Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 31, pp 31113–31124 | Cite as

Effect of distillery spentwash fertigation on crop growth, yield, and accumulation of potentially toxic elements in rice

  • Sadiq Naveed
  • Abdur RehimEmail author
  • Muhammad ImranEmail author
  • Muhammad Faraz Anwar
  • Saddam Hussain
Research Article


The safe disposal of industrial effluents always remained a challenging process because of their high level of nutrients, toxic elements, and salts. A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of various concentrations (5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%) of sugar industry effluent spentwash (SW) fertigated with tab water (TW), on soil properties, crop growth, physiological parameters, yield components, and accumulation of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in rice (Oryza sativa L.) grains and straw. The results showed that soil physico-chemical properties were modified with rise in SW concentration. Application of 5% SW significantly enhanced the plant growth, and yield components. Photosynthesis rate, transpiration rate, and stomatal conductance were significantly higher under 5% SW concentration in comparison with control. However, SW concentrations of > 5% showed inhibitory effects for all growth, physiological, and yield components. Accumulation of PTEs showed increasing trend with rise in SW concentration. However, under 5% SW concentration, all the PTEs in rice grain and straw were within the permissible limits (PLs) recommended by FAO/WHO and no health hazards were detected by health risk assessment. Based on the study results, 5% SW fertigation with TW can be applied as fertilizer for enhancing the growth and productivity of rice.

Graphical abstract


Environmental pollution Physiological attributes Rice Spentwash Toxic elements 



We would like to give our deep thanks to Professor Ying Ge from Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Biology, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, P.R. China, for his kind guidance and support for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Biology, College of Resources and Environmental SciencesNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Soil ScienceBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  3. 3.Soil and Water Testing LaboratoryKhanewalPakistan
  4. 4.Soil and Water Testing LaboratoryFaisalabadPakistan
  5. 5.Department of AgronomyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan

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