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Lectures Vaccari - Global Cycles of Phosphorus and Nitrogen –Resources and Leaks

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Sustainable Water - Energy - Centric Communities school
May 9 - 13, 2016 – Lake Como School of Advanced Studies

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Lectures Vaccari - Global Cycles of Phosphorus and Nitrogen –Resources and Leaks

  1. 1. Global Cycles of Phosphorus and Nitrogen – Resources and Leaks David A. Vaccari dvaccari@stevens.edu Cities of the Future Lago di Como May 13, 2016
  2. 2. Outline • Nutrients and life • Environmental impacts of P and N • Phosphorus resources • The Phosphorus Cycle • The Nitrogen Cycle • Forecasting Phosphorus Demand • A Vision of Sustainability 2
  3. 3. 3 What do plants need to grow? • Sunlight • Soil/substrate • CO2 and H2O • Macronutrients: N, P, K S, Ca, Mg • Micronutrients: Fe, Cl, Mg
  4. 4. Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Life • Redfield (Molar) Ratio: C:N:P = 106:16:1 – Due to homeostatic ratio of proteins to rRNA • Nitrogen: – Proteins – DNA, etc. • Phosphorus: – ~0.65 kg P per person, 85% in bones – Bones are 60% Calcium hydroxyapatite [Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2] – DNA, RNA, ATP, Phospholipid membranes – 700 mg/d P reference dose; 1500 mg/d typical – Drinking water corrosion control – lead and copper 4
  5. 5. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution • Nitrogen: – Eutrophication (marine environments) – Greenhouse gases – NO2 – Acid rain (NOX) – Smog (NOX) – Nitrogenous oxygen demand (organic-N, ammonia) – Nitrates in drinking water (methemoglobinemia in infants) • Phosphorus: – Eutrophication (aquatic and marine environments) – “Gypstacks” blight the landscape near mines 5
  6. 6. 6 Buckwell, A., Nadeu, E. 2016. Nutrient Recovery and Reuse in European Agrigulture. A review of the issues, opportunities and actions. RISE Foundation, Brussels.
  7. 7. 7 Freshwater Eutrophication http://phys.org/news/2015-12-severe-algal-blooms-lake-erie.html P > 50 ppb
  8. 8. 8 “Dead Zones” – Hypoxic Zones – not just nitrogen any more
  9. 9. How long will it last? Where do we get our phosphorus from?
  10. 10. US Phosphorus Sources A phosphate mine in Hardee County in central Florida. Seventy-five percent of the phosphate used in the United States comes from the region. By Adrianne Appel, New York Times, August 4, 2007
  11. 11. 11 12,000 hp = 9 MW
  12. 12. 2012 estimation of global reserves - USGS
  13. 13. Morocco and Western Sahara – The Saudi Arabia of Phosphorus
  14. 14. Global Trend in Production and Population
  15. 15. 15 Natural Sources: Erosion, Sedimentation, Flooding
  16. 16. PlantsHarvest The Phosphorus Cycle Bedrock & Sediment Phosphate Rock Fresh water Oceans People Fertilizer Wastes Domestic Animals Soil Farm land Anthropogenic 29 Mt/y 1x Natural 10 Mt/y 47x
  17. 17. Insert Slide Title Line 1 Insert Slide Title Line 2 Insert Subhead Line 1 Insert Subhead Line 2 Global Substance Flow Analysis for P Cordell, Drangert and White, 2009 17
  18. 18. Insert Slide Title Line 1 Insert Slide Title Line 2 Insert Subhead Line 1 Insert Subhead Line 2 Flow of P in our Food System 18 Industrial uses Beneficiated Phosphate Rock -- 17.5 Taken up by crops -- 12 Applied to soil -- 14 Losses -- 7 3 P in food -- 3.5 Erosion -- 8 Removed in harvest -- 70.9 1.2 3 1.8 1.5 1 0.9 Grazing -- 12.1 Animal manure -- 15 Recyled manure -- 8 Distribution losses Consumed by humans Landfill etc. Human waste Food chain losses Wastewater discharge Crop losses Post-harvest losses 2 Crop residues 0.9 Animal feed additives 0.3 Wastewater or excreta reuse Solid Wastes - 0.2 2.6 Livestock Mined Phosphate RockMine losses P Fertilizer Production -- 14.9 3
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. Where Does Bioavailable Nitrogen Come From? • Natural sources – nitrogen fixers – Rhizobium (in legumes) – Azotobacter (free-living in soil) – Some Cyanobacter (Blue-Green Bacteria) • Agro-industrial sources: – Guano (depleted) – Haber-Bosch Process
  21. 21. Biochemical transformations of N
  22. 22. Storage reservoirs of nitrogen. Values are kg/m2. (Based on Whittaker, 1975.) NO3 - Soil/Ocean 0.84 NH3 Soil/Ocean 0.056 NO2 - Soil/Ocean 0.027 Organic N Soil/Ocean 1.2 NH3 Atmosphere 0.000024 N2O Atmosphere 0.0030 N2 Atmosphere 7550 NH4 + Igneous Rocks 860 N2 Ocean 42 N2O Ocean 0.00062 Organic N Sediments 8800 NO3 - Sediments 0.005 Organic N Plants 0.067 Organic N Animals 0.00215
  23. 23. Global Nitrogen Cycle (Tg/yr) AtmN2 NO2 - NO3 - NH3 Organic N Assimilation 1000Reduction BIOFIXATION Land 139 Sea 10-90 Nitrification or Chemical Oxidation Mineralization (Ammonification) NOX Lightning 4 Forest fires 12 COMBUSTION 21 Deposition to: Land Sea Total Acid rain 17 9 26 Dry deposition 15 4 19 Denitrification Land 107-161 Sea 40-120 Volcanism 5 INDUSTRIAL FIXATION 40 37
  24. 24. 24 Nitrogen budget for EU-27 (Mt/yr) Buckwell, A., Nadeu, E. 2016. Nutrient Recovery and Reuse in European Agrigulture. A review of the issues, opportunities and actions. RISE Foundation, Brussels.
  25. 25. Detailed Nitrogen Cycle
  26. 26. 26 Buckwell, A., Nadeu, E. 2016. Nutrient Recovery and Reuse in European Agrigulture. A review of the issues, opportunities and actions. RISE Foundation, Brussels.
  27. 27. Haber-Bosch Process https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Haber-Bosch- En.svg/450px-Haber-Bosch-En.svg.png https://intothechemistry.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/129622b.jpg?w=624
  28. 28. 28 Recommended reading: Vaclav Smil: “Enriching the Earth” (MIT Press) “Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch have probably had a greater impact than anyone in the past 100 years, including Hitler, Gandhi, Einstein, etc.” http://people.idsia.ch/~juergen/haberbosch.html)
  29. 29. Asimov on Chemistry “Life’s Bottleneck” The highest ratio of concentration in plant to that in soil: P: 5.8; S: 2.0; Cl: 1.5; All others: <1.0 Isaac Asimov Balloun Lecture Vlasta Klima “We may be able to substitute nuclear power for coal power, and plastics for wood, and yeast for meat, and friendliness for isolation, but for phosphorus there is neither substitute of nor replacement.”
  30. 30. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Message to Congress on Phosphates for Soil Fertility. May 20, 1938 “The disposition of our phosphate deposits should be regarded as a national concern. The situation appears to offer an opportunity for this nation to exercise foresight in the use of a great national resource heretofore almost unknown in our plans for the development of the nation.” “It is, therefore, high time for the Nation to adopt a national policy for the production and conservation of phosphates for the benefit of this and coming generations.” http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=15643 30
  31. 31. Connections Energy Fossil Fuel H2O CO2 N P Renewable Food and other biomass OM Land Top Soil Population Ethanol
  32. 32. Cycle interactions - Nutrients • Phosphorus production requires sulfur • Nitrogen production requires energy (natural gas) • Natural gas production produces sulfur
  33. 33. Cycle Interactions – Elements • Fossil fuel consumption produces CO2 • CO2 sequestration requires energy • CO2 increases primary production, but in some cases of weeds • Nitrogen requires energy • Phosphorus recycling requires energy
  34. 34. Cycle interactions - Food • Food production requires energy • Food production requires nitrogen • Food production requires phosphorus • Utilization of fertilizer requires irrigation • Food production requires arable land • Natural terrestrial ecosystems recycle nutrient and contribute OM for topsoil formation • Harvesting removes nutrients and OM from land
  35. 35. Cycle Interactions - Energy • Fossil fuel consumption produces CO2 • CO2 changes the water cycle • Nitrogen fertilizer production requires energy • Utilize ethanol to make energy • Food is diverted to produce ethanol • CO2 may fertilize weeds, also increases GPP • Concentration of phosphorus will require energy • CO2 sequestration requires energy
  36. 36. Using corn for bio-fuel production (courtesy James Barnard) With 40% of the grain crop going to bio-fuels for no gain in energy and enormous subsidies
  37. 37. Cycle interactions - Water • Water cycle affects arable land • Water desalinization requires energy • CO2 changes water cycle (precipitation, ice cover) • Droughts can have two effects: (1) Direct loss of water for irrigation; and (2) Loss of water for hydroelectric generation to pump irrigation water, just when it would be most needed
  38. 38. Liters of Water required for production: • A glass of wine 1 • One kW-hr of electricity 71 • A glass of beer 75 • A glass of milk 200 • Human consumption for one year ~1,000 • A hamburger 2,400 • Daily 10-minute showers for a year 34,675 • A U.S.-made Chevy Malibu 1,934,500
  39. 39. Forecasting Phosphorus Demand 39
  40. 40. 2012 estimation of global reserves - USGS
  41. 41. Global Trend in Production and Population 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 WorldPopulation(billions) Production(MtPR/yr)
  42. 42. Hubbert Curve for P (Dery) 42 Peak = 1988 URR = 2850 Mt Peak = 1989; URR = 8000 Mt (USGS URR = 67,000 Mt)
  43. 43. 43 Fixing the URR (Cordell et al) 1900 1950 2000 2050 2100 2150 2200 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 WorldPRProduction(Mt/yr) Year Peak = 2035
  44. 44. Hubbert Curve Uncertainty 44 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 USPRProduction(Mt/yr) Year 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 USPRProduction(Mt/yr) Year 1980 1985
  45. 45. Global Trend in Production and Population 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 WorldPopulation(billions) Production(MtPR/yr)
  46. 46. Per Capita Global PR Production 46 Kg PR /cap/yr g P /cap/d Avg 1974-1990 30.1 10.8 Avg 1993-2008 22.7 8.15 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 PR/n(kg/cap/yr)
  47. 47. Recent trend in per-capita production 47 20.0 22.0 24.0 26.0 28.0 30.0 32.0 34.0 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 PercapitaPRProduction(kg/yr)
  48. 48. Extrapolation at constant PR/n 48 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 1900 1950 2000 2050 2100 2150 2200 2250 2300 2350 2400 GlobalProduction(MtPR/yr) Year Reserves half-exhausted 2125 / 2145 Reserves exhausted 2270 / 2315 The lower curve uses avg PR/n for 1993-2008: 22.7 kg PR/cap/yr The upper curve is uses avg PR/n for 2009-2012: 27.1 kg PR/cap/yr
  49. 49. Using a range of population estimates 49 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 1900 1950 2000 2050 2100 2150 2200 2250 2300 2350 2400 Year GlobalProduction(Mt/yr) Historical Production Medium population High population Low population Half USGS Reserves All USGS Reserves Half IFDC Reserves All IFDC Reserves 2100 2200 High 14,000 21,200 Medium 9,100 8,500 Low 5,500 3,165
  50. 50. Definitions of sustainability • Webster's New International Dictionary "Sustain - to cause to continue (as in existence or a certain state, or in force or intensity); to keep up, especially without interruption diminution, flagging, etc.; to prolong.” • Sustainability is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems • Sustainability encompasses the simple principle of taking from the earth only what it can provide indefinitely, thus leaving future generations no less than we have access to ourselves • Sustainability encompasses the simple principle of taking from the earth only what it can provide indefinitely, thus leaving future generations no less than we have access to ourselves http://www.sustainablemeasures.com/node/36
  51. 51. Proposed definition • Sustainability is a condition of a steady-state or pseudo-steady-state society with respect to utilization of resources including materials, human resources and environmental services
  52. 52. 52 What ought to be our planning horizon? Sustainability means forever
  53. 53. Jared Diamond’s Five Factors for “Collapse” • Environmental damage • Climate change • Hostile neighbors • Friendly trade partners • Society’s responses to environmental problems (always present in collapses)
  54. 54. Jared Diamond’s 12 Kinds of Environmental Damage: 1. Deforestation and habitat destruction 2. Soil problems (erosion, salinization, fertility loss) 3. Water management problems 4. Overhunting 5. Overfishing 6. Introduced species 7. Human population growth 8. Increased per capita impact of people 9. Human-caused climate change 10. Accumulation of toxic chemicals 11. Energy shortages 12. Full human use of the Earth’s carrying capacity
  55. 55. What can save us? • New resource discoveries – Coal vs. wood in England – Iron for Henry Ford – Patagonian Toothfish and Slimehead • New technologies – Haber process in WWI – Synthetic rubber in WWII – Breeder reactors – Green revolution and genetic engineering
  56. 56. What is needed • Reduced “footprint” • Population reduction •Political will: •Women’s rights and education Long-term view Resource sharing Interest in others’ welfare
  57. 57. Cassandra From Wikipedia (8/07): In Greek mythology, Cassandra (Greek: Κασσάνδρα "she who entangles men") (also known as Alexandra) A daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy whose beauty caused Apollo to grant her the gift of prophecy However, when she did not return his love, Apollo placed a curse on her so that no one would ever believe her predictions
  58. 58. Thank you David A. Vaccari Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA dvaccari@stevens.edu

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