million tonnes as paddy rice. At this scale, rice production generates vast amounts of waste in the form of straw, husk, and bran. Because of high cellulose, lignin, and silica contents, rice biowaste (RB) can be used to produce rice biochar (RBC) and rice compost (RC). Furthermore, RB can be used as sorbents, soil conditioners, bricks/concrete blocks, flat steel products, and biofuels, all of which make significant contributions to meeting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). Although previous reviews have explored individual applications of rice feedstocks, inadequate attention has been paid to multifunctional values and potential multi-utilities. Here, we offer a comprehensive review of RBC and RC with respect to: (1) preparation and characterization; (2) applications as soil conditioners and organic fertilizers and their effects on soil-carbon sequestration; (3) remediation of toxic element–contaminated soils and water; (4) removal of colors, dyes, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, personal-care products, and residual pesticides from water; and (5) applications in the construction industry. Specifically, we describe the opportunities for the sustainable use of RBC and RC in the management of contaminated soils and water as well as the construction industry. Overall, this review is expected to lengthen the list of possible multifunctional applications of RBC and RC.

Addition of walnut shells biochar to alkaline arable soil caused contradictory effects on CO2 and N2O emissions, nutrients availability, and enzymes activity, Sial, Tanveer Ali, Shaheen Sabry M., Lan Zhilong, Korai Punhoon Khan, Ghani Muhammad Imran, Khan Muhammad Numan, Syed Ain-ul-Abad, Hussain Asghar Ali Main Noor, Rajpar Inayatullah, Memon Mehrunisa, et al. , Chemosphere, 2022, Volume 293, p.133476, (2022) AbstractWebsite

Mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions and improving soil health using biochar (BC) shall help achieving the UN-Sustainable Development Goals. The impacts of walnut shells biochar (WSB) pyrolyzed at different temperatures on CO2 and N2O emission and soil health have not been yet sufficiently explored. We investigated the effects of addition of WSB pyrolyzed at either 300 °C (WSB-300), 450 °C (WSB-450), or at 600 °C (WSB-600) to alkaline soil on CO2 and N2O emissions, nutrients availability, and soil enzymes activities in a 120-day incubation experiment. Cumulative N2O emissions were reduced significantly as compared to the control, by 64.9%, 50.6%, and 36.4% after WSB-600, WSB-450 and WSB-300, respectively. However, the cumulative CO2 emissions increased, over the control, as follows: WSB-600 (50.7%), WSB-450 (68.6%), and WSB-300 (73.4%). Biochar addition, particularly WSB-600 significantly increased soil pH (from 8.1 to 8.34), soil organic C (SOC; from 8.6 to 22.3 g kg−1), available P (from 21.0 to 60.5 mg kg−1), and K (181.0–480.5 mg kg−1), and activities of urease, alkaline phosphatase, and invertase. However, an opposite pattern was observed with NH4+, NO3−, total N and β-glucosidase activity after WSB application. The WBS produced from high temperature pyrolysis can be used for N2O emissions mitigation and improvement of soil pH, SOC, available P and K, and activities of urease, alkaline, phosphatase. However, WBS produced from low temperature pyrolysis can be used to promote N availability and β-glucosidase; however, these findings should be verified under different field and climatic conditions.

Bias in aggregate geometry and properties after disintegration and drying procedures, Siebers, Nina, Abdelrahman Hamada, Krause Lars, and Amelung Wulf , Geoderma, 2018/3/1/, Volume 313, p.163 - 171, (2018) AbstractWebsite

Isolation and drying soil microaggregates and their building units are of crucial importance when studying their structure and function within different soil management systems. Our aim was to evaluate how different drying techniques preserve small aggregate building units after different disintegration steps. After applying fast wetting, slaking, or ultrasonic dispersion at 440 J mL− 1 to Cambisol topsoils under either long-term forest, grassland, or arable soil management, aggregate-size distributions were assessed using fast image analyses after optical particle-size assessment prior and after air- and freeze-drying. Microaggregates isolated by dry-sieving served as control. While ultrasonic dispersion significantly disintegrated soil aggregates into smaller units, slaking in water did not. Intriguingly, freeze-drying preserved the aggregate size distribution fairly well, with a reaggregation ranging between 1.2 and 10.1%. In contrast, air-drying led to substantial reaggregation of particles ranging between 20.4 and 44.9%. However, freeze-drying also led to slight deformation of particles and also to a redistribution of elements between size-fractions, the extent of which being different for the samples under different land-use. We conclude that ultrasonic treatment followed by freeze-drying is suitable to preserve the correct aggregate size of at least Cambisols, but the properties of the secondary particles may still not reflect true geometric forms and chemical properties.

Green remediation of toxic metals contaminated mining soil using bacterial consortium and Brassica juncea, Soundari Arockiam Jeyasundar, Parimala Gnana, Ali Amjad, Azeem Muhammad, Li Yiman, Guo Di, Sikdar Ashim, Abdelrahman Hamada, Kwon Eilhann, Antoniadis Vasileios, Mani Vellingiri Manon, et al. , Environmental Pollution, 2021, p.116789, (2021) AbstractWebsite

Microorganism-assisted phytoremediation is being developed as an efficient green approach for management of toxic metals contaminated soils and mitigating the potential human health risk. The capability of plant growth promoting Actinobacteria (Streptomyces pactum Act12 - ACT) and Firmicutes (Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis - BC) in mono- and co-applications (consortium) to improve soil properties and enhance phytoextraction of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn by Brassica juncea (L.) Czern. was studied here for the first time in both incubation and pot experiments. The predominant microbial taxa were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes, which are important lineages for maintaining soil ecological activities. The consortium improved the levels of alkaline phosphatase, β-D glucosidase, dehydrogenase, sucrase and urease (up to 33%) as compared to the control. The bacterial inoculum also triggered increases in plant fresh weight, pigments and antioxidants. The consortium application enhanced significantly the metals bioavailability (DTPA extractable) and mobilization (acid soluble fraction), relative to those in the unamended soil; therefore, significantly improved the metals uptake by roots and shoots.The phytoextraction indices indicated that B. juncea is an efficient accumulator of Cd and Zn. Overall, co-application of ACT and BC can be an effective solution for enhancing phytoremediation potential and thus reducing the potential human health risk from smelter-contaminated soil. Field studies may further credit the understanding of consortium interactions with soil and different plant systems in remediating multi-metal contaminated environments.

Enhancing microplastics biodegradation during composting using livestock manure biochar, Sun, Yue, Shaheen Sabry M., Ali Esmat F., Abdelrahman Hamada, Sarkar Binoy, Song Hocheol, Rinklebe Jörg, Ren Xiuna, Zhang Zengqiang, and Wang Quan , Environmental Pollution, 2022, Volume 306, p.119339, (2022) AbstractWebsite

Biodegradation of microplastics (MPs) in contaminated biowastes has received big scientific attention during the past few years. The aim here is to study the impacts of livestock manure biochar (LMBC) on the biodegradation of polyhydroxyalkanoate microplastics (PHA-MPs) during composting, which have not yet been verified. LMBC (10% wt/wt) and PHA-MPs (0.5% wt/wt) were added to a mixture of pristine cow manure and sawdust for composting, whereas a mixture without LMBC served as the control (CK). The maximum degradation rate of PHA-MPs (22–31%) was observed in the thermophilic composting stage in both mixtures. LMBC addition significantly (P < 0.05) promoted PHA-MPs degradation and increased the carbon loss and oxygen loading of PHA-MPs compared to CK. Adding LMBC accelerated the cleavage of C–H bonds and oxidation of PHA-MPs, and increased the O–H, CO and C–O functional groups on MPs. Also, LMBC addition increased the relative abundance of dominant microorganisms (Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Deinococcus-Thermus, Bacteroidetes, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota) and promoted the enrichment of MP-degrading microbial biomarkers (e.g., Bacillus, Thermobacillus, Luteimonas, Chryseolinea, Aspergillus and Mycothermus). LMBC addition further increased the complexity and connectivity between dominant microbial biomarkers and PHA-MPs degradation characteristics, strengthened their positive relationship, thereby accelerated PHA-MPs biodegradation, and mitigated the potential environmental and human health risk. These findings provide a reference point for reducing PHA-MPs in compost and safe recycling of MPs contaminated organic wastes. However, these results should be validated with other composting matrices and conditions.

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Changes in Amino Acids Content in Humic Acids Repetitively Extracted From Peat And Sod-Podzolic Soils, Vialykh, E. A., Ilarionov S. A., Abdelrahman H. M., and Vialykh I. A. , Canadian Journal of Soil Science, Volume 94, Issue 5, p. 575-583, (2014) AbstractWebsite

Amino acids (AAs) and peptides are thought to be part of humic acids (HAs) but debate whether they are an integral part of the HAs is still going. Humic acids sequentially extracted from peat and sod-podzolic soil were analyzed for their AAs content, elemental composition and by FTIR spectroscopy. Extracted HAs were hydrolyzed in 6 M HCl for 16 h for AAs release, which was detected by capillary electrophoresis system. Alanine, arginine, sum of aspartic acid and asparagine, sum of cysteic acid and cysteine, sum of glutamic acid and glutamine, glycine, histidine, leucine and isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tyrosine, valine were identified. The total content of hydrolysable AAs in sod-podzol HAs increased by 6.2–8.2% with increasing the extraction cycles while an inverse tendency was observed for AAs released from peat HAs. Moreover, individual AAs expressed as percentages of total AAs were constant values with coefficients of variation lower than 20% for the studied HAs.

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Fe/Mn- and P-modified drinking water treatment residuals reduced Cu and Pb phytoavailability and uptake in a mining soil, Wang, Quan, Shaheen Sabry M., Jiang Yahui, Li Ronghua, Slaný Michal, Abdelrahman Hamada, Kwon Eilhann, Bolan Nanthi, Rinklebe Jörg, and Zhang Zengqiang , Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 403, p.123628, (2021) AbstractWebsite

Management of industrial hazardous waste is of great concern. Recently, aluminum rich drinking water treatment residuals (Al-WTR) received considerable attention as a low-cost immobilizing agent for toxic elements in soils. However, the suitability and effectiveness of modified Al-WTR as stabilizing agent for toxic metals such as Cu and Pb in mining soil is not assessed yet. We examined the impact of different doses (0, 0.5, 1.5, and 2.5%) of raw and Fe/Mn- and P- modified Al-WTR on the bioavailability and uptake of Cu and Pb by ryegrass in Cu and Pb contaminated mining soil. The addition of Fe/Mn-and P- modified Al-WTR to the soil reduced significantly the concentrations of Pb (up to 60% by Fe/Mn-Al-WTR and 32% by P-Al-WTR) and Cu (up to 45% by Fe/Mn-Al-WTR and 18% by P-Al-WTR) in the shoots and roots of ryegrass as compared to raw Al-WTRs and untreated soil. Our results demonstrate that modification of the raw Al-WTR increased its pH, CEC, specific surface area, active functional groups (Fe-O and Mn-O), and thus increased its immobilization efficiency. Our results highlight the potential of the modified Al-WTR, particularly the Fe/Mn-Al-WTR, for the remediation of Cu and Pb contaminated soils and recommend field scale verification.

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Earthworms as candidates for remediation of potentially toxic elements contaminated soils and mitigating the environmental and human health risks: A review, Xiao, Ran, Ali Amjad, Xu Yaqiong, Abdelrahman Hamada, Li Ronghua, Lin Yanbing, Bolan Nanthi, Shaheen Sabry M., Rinklebe Jörg, and Zhang Zengqiang , Environment International, 2022, Volume 158, p.106924, (2022) AbstractWebsite

Global concerns towards potentially toxic elements (PTEs) are steadily increasing due to the significant threats that PTEs pose to human health and environmental quality. This calls for immediate, effective and efficient remediation solutions. Earthworms, the 'ecosystem engineers', can modify and improve soil health and enhance plant productivity. Recently, considerable attention has been paid to the potential of earthworms, alone or combined with other soil organisms and/or soil amendments, to remediate PTEs contaminated soils. However, the use of earthworms in the remediation of PTEs contaminated soil (i.e., vermiremediation) has not been thoroughly reviewed to date. Therefore, this review discusses and provides comprehensive insights into the suitability of earthworms as potential candidates for bioremediation of PTEs contaminated soils and mitigating environmental and human health risks. Specifically, we reviewed and discussed: i) the occurrence and abundance of earthworms in PTEs contaminated soils; ii) the influence of PTEs on earthworm communities in contaminated soils; iii) factors affecting earthworm PTEs accumulation and elimination, and iv) the dynamics and fate of PTEs in earthworm amended soils. The technical feasibility, knowledge gaps, and practical challenges have been worked out and critically discussed. Therefore, this review could provide a reference and guidance for bio-restoration of PTEs contaminated soils and shall also help developing innovative and applicable solutions for controlling PTEs bioavailability for the remediation of contaminated soils and the mitigation of the environment and human risks.

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Improving the humification and phosphorus flow during swine manure composting: A trial for enhancing the beneficial applications of hazardous biowastes, Zhang, Tao, Wu Xiaosha, Shaheen Sabry M., Abdelrahman Hamada, Ali Esmat F., Bolan Nanthi S., Ok Yong Sik, Li Guoxue, Tsang Daniel C. W., and Rinklebe Jörg , Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2022, Volume 425, p.127906, (2022) AbstractWebsite

Improving the recovery of organic matter and phosphorus (P) from hazardous biowastes such as swine manure using acidic substrates (ASs) in conjunction with aerobic composting is of great interest. This work aimed to investigate the effects of ASs on the humification and/or P migration as well as on microbial succession during the swine manure composting, employing multivariate and multiscale approaches. Adding ASs, derived from wood vinegar and humic acid, increased the degree of humification and thermal stability of the compost. The 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray absorption near-edge structure analyses demonstrated compost P was in the form of struvite crystals, Ca/Al-P phases, and Poly-P (all inorganic P species) as well as inositol hexakisphosphate and Mono-P (organophosphorus species). However, the efficiency of P recovery could be improved by generating more struvite by adding the ASs. The flows among nutrient pools resulted from the diversity in the dominant microbial communities in different composting phases after introducing the ASs and appearance of Bacillus spp. in all phases. These results demonstrate the potential value of ASs for regulating and/or improving nutrients flow during the composting of hazardous biowastes for producing higher quality compost, which may maximize their beneficial benefits and applications.