Evaluate Changes in Soil Chemical Properties Following FGD-Gypsum Application

  • Lee, Yong-Bok (National Institute of Agricultural Science & Technology, RDA) ;
  • Bigham, Jerry M. (School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University) ;
  • Kim, Pil-Joo (Division of Applied Life Science (BK21), Gyeongsang National University)
  • Published : 2007.12.31


Natural gypsum has been used as a soil amendment in the United States. However, flue gas desulfurization (FGD)-gypsum has not traditionally been used for agricultural purpose although it has potential benefit as a soil amendment. To expand use of FGD-gypsum for agricultural purpose, the effect of FGD-gypsum on soil chemical properties was investigated in the field scales. Application rates for this study were 0 (control), 1.1, and 2.2 Mg ha-1 of FGD-gypsum. After two year application, the soil samples were taken to 110 cm depth and sub-sampled at 10 cm intervals. The heavy metal contents in FGD-gypsum were lower than ceiling levels allowed by regulations for land-applied biosolids. Soil pH was not largely affected by FGD-gypsum application. Although degree of calcium (Ca) saturation in surface horizons increases only slightly with respect to the control, there is a clear decrease in exchangeable aluminum (Al). FGD-gypsum clearly increases the soil electrical conductivity (EC) with increasing application rate. Water-soluble Ca and sulfate is increased with FGD-gypsum application and these ions moved to a depth of at least 80 cm after only 2 years. We conclude that surface application of FGD-gypsum can mitigate toxicity of Al and deficiency of Ca in subsoil of acid soil.


Flue gas desulfurization (FGD)-gypsum;Al toxicity;soil amendment


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