What is Fly ash?
It is a fine powdery substance which is a by-product of coal combustion in power plants. It is produced when coal is burned at high temperatures. Fly ash is basically generated from thermal power plants. It is a problematic hazardous solid waste all over the world. The inimical effects of fly ash on environment is unavoidable. Therefore, it should be disposed properly.
Adding fly ash to soil for agricultural production can have both negative and positive impacts. It depends on various factors like the composition of the fly ash, soil properties, crop type and application rates. It contains variety of trace elements and minerals that may affect soil and plant health.
Several studies proposed that it can be used as a soil ameliorate. Fly ash is a source of micro and macro nutrients .It has effectiveness in modification of soil health and crop performance. Although use of fly ash in agriculture is limited compared to other sections, its application in agriculture is one of the options available for disposal.
Negative Impacts on Soil.
However, it also contains toxic heavy metals like copper, cadmium, nickel, chromium, zinc, lead etc. which can move to plants and accumulate resulting in toxicity to plants and animals. Application of Fly ash in agriculture has many benefits but there is a disadvantage for its heavy metals content. Enormous application of fly ash should not be recommended for growing crops.
Agricultural lime application contributes to global warming as Intergovernmental Panel on climate change (IPCC) assumed that all the carbon in agricultural lime is ultimately releases as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. So fly ash can be used in agriculture as an eco-friendly and economic fertilizer instead of lime. Therefore, before addition to soil it is desirable to ensure that heavy metals content in fly ash does not exceed the permissible limit of human consumption.
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Also Read: Soil Testing