Prospects of Fly Ash Utilization in Crop Production: A review

V. K. Mishra, S. k. Jha, S. Srivastava, D. K. Mishra


Flyash production in Indiahas amplified with increased demand of coal dependent electricity. The type ofcoal, its ash content burners used and type of boilers altogether decides thephysico-chemical properties of fly ash. It is characterized with highconcentration of iron and aluminium oxides, toxic trace elements (Sb, As, Be,Cd, Pd, Hg, Se and V), macronutrients (P, K, Ca, Mg and S) and micronutrients(Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Co, B and Mo) with bulk density 1.0gm/cc3. Thispaper reviews the vision of fly ash utilization in agriculture. Fly ashaddition to soil particularly with high clay content reduces bulk density andimproves the soil structure by affecting porosity, workability, rootpenetration, moisture retention capacity, hydraulic conductivity of the soil.Owing to its alkaline nature it acts as a liming agent for acid soils and helpsin elevating the soil pH. Reports suggest use of fly ash as a chemicalamendment for sodic soil reclamation by exchanging Na+ ions fromexchange complex of the soil. Presence of high concentration of essentialelements, several workers used fly ash to improve the crop yield and productionand also to improve the soil properties. Application of fly ash with chemicalfertilizers, organic materials and/or FYM increases the use efficiency. It canbe used as pesticide along with other herbicides against various common pestslike caterpillars, leaf folder and nematodes etc and as a carrier for plantgrowth regulator microbes. Having various useful application in agriculture flyash has a potential to improve the crop production in normal as well aswasteland soils subject to its judicious utilization to prevent the unfavorable impacts.


Macronutrients;Micronutrients; Soil Structure; Crop Production; Use Efficiency; Pesticide


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