Comparison of the effects of conventional organic amendments and biochar on the chemical, physical and microbial properties of coal fly ash as a plant growth medium

Belyaeva, O. N. and Haynes, R. J. (2012) Comparison of the effects of conventional organic amendments and biochar on the chemical, physical and microbial properties of coal fly ash as a plant growth medium. Environmental Earth Sciences, 66 7: 1987-1997. doi:10.1007/s12665-011-1424-y


Author Belyaeva, O. N.
Haynes, R. J.
Title Comparison of the effects of conventional organic amendments and biochar on the chemical, physical and microbial properties of coal fly ash as a plant growth medium
Journal name Environmental Earth Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1866-6280
1866-6299
Publication date 2012-08
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s12665-011-1424-y
Volume 66
Issue 7
Start page 1987
End page 1997
Total pages 11
Place of publication Heidelberg; Germany
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The bulk of fly ash (an inorganic waste of coal-fired power generation) produced is deposited in disposal areas where it needs to be revegetated. The effects of addition of three conventional organic amendments (biosolids, poultry manure, green waste compost), or poultry manure-derived biochar, to coal fly ash (at two rates) on some key chemical, physical and microbial properties and on growth of Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) was studied in a laboratory incubation/greenhouse study. Addition of all amendments, including biochar, increased concentrations of extractable Mg, K, Na and P and CEC (pH 7.0). Additions of poultry manure, and particularly biosolids, also greatly increased levels of extractable NH 4 + and NO 3 --N. Addition of biosolids, green waste compost and biochar resulted in a decrease in macroporosity, a concomitant increase in mesoporosity and, at the high rate of addition, an increase in available water-holding capacity. Basal respiration was very low in fly ash and was increased by addition of all amendments; metabolic quotient was markedly greater in control than amended treatments. Biosolids, poultry manure and green waste compost additions all increased microbial biomass C. Growth of Rhodes grass was extremely low under unfertilized conditions in control, biochar and, to a lesser extent, green waste compost treatments but addition of poultry manure and the lower rate of biosolids resulted in large increases in yields. Although biochar additions increased extractable Ca, K, P, Cu, Zn and Mn, CEC, mesoporosity and water-holding capacity, they had a little or no stimulatory effect on the size of the soil microbial community, N fertility or plant growth. This was attributable to the lack of metabolisable C and an insignificant N-supplying capacity.
Keyword Coal fly ash
Organic amendments
Green waste compost
Biosolids
Poultry manure
Biochar
Fly ash
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 30 October 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2013 Collection
 
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