Acta Biologica Hungarica

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 490–499 | Cite as

Effect of Electric Arc Furnace Slag on Growth and Physiology of Maize (Zea mays L.)

  • Sandra RadićEmail author
  • Helena Crnojević
  • Dubravka Sandev
  • Sonja Jelić
  • Zorana Sedlar
  • Katarina Glavaš
  • Branka Pevalek-Kozlina


Basic slag, used in this study as a potential source of certain nutrients, is a byproduct of the production of steel in electric arc furnace (EAF). A pot experiment with two nutrient-poor substrates was conducted to investigate to compare the effect of EAF steel slag and fertilizers NPK+ F e on growth and availability of specific nutrients to maize. Mineral content of both substrate and plant leaves, growth, chlorophyll fluorescence and photosynthetic pigments were measured following six weeks of cultivation. As steel slag also contains trace amounts of heavy metals, certain oxidative parameters (antioxidative enzyme activities and lipid peroxidation) were evaluated as well. The steel slag improved soil mineral composition, increased above ground maize biomass by providing Fe, Mn, Mg, K and partly P and improved photosynthetic parameters. The potential phytotoxicity of EAF slag containing substrates was not determined as evaluated by MDA (malondialdehyde), GR (glutathione reductase) and APX (ascorbate peroxidase) levels. The obtained results show that EAF steel slag is comparable to NPK+ F e in supplying nutrients for maize growth, indicating the potential of EAF steel slag as an inexpensive and non-phytotoxic nutrient supplier especially in poor soils.


Steel slag maize oxidative stress pytotoxicity inorganic fertilizer 


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This study has been funded by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, as part of Projects no. 119-1191196-1202. We are thankful to Dr. T. Sofilić for donation of EAF steel slag.


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2013

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Radić
    • 1
    Email author
  • Helena Crnojević
    • 2
  • Dubravka Sandev
    • 1
  • Sonja Jelić
    • 3
  • Zorana Sedlar
    • 1
  • Katarina Glavaš
    • 1
  • Branka Pevalek-Kozlina
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Croatian WatersMain Water Management LaboratoryZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.INA Oil Industry Plc.ZagrebCroatia

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