Possibilities of using biofuel ash in the cultivation of spring barley
Keywords: biofuel ash, ash granules, spring barley, yield
AbstractWood biofuel ash is a complex and heterogeneous mixture of inorganic crystalline and amorphous minerals together with organic matter. Biofuel ash is usually enriched with K, P, Ca and Mg, which are essential macronutrients for plant growth. Currently, a large proportion of biofuel ash is disposed of in landfills. However, ash processed into granular products can be used as a stand-alone or additional mineral fertilizer in agriculture. The aim of the research is to determine the chemical composition of biofuel ash and evaluate its suitability for the production of ash granules; also to evaluate the yield of spring barley grain and straw fertilized with bulk and granular biofuel ash, and the correlation between the yield and the amount of K2O applied by different fertilization products. The experiment was carried out in 2017–2018. Concentrations of heavy metals (Cr, Pb, Ni, Cd) and microelements (Zn and Cu) in wood biofuel ash did not exceed the permissible norms, and from them it was possible to produce fertilization products (ash granules) and use them in a vegetation experiment. During the experiment, it was found that the fertilization products significantly (P < 0.05) increased the yield of grown spring barley grains and straw in both years of the study, and the performed correlation regression analysis was positively strong in both years of the study (P < 0.01). The yield of spring barley increased with the increase of K2O content in fertilizer products.