The aim of the plant pot experiment was to evaluate potential environmental impacts of combined industrial residues to be used as soil fertilisers by analysing i) element availability in fly ash and biosolids mixed with soil both individual and in combination, ii) changes in element phytoavailability in soil fertilised with these materials and iii) impact of the fertilisers on plant growth and element uptake.
Plant pot experiments were carried out, using soil to which fresh residue mixtures had been added. The results showed that element availability did not correlate with plant growth in the fertilised soil with. The largest concentrations of K (3534 mg/l), Mg (184 mg/l), P (1.8 mg/l), S (760 mg/l), Cu (0.39 mg/l) and Zn (0.58 mg/l) in soil pore water were found in the soil mixture with biosolids and MSWI fly ashes; however plants did not grow at all in mixtures containing the latter, most likely due to the high concentration of chlorides (82 g/kg in the leachate) in this ash. It is known that high salinity of soil can reduce germination by e.g. limiting water absorption by the seeds. The concentrations of As, Cd and Pb in grown plants were negligible in most of the soils and were below the instrument detection limit values.
The proportions of biofuel fly ash and biosolids can be adjusted in order to balance the amount and availability of macronutrients, while the possible increase of potentially toxic elements in biomass is negligible seeing as the plant uptake of such elements was low.
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 132, 287-295 p.