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Article

Wood Ashes from Grate-Fired Heat and Power Plants: Evaluation of Nutrient and Heavy Metal Contents

Technology and Support Centre in the Centre of Excellence for Renewable Resources (TFZ), Schulgasse 18, 94315 Straubing, Germany
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Academic Editors: Dirk Enke, Hossein Beidaghy Dizaji, Volker Lenz and Thomas Zeng
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5482; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105482
Received: 12 April 2021 / Revised: 3 May 2021 / Accepted: 4 May 2021 / Published: 13 May 2021
Ashes from biomass heat (and power) plants that apply untreated woody biofuels may be suitable for use as fertilizers if certain requirements regarding pollutant and nutrient contents are met. The aim of this study was to examine if both bottom and cyclone ashes from 17 Bavarian heating plants and one ash collection depot are suitable as fertilizers (n = 50). The range and average values of relevant nutrients and pollutants in the ashes were analyzed and evaluated for conformity with the German Fertilizer Ordinance (DüMV). Approximately 30% of the bottom ashes directly complied with the heavy metal limits of the Fertilizer Ordinance. The limits were exceeded for chromium(VI) (62%), cadmium (12%) and lead (4%). If chromium(VI) could be reduced by suitable treatment, 85% of the bottom ashes would comply with the required limit values. Cyclone ashes were high in cadmium, lead, and zinc. The analysis of the main nutrients showed high values for potassium and calcium in bottom ashes, but also relevant amounts of phosphorus, making them suitable as fertilizers if pollutant limits are met. Quality assurance systems should be applied at biomass heating plants to improve ash quality if wood ashes are used as fertilizers in agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: wood ash; fertilizer; heat and power plants; heavy metals; nutrients; German fertilizer legislation wood ash; fertilizer; heat and power plants; heavy metals; nutrients; German fertilizer legislation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bachmaier, H.; Kuptz, D.; Hartmann, H. Wood Ashes from Grate-Fired Heat and Power Plants: Evaluation of Nutrient and Heavy Metal Contents. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5482. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105482

AMA Style

Bachmaier H, Kuptz D, Hartmann H. Wood Ashes from Grate-Fired Heat and Power Plants: Evaluation of Nutrient and Heavy Metal Contents. Sustainability. 2021; 13(10):5482. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105482

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bachmaier, Hans, Daniel Kuptz, and Hans Hartmann. 2021. "Wood Ashes from Grate-Fired Heat and Power Plants: Evaluation of Nutrient and Heavy Metal Contents" Sustainability 13, no. 10: 5482. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105482

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