Coffee Grounds as a Soil Conditioner: Effects on Physical and Mechanical Properties - I. Effects on Physical Properties
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Coffee grounds (CG) improved some soil physical properties (dry density, gd; porosity, n; aggregation; hydraulic conductivity, Ks; and infiltration rate, IR). Effects on other properties were inconsistent (e.g., sorptivity, S), or unfavorable (e.g., available water, AW). gd decreased and n increased with CG. CG decreased Ks in sand. In calcareous soil, maximum increase was associated with 10% and 15% CG before and after wetting-and-drying cycles (WDC), respectively. Ks increased with CG in clay, with greatest increase attained at 10% CG. IR decreased with CG in sand. In calcareous and clayey soils, IR decreased with CG before WDC but increased after WDC where maximum increase in clay was linked to 10% CG. No solid trends of soil sorptivity, S, were identified. Before WDC, S had the order: sand > calcareous > clay. For most cases, adding CG increased total water holding capacity (WHC). However, after WDC, the increase in water content at field capacity (FC) with CG was accompanied by a greater increase in wilting point (WP) and therefore a decrease in AW. CG improved soil structure and aggregation and increased non-water-stable aggregates in calcareous and clayey soils. Mean weight diameter (MWD) indicated increase in water-stable aggregates in sand at 5% and 10% CG. In clay, MWD increased only at 5% CG. Although results did not show coherent responses with some tested properties, they, mostly, indicate some beneficial effects of CG, particularly in relation to improving aggregation and water flow.
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