Research Summary: Sodic Soil Properties and Sunflower Growth as Affected by Byproducts of Flue Gas Desulfurization


The main component of the byproducts of flue gas desulfurization (BFGD) is CaSO4, which can be used to improve sodic soils. The effects of BFGD on sodic soil properties and sunflower growth were studied in a pot experiment. The experiment consisted of eight treatments, at four BFGD rates (0, 7.5, 15 and 22.5 t ha−1) and two leaching levels (750 and 1200 m3 ha−1). The germination rate and yield of the sunflower increased, and the exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), pH and total dissolved salts (TDS) in the soils decreased after the byproducts were applied. Excessive BFGD also affected sunflower germination and growth, and leaching improved reclamation efficiency. The physical and chemical properties of the reclaimed soils were best when the byproducts were applied at 7.5 t ha−1 and water was supplied at 1200 m3·ha−1. Under these conditions, the soil pH, ESP, and TDS decreased from 9.2, 63.5 and 0.65% to 7.8, 2.8 and 0.06%, and the germination rate and yield per sunflower reached 90% and 36.4 g, respectively. Salinity should be controlled by leaching when sodic soils are reclaimed with BFGD as sunflower growth is very sensitive to salinity during its seedling stage.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 21-December-2012

Author(s): Wang J., Bai Z., Yang P.


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