Ash from cereal and rape straw used for heat production: Liming effect and contents of plant nutrients and heavy metals

  • Marie-Louise Sander
  • Olof Andrén
Article

Abstract

The composition of 79 samples of straw ash from seven heating plants in Sweden was analysed with the aim of evaluating straw ash as a fertilizer and liming agent. The variation in ash composition was explained mainly by ash fraction (bottom ash vs. fly ash) and straw type (wheat, barley, rye, rape) but also by heating plant. Compared with concentrations of Zn, Pb and Cd in bottom ash, levels in fly ash were 10–90 times higher. Fly ash also contained more Cu and K compared with bottom ash. The Cd/P ratio was 0.03 in bottom ash and 0.6 g Cd/kg P in fly ash. Ash from rape straw had a higher Ca content and liming effect compared with ash from cereal straw: e.g., the liming effect of rape ash was more than three times higher than that of wheat ash. The liming effect varied between 3.5 and 44% CaO and depended mainly on the Ca content. The average P content was 1.7% (0.2–4.4%), with slightly higher concentration in rape ash than in wheat ash.

The potential for using straw ash as a fertilizer and liming agent is discussed. Compared with commercial fertilizers the use of bottom ash as a P fertilizer results in a lower addition of Cd. However, the total heavy metal content of straw ash poses a potential problem.

Key words

straw ash ashes bottom ash fly ash biofuel cereal straw rape straw straw combustion fertilizer plant nutrients heavy metals 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Louise Sander
    • 1
  • Olof Andrén
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental ResearchSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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