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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BENEFITS AND RISKS OF USING WASTE FOUNDRY SAND FOR AGRICULTURAL AND HORTICULTURAL APPLICATIONS Title: Long Term Effects of Fluidized Bed Material Applied at Disposal Levels on Soil Metals and Nutrient Concentrations as Related to Soil Depth

Authors
item Codling, Eton
item Raja, Akanksha - UNIV MD, BALTIMORE COUNTY

Submitted to: Soil Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 17, 2011
Publication Date: June 8, 2012
Citation: Codling, E.E., Raja, A.W. 2012. Long Term Effects of Fluidized Bed Material Applied at Disposal Levels on Soil Metals and Nutrient Concentrations as Related to Soil Depth. Soil Science. 43:1720-1731.

Interpretive Summary: This study was conducted to determine the movement of arsenic (As), aluminum (Al), calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), mercury (Hg), phosphorus (P) and zinc(Zn) in an old apple orchard that received a one time application of 36 kg/ m2 of a coal combustion byproduct (fluidized bed combustion (FBC)) material 23 years earlier. Soil samples were taken in an area where 15 trees were planted on 1.8 by 1.8 m spacing. Fifteen composite samples were collected from each plot at three depths 0-10, 10-20 and 20-30 cm. Five samples were collected from an adjacent non-orchard field for a control. Samples were air dried and sieved to < 2 mm and analyzed. Soil pH values were above 7.0 for the three depths compared to 4.9 for the control. Electrical conductivity values from orchard plots were higher to those of the control. Mehlich-3 extractable Al, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn concentrations did not increase with application of FBC materials; however, Mehlich-3 extractable As, Cu, Ca, P and Mg concentrations were higher for the FBC treatment. With the exceptions of Pb, P and Mn, concentrations of nutrients and metals decreased with soil depth. Total mercury concentrations increased with the FBC application. Although some macro and micro elements were higher than the control, they were not at levels that would be toxic to plants or harm the environment.

Technical Abstract: This study was conducted to assess the movement of macro and micro elements in an old apple [Malus domestica Borkh.] orchard that received a one time application of 36 kg m-2 of fluidized bed combustion material (FBC) 23 years earlier. Soil samples were taken in an area where 15 trees were planted on 1.8 by 1.8 m spacing. Fifteen composite samples were collected from the area at three depths 0-10, 10-20 and 20-30 cm. Five samples were collected from an adjacent non-orchard field with the same soil type for control. Samples were air dried and sieved to < 2 mm and analyzed. Soil pH value for the orchard area was 7.88 ± 0.07 for the 0-10 cm depth compared to 4.92 ± 0.21 for the control. Soil pH values for the FBC treatment were above 7.0 for the three depths. Electrical conductivity values from orchard area were higher than the control. Mehlich-3 extractable Al, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn concentrations did not increase with application of FBC materials; however, As, Cu, Ca, P and Mg concentrations were higher for the FBC treatment. With the exceptions of Ca and Mg, concentrations of nutrients and metals were generally lower in the 0-10 cm depth. Total mercury concentrations were similar for the FBC treatment and control. Macro and micro elements extracted by hot nitric acid were higher or equal to the control, but not at levels that would be toxic to plants or harm the environment.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014
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