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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (3): 601-611    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62745-0
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Environmental risk for application of ammonia-soda white mud in soils in China
WANG Xiao-bin, YAN Xiang, LI Xiu-ying
Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P.R.China
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Abstract  In recent years, some reports, mainly from Chinese research, show that there has been an increasing trend in the use of ammonia-soda residue (ASR) (or called ammonia-soda white mud) as a soil conditioner in farmlands.  Up to now, the studies on ASR have focused on its utilization for acid soil amendment in agriculture, but few studies have assessed its environmental risk.  ASR contains pollutant elements such as mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu) and fluorine (F) and the purpose of this study was to review research on the environmental impacts of ASR application in agriculture.  Observations obtained from 23 research reports indicate that the concentrations of  Hg, Cd, Cu, F and Cl (0–170, 0.01–2.8, 4.5–200, 2000–24700 and 1 600–188 000 mg kg–1, respectively) in ASR may exceed the limits (≤0.5, ≤0.3 and ≤50 mg kg–1 for Hg, Cd and Cu, respectively) of Chinese Risk Screening Values for Soil Contamination of Agricultural Land (GB 15618-2018 2018) or the refereed critical value (≤800 and ≤200 mg kg–1 for F and Cl, respectively) based on Chinese research.  The concentrations of the elements Hg, Cd, Cu, F and Cl  in the leachate of ASR detected by the extraction tests also exceed the limits (Class IV–V) of the Chinese Standard for Groundwater Quality (GB/T 14848-2017 2017).  Based on the above results, it is suggested that ASR without any pretreatment for reducing harmful pollutants should not be used for soil remediation or conditioning of farmlands, to ensure soil health, food safety and environmental quality. 
Keywords:  environmental safety risk        heavy metals        industrial solid wastes        ammonia-soda white mud        ammonia-soda residue  
Received: 30 December 2018   Accepted:
Fund: The study was supported by the Special Program for Fertilizer Registration of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China (2130112).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence YAN Xiang, Tel: +86-10-82106382, E-mail:; LI Xiu-ying, E-mail:   
About author:  WANG Xiao-bin, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

WANG Xiao-bin, YAN Xiang, LI Xiu-ying. 2020. Environmental risk for application of ammonia-soda white mud in soils in China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(3): 601-611.

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