Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 186–200

Mineralogical comparison of coal fly ash with soil for use in agriculture


DOI: 10.1007/s10163-014-0323-1

Cite this article as:
Kaur, R. & Goyal, D. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag (2016) 18: 186. doi:10.1007/s10163-014-0323-1


Mineralogical comparison of coal fly ash with soil and other material such as montmorillonite, charcoal was done by X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) with EDS. Fly ash showed high thermal stability with least weight loss as observed in TGA and SEM graph indicated that flyash is composed of spherical structures with more surface area for interaction; XRD and EDS studies showed that amorphous content of ash consists of calcium oxide, potassium and major crystalline phases observed were quartz (SiO2) and aluminum silicon oxide (Al4.52Si1.48) and haematite (Fe2O3). Charcoal, was amorphous in nature consisting of carbon and graphite. Soil and montmorillonite showed similar results in XRD, FTIR and thermal analysis having porous nature with silica as major constituent. Fly ash was found to be alkaline in nature having pH 7.85 and electrical conductivity 0.14 µS/m, good water holding capacity (62 %) and various macro and micronutrients as compared to other material viz. soil, charcoal, montmorillonite and hence, its mineralogical composition ascertains its applicability as a carrier for different microbial inoculants for soil application in agriculture which can act as an economic source of nutrient supplement for crop plants.


Fly ash Soil Charcoal Montmorillonite Thermal stability Agriculture 

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyThapar UniversityPatialaIndia

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