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Refractory metals processing waste utilization on Dayton silty clay loam soil Public Deposited

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  • Waste products from industry have often been disposed in landfills without regard for any beneficial uses of the product in agricultural production. This research was conducted to determine the effect of a refractory metal processing waste product on (a) soil chemical and physical properties, (b) perennial ryegrass forage quality and seed yield, and (c) percolation water quality. Refractory metals processing waste was applied either as a slurry or dried to Dayton silty clay loam (sicl) at rates of 0, 5, 10, 25, and 50 tons/acre. Ammonium nitrate, concentrated superphosphate, muriate of potash, calcium sulfate, and lime were added to optimize plant growth. Lime, gypsum, and phosphorus fertilizer variables were incorporated into the study to investigate specific beneficial or problems areas associated with the waste product. The waste and fertilizers were tilled into the soil, and all plots seeded with perennial ryegrass (var. Linn) and irrigated. Elements found in the waste in excess of one percent included: Zr, Ca, F, Fe, Al, S, and C (as CO₃). Those elements found in concentrations ranging between 0.1 and 1.0 percent included: Hf, Mg, Na, Pb, P, NH₄-N, and K. The concentration of Cd, Ci, Co, Cr, Ni, Mn, and Mo were less than 1000 ppm. Soil pH, soluble salts, extractable Ca, Mg, NH₄-N, Zn, Ni, S, and F and the total Zr, Hf, and Pb content of the soil increased with waste application, while extractable Fe, Mn, and P levels decreased with waste application. Extractable Na, K, NO₃-N, Al, and Cu levels were not affected by waste application. The soluble salt content decreased from greater than 4.0 mmhos /cm in the fall to less than 1.7 mmnos /cm in the spring. The extractable Mg, Na, K, NH₄, NO₃, P, S, and Zn also decreased in the spring as compared to the fall levels. Acid extractable P levels were less than the minimum required for optimum crop production, 30 ppm. Iron, Mn, and Ni availability increased with time, due to the wet, reduced soil conditions present between sampling periods. Water percolation through the Dayton sicl soil increased with waste application, but soil moisture retention was not changed. Perennial ryegrass dry matter yields were not significantly changed by waste product additions, and were similar to yields obtained in commercial farm operations. Mean yields ranged from 2.6 to 3.3 tons/acre on the soils treated with dry waste, and 2.8 to 4.0 tons/acre on soils treated with the waste slurry. Clean seed yields were slightly less than normal, ranging from 754 to 1238 lbs /acre. The subnormal seed yields were probably due to seed loss during harvesting and cleaning. The waste additions did not affect seed viability. The Ca, Mg, K, P. Fe, Al, Mn, Cr, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Mo, F, Zr, Hf, and Pb contents of the perennial ryegrass were not significantly affected by waste application. The S, Na, and N uptake by the ryegrass increased at application rates of 50 ton/acre, compared to control plots, which indicated that the waste product may serve as a N and S fertilizer. Plant P levels were not significantly depressed by waste application, despite decreases in acid available P levels. Addition of 100 lbs P /acre did not significantly improve P uptake compared to soil treated with 25 lbs P/acre and similar amounts of waste. Ryegrass grown on soil that received no lime or waste showed significant reductions in uptake of Ca and Mo, compared to control plots. The addition of waste, 25 ton/acre, eliminated these reductions. The application of the waste product to the soil may pose a threat of fluoride pollution to groundwaters which would require special management practices. No other elemental hazards to groundwater were suggested. Utilization of refractory metals processing waste on Dayton sicl appears to be a viable waste disposal alternative, providing that further study establishes that F does not pose a threat to groundwaters under field conditions.
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