The effect of granular fertilisers produced from industrial and municipal wastes on the content of some heavy metals in test plants

Edward KRZYWY, Ewa MOŻDŻER ? West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Department of Land Cultivation and Environmental Chemistry, Faculty of Environmental Management and Agriculture

Please cite as: CHEMIK 2013, 67, 7, 628?635

Abstract:
In the experiment being carried out, the effect of granular fertilisers being produced from industrial waste products, i.e. CaSO4?2H2O (waste product in production of multicomponent mineral fertilisers), FeSO4?7H2O (waste product in production of titanium dioxide), coniferous and deciduous sawdust mixture, and municipal sewage sludge with addition of mineral fertilisers on cadmium, copper, chromium, nickel, lead and zinc contents in spring rape seeds and spring triticale grain. The results being obtained show that the granular fertilisers being tested did not increase the content of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn) in test plants above the acceptable standards. In most fertilisation objects treatments with these granular fertilisers, differences between the content of respective heavy metals in test plants were not significant. The increasing doses of granular fertilisers in most fertilisation objects did not have any significant effect on the increase in the content of heavy metals in test plants. These granular fertilisers can be used without fear of decreasing the quality of plant yields and contaminating the soil environment.

Keyword: fertilisers organic-mineral, heavy metals spring rape and spring triticale

Introduction

Many industrial and municipal wastes contain organic matter and plant nutrients. They can be used for fertilisation and land reclamation purposes. These wastes can also contain excessive amounts of some heavy metals and other chemical compounds and their sanitary condition may rise objections. Therefore, the wastes being intended for use in soil fertilisation and land reclamation should be subject to physical, chemical and microbiological tests. After examining the findings of these tests, a decision should be made to introduce them directly into soil or land, to subject them to technological processes to obtain fertilisers or soil improvers conforming to the standards specified in the Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development [1], or to apply another utilisation method [2÷13]. The study being carried out aimed at producing four granular fertilisers from industrial waste and municipal sewage sludge and determining their effect on the content of heavy metals (cadmium, copper, chromium, nickel, lead and zinc) in spring rape seeds and spring triticale grain. These granular fertilisers were produced from CaSO4?2H2O (being a waste product in production of titanium dioxide), FeSO4?7H2O (being a waste product in production of multi-component mineral fertilisers), coniferous and deciduous sawdust mixture and municipal sewage sludge with addition of mineral fertilisers, i.e. ammonium phosphate, urea and 60% K2O potassium salt.

Scope of research and research methodts

The following components were used for producing granulated fertilisers: municipal sewage sludge, mixture of conifer sawdust and sawdust from leafy trees in the proportion 1:1, calcium(II) sulphate(VI) dihydrate ? a waste product from producing sulphuric(V) acid in ZCh Police S.A. (Chemical Plant Police) and iron(II) sulphate(VI) heptahydrate – a waste product from producing titanium dioxide in ZCh Police S.A. The chemical analysis of the content of macro-components and some heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) in particular components are published in the paper of Krzywy et al. [14]. Microbiological examinations of the sewage sludge showed that it contain no Salmonella bacteria, nor live eggs of gastrointestinal tract parasites. Based on the chemical composition of respective components, the material composition of four fertiliser blends was formulated, calculated io dry matter. Ammonium phosphate, urea and 60% K2O potassium salt were added to the fertiliser blends containing wastes. The addition of mineral fertilisers was intended to enable the obtained products to be included into the group of organic-mineral fertilisers and to provide the plants with optimum quantities of assimilable microelements in the first stage of development. The produced fertiliser blends were subject to granulation, adding 2% of sodium lignosulphonate (in relation to fertiliser blend weight) as a factor facilitating this process.

Table 2 presents the physical and chemical properties of granulated fertiliser blends (granular fertilisers).The content of heavy metals in the granular fertilisers being tested conformed to the standards for the group of organic-mineral fertilisers [1].The obtained granular fertilisers were subject to chemical analysis and tested in pot vegetation experiments, in which spring rape cultivar Larissa and spring triticale vcultivar Milikaro were the test plants. The pot vegetation experiment was started in 2011 for both test plants according to the same design on a soil material formed from heavy loamy sand, being counted among the rye complex of soil quality class IVb. Two factors were taken into consideration the experiment design. The first factor was types of granular fertilisers, whereas their increasing doses (3 doses) were the second one. A single dose corresponded to 0.5 g N?pot, a doubled one to 1.0 g N?pot, while a tripled one to 1.5 g N?pot. At the time when the test plants reached their production maturity, they were harvested and their crop yield was determined, as well as samples for laboratory analyses were collected. Average samples of spring rape seeds and spring triticale grains were made which were then subject to chemical analyses in two replications.

CHEMIK_2013_7_628_a

The cadmium, copper, nickel, chromium and lead contents in test plants were determined by the method of atomic absorption spectrometry using a Perkin Elmer AAS 300 spectrometer. The stock solution for assays was obtained after the wet mineralisation of the plant material according to the Polish standards PN?ISO 11466 and PN-ISO 11047. Analysis of the results of heavy metal contents in spring rape seeds and spring triticale grain was made with a two-factor analysis of variance for the randomised complete block design, using the double interaction. Confidence half-intervals were calculated for p=0.05, using the Tuckey?s test.

Results

Due to the fact that the quality of plant yields are decided, among others, by the quantity of some heavy metals in them (Cd, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn), in Table 3 presents the harmful levels of these chemical elements in arable plants. These data will help to determine the effect of granular fertilisers on the content of heavy metals being assayed in plants.

CHEMIK_2013_7_628_b

Tables 4 and 5 present the content of heavy metals in spring rape seeds, while Tables 6 and 7 show it in spring triticale grain. The study results being obtained show that cadmium, copper, chromium, nickel, lead and zinc contents in spring rape seeds and spring triticale grain did not exceed harmful limits in any of the fertilisation objects (Tabs 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7). The differences in cadmium, chromium, nickel and zinc contents in spring rape seeds being obtained as affected by respective granular fertilisers were not significant. Copper and lead contents in spring rape seeds were significantly higher in the fertilisation objects treatments with granular fertilisers that comprised FeSO4?7H2O when compared to those with CaSO4?2H2O. The most copper was contained by spring rape seeds from the fertilisation object where the granular fertiliser comprising municipal sewage sludge (50%), FeSO4?7H2O (30%), urea (10%) and KCl (10%) had been applied, while the most lead from the fertilisation object 1 where the granular fertiliser comprising municipal sewage sludge (30%), sawdust (20%), FeSO4?7H2O (20%), ammonium phosphate (10%), urea (10%) and KCl (10%) had been applied. The increasing doses of granular fertilisers significantly increased the lead content in spring rape seeds. The copper content in spring rape seeds from the fertilisation object treatment with a tripled dose of granular fertilisers was significantly higher when compared to a single dose. The increasing doses of granular fertilisers being tested did not have any significant effect on the increase in cadmium, chromium, nickel and zinc contents in the seeds of that test plant (Tabs 4 and 5). The differences in the cadmium, copper and lead contents in spring triticale grain being obtained as affected by granular fertilisers were not significant. More chromium and nickel was contained by spring triticale grain in the fertilisation objects 2 and 4 where the granular fertiliser comprising 50% of municipal sewage sludge had been applied when compared to the fertilisation objects 1 and 3 where the granular fertiliser comprising 30% of municipal sewage sludge and 20% of sawdust had been applied. More zinc was contained by spring triticale grain from fertilisation objects where the granular fertilisers being applied comprised FeSO4?7H2O when compared to those with the granular fertilisers comprising CaSO4?2H2O. The increasing doses of granular fertilisers did not differentiate cadmium, chromium, lead and zinc contents in spring triticale grain. As affected by the increasing doses of granular fertilisers, the copper content in the grain of that test plant significantly increased. The nickel content in spring triticale grain significantly increased in the fertilisation objects treatments with tripled doses of the granular fertilisers being tested when compared to single doses (Tabs 6 and 7). Summing up, it is possible to conclude that the granular fertilisers being produced from industrial waste products and municipal sewage sludge did not have any effect on excessive increase in cadmium, copper, chromium, nickel, lead and zinc contents in spring rape seeds and spring triticale grain. Increase in the doses of granular fertilisers in most experimental objects treatments did not induce any significant increase in the content of heavy metals in test plants. The granular fertilisers being produced according to and presented in respect of their effect on the content of heavy metals in plants confirm the findings of studies carried out previously on the possibility of using municipal sewage sludge, CaSO4?2H2O and FeSO4?7H2O for fertilisation purposes [ 2, 3, 5,15÷14,17÷19].

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Conclusions

1. Granular fertilisers did not increase the content of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn) in test plants above the acceptable standards. They can be used in fertilisation of arable crops without fear. They will not have any negative effects on the quality of plant
yields and the soil environment.
2. In most fertilisation objects with these granular fertilisers, differences in the content of heavy metals in test plants were not significant.
3. The increasing doses of granular fertilisers in most fertilisation objects did not have any significant effect on the increase in the content of heavy metals in test plants.

Translation into English by the Author

Acknowledgements
Part of this study was conducted within the framework of a research and development project No. N 305 155136

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Edward KRZYWY? (Sc.D.), Professor emeritus of West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin

Ewa MOŻDŻER ? Ph.D. (Eng.), graduated from the Faculty of Environmental Management and Agriculture at the Western Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin in Environmental Protection. She was awarded the doctor?s degree in agricultural sciences in agronomy at the same Faculty in 2006. Since 2007, she has been working as a Reader at the Department of Land Cultivation and Environmental Chemistry, Western Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin. She specialises in environmental protection,agronomy and waste management.
e-mail: ewa.krzywy-gawronska@zut.edu.pl

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