Next Article in Journal
Rare Earth Elements (La, Ce, Pr, Nd, and Sm) from a Carbonatite Deposit: Mineralogical Characterization and Geochemical Behavior
Next Article in Special Issue
Models of Determining the Parameters of Rock Mass Oscillation Equation with Experimental and Mass Blastings
Previous Article in Journal
Classification of Flotation Frothers
Previous Article in Special Issue
Dust and Noise Environmental Impact Assessment and Control in Serbian Mining Practice
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 54;

Research on Power Plant Ash Impact on the Quality of Soil in Kostolac and Gacko Coal Basins

Geoing Group, 11060 Belgrade, Serbia
Faculty of Mining and Geology, University of Belgrade, 11060 Belgrade, Serbia
EFT-Mine and TPP Stanari, Stanari 74208, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Faculty of Applied Ecology Futura, University of Singidunum, 11010 Belgrade, Serbia
Volmont, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [1207 KB, uploaded 8 February 2018]   |  


Increased concentrations of heavy metals in ash can adversely affect the microbiological and pedogenetic processes in soil. The aim of this paper is to determine the impact of ash from unburned coal generated in the Kostolac and Gacko coal basins on the quality of soil in the surrounding environment. The investigation included the surface soil layer that was sampled and tested during 2016 and 2017. A total of 30 samples of Kostolac soil and 9 samples of Gacko soil were analyzed for the content of 8 heavy metals: Cu, Pb, Cd, Zn, Hg, As, Cr and Ni. The analyses were carried out by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) technique according to the EPA 6020A method and the following conclusions were made: Kostolac coal ash affects the quality of the surrounding soil in terms of Ni, Cu and Cr as evidenced by the moderately strong correlation of the Ni-Cu pair (k = 0.71), as well as the Cu-Cr pair (k = 0.73) and strong correlation of the Ni-Cr pair (k = 0.82), while the high recorded concentration of Pb, Hg, As and Zn is attributed to other sources of pollution, such as the traffic network and intensive farming activities, and in some cases, its impact is only local. All recorded concentrations of heavy metals are within the remediation values. The effect of ash on soil contamination in the surroundings of the Gacko coal basin is limited to Ni and Cd, with a strong correlation coefficient of this pair (k = 0.82). The recorded overrun of maximum allowed concentration of Cr is evidenced in only 2 samples, and in terms of this element the contamination of the Gacko soil can be considered to be local. It is concluded that prevailing winds play a part in soil pollution. Cluster analysis showed that Ni, Cr and Zn have very similar values in analyzed soil samples from both basins, while a cluster composed of only Hg, in the case of Gacko, indicates lower contamination with Hg compared to the other heavy metals. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil; ash; heavy metals; Kostolac coal basin; Gacko coal basin soil; ash; heavy metals; Kostolac coal basin; Gacko coal basin

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Savic, D.; Nisic, D.; Malic, N.; Dragosavljevic, Z.; Medenica, D. Research on Power Plant Ash Impact on the Quality of Soil in Kostolac and Gacko Coal Basins. Minerals 2018, 8, 54.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Minerals EISSN 2075-163X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top