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EC number: 294-409-3
CAS number: 91722-09-7
Substance formed during processing of liquid steel or during production of iron castings. Consists primarily of fused silicates and trace elements as oxides as well as trace of alloying elements.
Ferrous slags are not inhibitory to key metabolic activities of soil microorganisms.
was shown by laboratory and field studies that ferrous slags are
not inhibitory to key metabolic activities of soil microorganisms
i.e. respiration. Nitrogen metabolism and cellulose degradation
were also shown not to be inhibited, but even slightly activated.
test the effects of slags,
ferrous metal, blast furnace (air-cooled – ABS) on
the soil microflora as an indicator for conservation of soil
fertility, the metabolic activity of microbial biomass and its
nitrogen conversion potential were determined. The tests were
performed according to C.22
(Soil Microorganisms: Carbon Transformation Test)(identical to OECD-Guideline
No. 217) and C.21 (Soil Microorganisms: Nitrogen Transformation
Test) of the EU-Regulation440/2008 (identical to OECD-Guideline
216). The metabolic
activity of the microbial biomass was influenced only temporarily
by the slag in the acclimatisation phase. The respiratory activity
(carbon transformation test) in the soil mixtures treated with 10
g test item / kg of soil (dry matter) was negatively affected only
at the start of the incubation period t0 (28%
reduction). At the later time points, the differences between
slag-incubated and control soils were less than ± 25 %. After 28
d, the microbial respiration of the soil was slightly increased in
the treatment with 10 g/kg soil dry matter in comparison to the
nitrogen conversion (ammonification and nitrification) of lucerne
meal (alfalfa) which was added to the soil, was not negatively
influenced by the slags applied at a dose of 10 g / kg (dry
matter). In general, the deviations of the NO3--
and NO2--nitrogen values of the treated
samples from the untreated ones were <25%. In regard to nitrogen
metabolism, ABS served as a fertilizer.
ferrous metal, blast furnace (air-cooled – ABS) had
no relevant effect on the activity of the soil microflora even in
the highest concentration tested (10 g/kg) for 28 d (SGS 2010).
Extended laboratory study
To evaluate the effects of steelmaking slags
(SMS) on soil microorganisms, in laboratory experiments SMS was
added to oxisol soil at concentrations of up to 21.2 t/ha. The pH
varied between 4.8 (controls) and 7.4 (SMS, 21.2 t/ha, no pH
controls done). Dry matter production, pH and metal uptake into
Sorghum bicolor plants raised in parallel experiments in pot were
plotted against each other and a correlation analysis was
The dry matter production of Sorghum bicolor
was highest when the concentration of SMS added to oxisol was
approximately 9.6 t/ha. Uptake of Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn and Zn shows a
flat maximum at 7 -10 t/ha in regard to the concentration of slag
in the oxisol (controls not reported). The uptake of Cu was
independent of the slag concentration whereas the Ni content was
low but increased with increasing concentration of slag in the
range tested, and in parallel to the pH.
Minimum of microbial respiration occured at a
SMS concentration of approximately 10 t/ha. This minimum is
explained by the authors by pH controlled availability of metal
ions. Although this hypothesis cannot be verified, it is apparent
that the inhibition of microbial respiration is not caused by high
slag concentration in the soil, as the microbial respiration
recovered at the highest slag concentration tested (Costa et al.
assess the applicability of slags as agricultural fertilizers in
regard to soil microorganims, agricultural research done at the
Sommerland Agricultural Research Station was reviewed. The
metabolic potential of soil microorganisms had been measured as
respiration rate and cellulose degradation with
the ferrous slags ABS
ferrous metal, blast furnace, air-cooled) and BOS (slags,
agricultural yields was highest in slag treated fields
(approximately 5 % above controls), The soil respiration in
controls was 420 mg CO2/kg soil. It was highest in
lime-treated fields (580 mg CO2/kg soil), and 490 and
550 mg CO2/kg soil in ABS- and BOS-treated fields,
respectively. Microbial cellulose degradation was lowest in
control soils (1.4 mg/cm2) and highest in the slags:
ABS 2 mg/cm2, and BOS 2.3 mg/cm2.
ferrous slags ABS (slags, ferrous metal, blast furnace,
air-cooled) and BOS (slags, steelmaking, converter) did not
inhibit the microbial respiration and cellulose degradation
potential of soils.
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