Possibilities for the Use of Wood Ashes in Agriculture
Barbara Symanowicz 1  
Marcin Becher 1  
Dawid Jaremko 1  
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Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Natural Science, Agronomy Institute, Soil Science and Plant Nutrition Department, Prusa 14, 08-110 Siedlce, Poland
Doctoral studies, Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Natural Science, Poland
Publish date: 2018-05-01
J. Ecol. Eng. 2018; 19(3):191–196
The aim of the study was to determine the agricultural usefulness of the ashes obtained following the combustion of wood of fourteen tree species (pear tree, apple tree, aspen, ash, alder, birch, poplar, hornbeam, pine, common walnut, oak, hazel, bird cherry and spruce) in home fireplaces. The following physical properties of the ashes were determined: colour, solubility, porosity, absorbability, compression strength, degree of fineness, moisture content and spreadability. In the ashes obtained from the combustion of wood in a fireplace furnace, the following parameters were determined: pH H2O, pHKCl (1 mole dm-3 KCl), pHCaCl2 (0.01 mole dm-3 CaCl2) and total alkalinity in terms of the suitability of ashes as a liming agent. The contents of Ctot. and Ntot. were determined with a CHNS/O elemental analyser by Perkin-Elmer and the contents of other elements (macronutrients and heavy metals) were specified using the method of atomic emission spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma ICP-AES. Wood ashes are a source of macronutrients for plants. Their contents can be presented in the following series of decreasing values: Ca > C > K > Mg > P > S > N. Out of 1 t of wood ash, approx. 160 kg C, 6 kg N, 20 kg P, 98 kg K, 302 kg Ca, 39 kg Mg and 18 kg S can be introduced into the soil. The content of heavy metals in the analysed ashes was low, and exceeded the acceptable standards for their content in waste materials intended for liming soils. The analysed ashes exhibit good physical and chemical properties. They can be suitable for use in agriculture as a liming agent to be applied on medium and heavy soils.
Barbara Symanowicz   
Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, 14 Prusa Street, PL-08110 Siedlce, Poland