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Title: Economic and environmental advantages of using fly ash as a soil amendment in agronomy
Contributor(s): Yunusa, Isa  (author); Manoharan, Veeragathipillai (author); Eamus, Derek (author); Skilbeck, Greg (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: In this paper we highlight the findings of our ongoing studies on the agronomic use of Australian coal fly ashes in the light of pre-existing concerns that the ashes could cause phytotoxicity and, hence, reduced growth and yield of crops. We tested canola on soil treated with an alkaline fly ash added at up to 625 t/ha, and obtained increases in seed yields with flyash rates of not more than 36 t/ha, beyond which there was no further response in yields. Concentration of B was elevated in the leaves with ash addition of 625 t/ha, while that Mo elevated in the leaves and grains with addition of fly ash at all rates, but that of Zn was not affected by addition of fly ash. There was a correlation between plant dry weight and tissue concentration of P at flowering, suggesting that addition of fly ash might have enhanced P nutrition. We found in another experiment that both acidic and alkaline fly ashes applied at not more than 12 t/ha significantly increased the pH of acidic soil by up to a unit of 0.4 within 6 months of soil treatment. Much of the benefits of fly ash in terms of amelioration of acidity and other nutritional benefits could be achieved with fly ash applied at not more than 10 t/ha without any detrimental effects on the environment. Salinity (EC < 4.0 dS/m) and B concentration (<60 mg/kg hot water soluble) are the main criteria for selecting Australian fly ashes for soil amelioration. Developing a sustainable application for fly ash in agriculture should reduce the need for its disposal in landfill, while saving farmers at least 30% the cost associated with treating the soil using lime.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Environmental Science, Ecosystems & Development: Proceedings of the 5th WSEAS International Conference on Environment, Ecosystems and Development (EED'07), p. 294-302
Publisher: WSEAS Press
Place of Publication: Spain
ISBN: 9789606766206
Field of Research (FOR): 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960699 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Energy and Environmental Engineering Series
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