Influence of Coal Ash/Organic Waste Application on Distribution of Trace Metals in Soil, Plant, and Water

  • Yuncong Li
  • Min Zhang
  • Peter Stoffella
  • Zhenli He
  • Herbert Bryan


This study was conducted to evaluate effects of coal ash mixture (coal ash, biosolids and yard waste compost ratio of 1:1:1 v/v) on accumulation of trace metals in soil and their distribution in crop leaves and fruits, and its leaching potential into groundwater. Coal ash mixture was applied at rates of 0, 25, 75 Mg ha−1. Samples of soil and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. ‘Sanibel’) tissue (leaves and fruits) were collected and analyzed for trace metals (Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, Cd, Pb, Ni, and Mo). Zero-tension pan lysimeters were installed to monitor water quality. Application of the coal ash mixture significantly increased AB-DTPA extractable Fe, Ni and Mo in treated soils and concentrations of Mn and Mo in tomato leaves. Only concentrations of Fe and Mo in tomato fruits from plots treated with this coal ash mixture were greater than those from control plots. Application of 75 Mg ha−1 coal ash mixture significantly increased total amounts of Zn, Pb and Mo collected in lysimeter water during 12 months following application. Concentrations of trace metals analyzed in this study were very low. The maximum concentrations of Mn, Pb and Cd in lysimeter water samples from both treated and control plots were only occasionally greater than MCL (Manxmen Contaminant Level for drinking water). Therefore, appropriate application of coal ash mixture should not lead to any significant detriment to soil, food, and groundwater.


Trace Metal Sewage Sludge Tomato Fruit Calcareous Soil Poultry Litter 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuncong Li
    • 1
  • Min Zhang
    • 1
  • Peter Stoffella
    • 2
  • Zhenli He
    • 2
  • Herbert Bryan
    • 1
  1. 1.Tropical Research and Education Center, IFASUniversity of FloridaHomesteadUSA
  2. 2.Indian River Research and Education Center, IFASUniversity of FloridaFt. PierceUSA

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