The European Directives preventing disposal of sludges at sea after 1998 and the land fill taxes in the UK have reawakened interest in composting and the utilization of sewage sludges on land. Because modern agriculture is based on the intensive uses of inorganic fertilizers and on efficient industrial type practices, which often have little consideration for the future, there will need to be incentives or legislation to convince producers of the benefits of supplying some of the needs of crops with organic manures. Humic Substances, Peats and Sludges takes account of the ways in which humic substances, which are present in all soils and waters, peats (which are a big carbon sink) and sludges affect the environment and health of plants and animals. The book is divided into five sections. The first two serve to put the subject matter in a scientific perspective, dealing with the compositions, structures and interactions of humic substances, whilst the third section considers how humic substances and peats influence aspects of the environment. Section four considers the health damaging effects caused by the chlorination of waters rich in humic substances, balanced with the health promoting effects of humic substances per se. The final section deals with the influences which sludge amendments have on soils, plants and waters. Throughout, a wide range of experimental methods and instrumentation are covered. This book will provide a useful resource for academics who wish to focus on the compositions, structures and interaction aspects of humic substances. It will be of particular interest to those in the water industry, in regards to discussion of the risks of chlorinating water rich in humics, as well as the transformation of sludges in soils and the fate of heavy metals released from sludges.
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