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Agricultural use of wood ash as a fertilizer and liming material

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Abstract

Wood-derived boiler ash was mixed with two acid soils at rates equivalent to 0, 2.24, 4.5, 9.0, 17.9, and 35.9 metric tons/ha to evaluate changes in extractable nutrients and soil pH. Concentrations of extractable P, K, and Ca increased linearly with application rate. Soil pH increased linearly with the logarithm of the application rate. The ash was compared with commercial potash fertilizer and agricultural limestone. The equivalent neutralizing value was about half of that for agricultural limestone. 4 references.
... According to the research work of Prestipino et al. [18], the amount of calcium in citrus peel is about 3.8% on a dry basis, leading to 53.2 g/kg d-biom of CaO. Calciumrich ashes from biomass can be used as soil amending to reduce the acidity [43,44]. In this work, it has been assumed the ashes can substitute limestone since, from the interview of local experts, this is the more common practice of soil liming in southern Italy. ...
... The effectiveness of a liming product (e.g., calcium oxide) is quantified by the Calcium carbonate equivalent (CCE), which is expressed as a percentage of the effectiveness of limestone (CCE = 100%). For calcium oxide, CCE = 179% [43,44]. It follows that amount of limestone that can be substituted by biomass ash can be calculated as [43]: ...
... The concentration of potassium in citrus peel is 0.3% w/w on a dry basis. Considering that only 67.5% of K provided by traditional fertilizers is bioavailable for plants, and 34.5% of K when it is supplied by biomass ash (on average) [44], it follows that about 3.7 g/kg d-biom of potassium sulfate (traditional fertilizer) can be avoided with the proposed system of power generation from citrus peel gasification. ...
Article
This study analyses the sustainability of a bioenergy system fed by residual biomass with high moisture content (citrus peel), which is designed in cogeneration mode and integrated with the factory generating the residue. The impacts of electricity production are comprehensively assessed by conducting thermodynamic and environmental analyses with a life cycle approach. Two scenarios were analyzed considering the differences in the process layouts between juice factories. The first scenario with wet feedstock (Scenario W) includes the drying process in the bioenergy plant's boundaries. A second scenario uses dry feedstock (Scenario D), and the drying process is considered outside the boundaries. The thermodynamic performances are assessed by life cycle energy/exergy efficiencies, the cumulative exergy demand of non-renewable resources (CExDnr), and energy/exergy return on investment. Additionally, a new renewability indicator is introduced, hereby named Integrated Renewability (IR), to consider the origin (renewable or non-renewable) of the resources substituted by the side products. The Life Cycle Assessment shows that the scrubbing process, fed with bio-oil, could undermine the system’s sustainability. The overall exergy efficiency was determined to be 0.29 and 0.24 for Scenario D and Scenario W, respectively. Compared to the electricity from the national grid (Italy), the integrated bioenergy system leads to lower life cycle exergy efficiencies in both scenarios (0.24 and 0.20 for Scenario D and Scenario W, respectively, Vs. 0.34 for national grid), higher IR (3.1 and 1.5 Vs. −0.9), lower CExDnr (0.32 and 0.33 vs. 1.9 MWh/MWhe), and lower climate change impacts (−332 and 1.29 vs. 447 kgCO2/MWhe).
... However, the nutrient bioavailable for use by the plants is not directly correlated to the absolute amount of K present in the ash, as only a part of K is extractable and bioavailable for plants [67]. The K bioavailable for plants can range from 18% to 51% of the total K in wood fly ashes due to the formation of insoluble fused K compounds with insoluble elements such as silicon at high temperatures [68]. Regarding P, the absolute amount is 6.47 g/kg in FG and 9.02 g/kg in FF. ...
... The fertiliser displaced was obtained through the P and K content in the wood ash and its bioavailability in conventional fertilisers. The absolute amount of K in the potassium chloride is 498 g/kg, and the amount bioavailable for plants can range from 65% to 70% of the total K [68]. The absolute amount of P in the triple superphosphate is 210 g/kg, while the P bioavailable to plants can range from 80% to 93% of the total P [75]. ...
Article
The increasing demand for bioenergy has intensified the pressure to utilise forest residues. Consequently, wood ash production has increased, which has prompted the need to find environmentally friendly alternatives for its end-of-life processes. However, studies assessing the environmental impacts of wood ash valorisation have assumed a static market while disregarding the potential environmental consequences and economic causalities of producing new products from wood ash. Therefore, this study assesses the outcomes of changing the conventional end-of-life of wood fly ash from its disposal in sanitary landfills to valorisation alternatives through its incorporation in construction materials (mortar and concrete) or soil amelioration. First, a consequential life cycle assessment was applied to identify the most environmentally sustainable choices for two types of wood fly ash (namely, those derived grate furnaces and fluidised bed furnaces). The characterisation factors used in this study are those that have been suggested for conducting a Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). The results show that mortar production is the best alternative for fly ashes generated in grate furnaces. Meanwhile, concrete and mortar production are the best alternatives for fly ashes generated in fluidised bed furnaces, concrete production has a slight advantage (smaller than 1%) over mortar production. Valorisation is less beneficial for soil amelioration than the incorporation in construction materials, and the impacts are higher than those of ash landfilling in some impact categories (human toxicity, freshwater eutrophication and ecotoxicity) due to the emission of trace elements into soil. A sensitivity analysis was carried out by changing the market trend of the conventional materials displaced from stable to strongly declining. This analysis showed that market trends could affect the net environmental performance of the investigated alternatives and modify their rankings.
... Additionally, burnt plant parts, for example, bark, wood, leaf, and root (Saarela et al., 2005), and combustion temperature remain important factors that significantly affect the content of specific elements (Zhou et al., 2021). For example, C, H, O, and S may volatilize at high temperatures >500°C (Naylor & Schmidt, 1986;Serafimova et al., 2011). Mineral substitutes are, therefore, recommended during the management of arable fields. ...
Article
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Wood ashes obtained from household heating and cooking are often applied to home gardens and arable fields by farmers. The effect of tree species and their locations on the elemental composition of wood ashes derived from domestic cooking and heating is unknown. The study aimed to discover the fertilizer values of wood ashes obtained from Betula pendula, Carpinus betulus, Fagus sylvatica, Larix decidua, Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris, Quercus robur, and Tilia cordata from two different localities, Hlinsko and Mšec, Czech Republic. The total element content in the ashes of dry wood samples (wood and bark) burnt at 460 °C with a wood stove interfaced with a thermometer was determined using portable X‐ray spectrometry. The content (in g kg‐1) of P (3.23–20.53), K (26.79–136.22), Ca (94.89–295.56), and S (2.97–11.75) in the ashes varies according to the tree species, locality, parent rock, and anthropogenic activities in the location of trees. Additionally, trace element contents ranged from 0.63–32.07 g Mn kg‐1, 0.34–4.6 g Fe kg‐1, 32.4–2062 mg Zn kg‐1, 47.61–193.09 mg Cu kg‐1, 3.99–21.53 mg Mo kg‐1, and 1.50–6.62 mg Se kg‐1. The pH of the ashes ranged from 8.71–11.54, suitable to alleviate soil acidity and a condition satisfying soil additive. A significant positive correlation between the contents of Cu, Sr, and Pb with the ashes of Picea abies, Larix decidua, Pinus sylvestris, and Betula pendula at Hlinsko is indicative of ancient anthropogenic activities input in the soil. The combustion of wood under home heating temperatures resulted in the concentration of most risk metal(loid)s, below permissible limits in agricultural soils. Application of wood ashes on arable fields requires considerable caution due to potentially toxic elements (Zn and Pb).
... The alkalinity of wood ash depends on the carbonate, bicarbonates and hydroxide content. Carbonates and bi-carbonates predominate below 500 0 C, whereas oxides became more prevalent above 1000 0 C where most of the industrial wood-fired boilers operate (Naylor and Schmidt, 1986). Ash composition will also change during storage and under varying environmental conditions as carbon dioxide (CO2) and moisture react with ash to form carbonates, bicarbonates and hydroxides. ...
Article
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Coconut shells were collected, broken into pieces, sun dried and ashed in the laboratory as well as by a developed customized method to produce both laboratory and customized coconut shell ashes (CSA). These were analyzed for their concentrations of nickel, chromium, lead, iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, potassium and cadmium using the atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The customized CSA was hydroscopic, alkaline (pH = 11.9) and gritty. The bulk density was 0.6512 g/cm 3 , while the average water holding capacity was 210.54 g/ml and the specific gravity was 0.65 g/cm 3. The mineral analysis of CSA revealed the presence of calcium, copper, iron, sodium, magnesium and manganese 154, 11.7, 7.60, 1.19, 1.7, 0.81 mg/l respectively as the major elements in the custom produced ash. The custom produced ash yielded higher values across most minerals assayed. The positive difference ranged from the 99.16% difference between Na to the 9.09% difference recorded for cobalt. This is an indication that the custom produced ash was completely combusted under the improvised technique adopted in this study and may serve as a better source of bio-available minerals for livestock.
... Ash has been used in a variety of agricultural applications as it is an excellent source of K, lime and other plant nutrients (Lerner and Utzinger, 1986;Naylor and Schmidt, 1986;Campbell, 1990;Etiegni, 1990). It is an economical and readily available source of alkaline material, which has been used successfully as a treatment of wheat straw to improve its digestibility (Nolte et al., 19870) and could improve goat and sheep production in developing countries (Ramirez et al., 1992). ...
Article
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The stalk and root base of mature plantain plants from which the fruits had been harvested were collected, cut into pieces, sun dried and ashed in the laboratory as well as by a developed customized method to produce both laboratory and customized plantain stalk (PSA) and root base (PRA) ashes. These were analyzed for their concentrations of nickel, chromium, lead, iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, potassium and cadmium using the atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The results obtained showed that the root base may serve as a better ash production material because approximately 50% of its fresh weight was retained after 7 days drying, while and yielded double the amount of ash produced from the stalk. The laboratory produced ashes generally had higher mineral values than the customized ashes, except for potassium and cobalt, indicating that the former was purer. Both the laboratory and custom produced PSA yielded more superior values of copper, nickel, lead, sodium and phosphorus, while PRA on the other hand yielded a much higher calcium value than the PSA.
... Besides, wood ash has liming effect and alleviates P deficiencies [21,22]. As in [23,24] application of wood ash is effective to improve soil properties and crop yield. On the other hand, application organic fertilizers improve the physiochemical properties of acidic soils and increase crop yield [18]. Manure supplies essential plant nutrients such as N, C a, P, Mg, K and chelating soluble Al and forms insoluble hydroxy-Al compounds and reduce Al concentration but increase available P [25,26]. ...
... Combustion temperature ≤ 600 °C results in the decomposition of Ca and K carbonates and the subsequent decrease in ash yields [10,11,22]. Additionally, at > 500 °C temperature, carbonates and bicarbonates increase, while oxides become more prevalent in temperatures < 1000 °C [23]. The temperature adopted in this study was adequate in the recovery of many elements, e.g., high total and plant-available Ca, K, and Mg contents. ...
Article
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Purpose The fertilizer values of ashes from commonly used woody species in the tropics are not well-known. To determine whether ashes of Theobroma cacao, Persea americana, Cola nitida, Mangifera indica, Citrus sinensis, Prunus dulcis, and Senna siamea are suitable fertilizers, we studied the contents of total and plant-available elements. Methods Ashes of dry wood samples burnt at 500 °C were digested in Aqua-regia and Mehlich-3 extractants to determine the contents of total and plant-available elements, respectively, with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Results Ash yields ranged from 3.1 to 7.1% with pH (H2O) of 7.8–12.9. The ashes contained high P, Ca, K, Mg, S, Fe, Na, Mn, Cu, and Zn contents, with significant effects among the species. Total element content ranged from (g kg⁻¹) 2–49 P, 19–218 Ca, 64–325 K, 48–95 Mg, 0.4–16 Fe, 3.6–29 Na, (mg kg⁻¹) 143–798 Mn, 52–81 Cu, and 188–312 Zn. Available plant elements ranged from (mg kg⁻¹) 22–512 P, 37,491–88,303 K, 2948–19,713 Ca, 13,719–29,001 Mg, 75–168 Mn, 40–74 Cu, 44–91 Zn, 1.5–383 Fe, and 836–6937 Na. The releasability (proportion of plant-available elements from the total) ranged from 0.08 to 92.8%. The relatively high releasability (25.4–80.4%) of Ca, K, Mg, Mn, Cu, and Zn in the ashes of the over-all species can supplement low nutrient availability for plants. The low releasability of P (1.1%) of the overall species explains its persistence in soils applied with ashes. Conclusion The high yield of the ashes and pH support their ideal use, especially for very acidic soils. Ashes of the studied species are suitable fertilizers for soils according to the availability and releasability of macro(P, Ca, K, Mg S) and microelements (Mn, Cu, Zn, Fe, Na). Total and plant-available Ni, Pb, As, and Cd contents in the ashes were below permissible limits in soils. Thus, the studied ashes are especially suitable for soils with high acidity and low fertility. Graphic Abstract
... The outstanding performance of P. pulmonarius on substrate D and F amended with oil palm ash may be due to the potential of ash to influence substrate pH and enhance nutrient bioavailability as yield and nutrient availability have been associated with pH (Altomare et al., 1999). Wood ash has previously been used to amend soil pH (Lerner and Utzinger, 1986;Naylor and Schmidt, 1986;Hakkila, 1989) and supply plant nutrient (Ohno and Erich, 1990;Mbah and Nkpaji, 2010). Ashing has also been reported to release most nutrient otherwise locked up within the body of substrate (Mehdi et al., 2013). ...
... The outstanding performance of P. pulmonarius on substrate D and F amended with oil palm ash may be due to the potential of ash to influence substrate pH and enhance nutrient bioavailability as yield and nutrient availability have been associated with pH (Altomare et al., 1999). Wood ash has previously been used to amend soil pH (Lerner and Utzinger, 1986;Naylor and Schmidt, 1986;Hakkila, 1989) and supply plant nutrient (Ohno and Erich, 1990;Mbah and Nkpaji, 2010). Ashing has also been reported to release most nutrient otherwise locked up within the body of substrate (Mehdi et al., 2013). ...
Article
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In the last few decades, rapid global demand for edible oils has resulted in a significant increase in the land area of oil crop cultivation. In the process of extraction of palm oil from oil palm fruit, biomass materials such as palm pressed fibre (PPF) are generated as waste products. This research was undertaken to evaluate the use of palm pressed fibres as the substrates for the cultivation of Pleurotus pulmonarius which currently use sawdust. Seven different substrates (A to G) were prepared from saw dust, palm press fibre (PPF), palm press fibre ash (PPFA), distilled water and Hoagland solution either alone or in combinations. These substrates were combined to investigate a probable effect of substrate combination on yield of P. pulmonarius. The highest yields were observed from substrates D (comprising 50% PPF, 50% PPFA and water with a mean fresh weight of 95.0 g) and substrate F (comprising of 50% PPF, 50% PPFA and Hoagland solution with a mean fresh weight of 89.20 g). The performance of substrate combination of PPF, PPFA and water however compare favourably with that of PPF, PPFA and Hoagland solution combination under all growth and yield parameters investigated. Therefore, this study has revealed that with optimum use of the biomass generated from the palm waste, prevention of environmental pollution problems and conversion of low quality waste biomasses into a valuable high protein food can be achieved.
Chapter
Due to an ever-increasing human population and a significant demand for agricultural food security in the public domain, biofertilizer is one of the best technologies for creating a sustainable ecosystem in the globe. Solid-based biofertilizer manufacturing uses a variety of low-cost substrates as a carrier for commercially produced bacterium, fungus, and algae-based biofertilizer. This chapter discusses the cost-effectiveness of solid-based biofertilizer production and the impact of soil health on agriculture productivity, as well as the results obtained by using microbial-based biofertilizers to increase soil microbial population, soil health, and toxic-free agriculture products while reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers. Solid-based biofertilizers are a cost-effective product that saves money while also benefiting the environment and increasing productivity.KeywordsCost effectiveBiofertilizerAshEco-friendlyAgricultureSoil health
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