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Title: Sustainable use of fly ash in agro-forestry
Authors: Sinha, A K
Srivastava, N. K.
Ram, L C
Issue Date: Dec-2006
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract: In India presently about seventy percent of the total energy demand is met from coal via combustion in Thermal Power Plants (TPPs), Approximately 240 million tons of coal (average ash : 35-40%) is being consumed in 85 existing Thermal Power Plants producing about 110 million tons of fly ash, which is expected to exceed 170 million tons per annum by the end of 2012 in view of 10 per cent annual growth in the energy demand. It poses handling, storage, disposal and deleterious environmental concerns apart from occupying a large area for its disposal. Hardly 42% of fly ash in the country is being utilized mainly in brick making, land filling and civil construction, To this Direction, CFRI has been conducting large scale field demonstration studies on the bulk use of fly ash in agro-forestry sector for the last 20 years including reclamation of waste land, mine spoil, ash filled low lying area and abandoned ash ponds. The study has been conducted in different soil types and varied agro climatic conditions through the application of fly ash @ 25-200 tons/ha in the vicinity of different TPPs such as Farakka and Bakreshwar (W.B.), Neyveli (T.N.), Ramagundam, Manuguru (A.P.), Chandrapur and Bhusawal (M.S.), Anpara, Obra and Harduaganj (U.P.) and Dhanbad (Jharkhand). It is observed that various physico-chemical and biological properties of different agricultural lands/problematic soil/wasteland/mine spoil/abandoned ash significantly (p<0.05) improved by the application of fly ash/pond ash in bulk quantities on sustainable basis apart from increase in the yield (20- 60%) of different crops such as wheat, paddy, maize, sugarcane, ground nut, mustard, gram , arhar, cotton, linsed, vegetable crops as also in the growth and yield of different forestry/ornamental and fruit tree species to an appreciable extent.CFRI has played an important role in popularizing various beneficial effects of fly ash/pond ash among the local farmers in the vicinity of different TPPs to improve the fertility status of their field soil and significantly increasing the yield of various crops to a great ex tent through various extension programs: personal contacts, pamphlets, audio-visual aids, Kisan Mela/Gosthi etc, involving different concerned organizations. The farmers are now fully convinced of beneficial uses of pond ash and coming forward in utilizing it in their fields. Thus of the 93.6 million hectare unproductive land in the country, about 20 million hectare of land can be suitably reclaimed and made cultivable as well as the we will be able to use fly ash/pond ash for the reclamation of waste/degraded in coming 20 years or so if we apply ash @ 100 ton/ha land through this eco-friendly technology. The socio- economic condition of the farmers/local inhabitants will be greatly improved.  
Page(s): 172-180
ISSN: 0975-2412 (Online); 0771-7706 (Print)
Appears in Collections:BVAAP Vol.14(2) [December 2006]

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