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Bottom ash of trees from Cameroon as fertilizer

Maschowski C., Zangna M.C., Trouvé G., Gieré R.
2 016
Short Citation: 
Maschowski et al., 2016
Elsevier, Applied Geochemistry
Utilization of wood bottom ash as fertilizer additive contributes to the return of valuable nutrients to agricultural soils, especially when no artificial mineral fertilizer is being used. In general, wood combustion ash is enriched in calcium and potash, and may also contain elevated amounts of zinc, but the concentrations of these elements depend on tree species, part of the tree, harvest season and local soil type. In this study, bottom ash samples from eight different agricultural wood species from Cameroon, Africa were investigated by using X-ray diffraction and atomic absorption spectroscopy to determine the refractory components and the concentrations of selected heavy metals and arsenic. Results show calcite, potassium salts, periclase and quartz as major components. These phase contents were used to calculate major element concentrations, which were subsequently validated by X-ray-fluorescence analysis. The chemical compositions varied within the range of common compositions of wood ashes. Six of the ashes reached sufficient concentrations of calcium to be defined as a “calcium fertilizer”. Pb contents are most variable, ranging from 0.03 to 21.1 mg/kg. Concentrations of Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and As are all lower than the strictest limit concentrations required for wood ash fertilizers and therefore, the studied wood ashes can be used without environmental concern.
EES Authors: 
Reto Gieré
Research Tracks: 

Department of Earth and Environmental Science / University of Pennsylvania, 251 Hayden Hall, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316