Conference Proceeding

Use of Vermicomposting Biotechnology for Recycling Fly Ash in Agriculture.

With consistent growth in the sector of coal fired power plants in different parts of the world, large-scale generation of fly ash (FA) has now emerged as a major environmental threat at global levels . To combat the situation , various opportunities of safe disposal as well as recycling of this waste material are being explored at different levels. Of these efforts, recycling of FA in agriculture as a soil conditioner and also as a source of plant nutrients is now receiving growing attention .However, the major problem of such use of FA in agriculture is the burnt nature of this waste material which results in presence of little organic matter and nitrogen in this material .The inert nature of FA is also reflected in limited microbiological activity and low availability of most of the plant nutrients in FA despite their moderate to high occurrences in total concentrations. To provide better plant nutrition through FA and also to improve the suitability of this waste material in agricultural uses, therefore, the microbial activity in this material needs to be improved substantially. Combined use of fly ash and organic materials has been observed to be an effective proposition in this regard by several workers .Under this context, adoption of vermicomposting biotechnology was envisaged as an effective possibility for releasing various plant nutrients from FA and organic waste mixtures with the help of gut microorganisms of some special purpose earthworms. In the present communication, the efficiency of vermicomposting biotechnology in recycling organic waste mixed FA has been discussed with regard to increase in microbial activity and also improvement in availability of different plant nutrients in these substrates. A series of studies revealed adoption of vermicomposting to encourage significantly the microbiological activities in the FA+ organic waste mixtures. This behavior , in turn, helped in rapid degradation of the FA and resulted in increased availability of different plant nutrients in the substrates .In addition, concentrations of some heavy metals , originally present in fly ash, were found to be reduced substantially during this recycling process owing to formation of a metal-organic complex in the earthworm tissues. Use of this vermicomposted fly ash was found to be significantly effective in increasing yields of different crops also. All these studies showed the possibility of using vermicomposting biotechnology as an effective tool for recycling fly ash in agriculture.

Published: 01 August 2017


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