Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Plant Science

First Advisor

L.O. Fine


Recycling non-renewable resources has become increasingly. important as man has continuously expected more and more from his environment. As stated by Spendlove (1976): "Recycling certainly is not new. It appears, in fact, to be one of the most obvious laws of nature, much like the seasons, the tides, and the life and death processes. It is not surprising, therefore, that the greatest motivating force behind present recycling efforts is the worldwide concern for the deteriorating natural environment." This ever-increasing demand for more production has created the need for more stringent pollution controls to maintain an acceptable quality of life. Pollution could be greatly reduced by recycling waste products which often are a great source of pollutants. An excellent example would be phosphorus, which contributes greatly to the eutrophication of our surface waters. Though phosphorus is in plentiful supply today, it is a non-renewable resource. Another potential pollutant is fly ash which is becoming more abundant each day. Fly ash is the ash collected from the smoke stacks, primarily by electrostatic precipitators. It is classified as the particulate material (size range 0.5u to 100u) resulting from the combustion of coal (Tenney and Echelberger, 1970). Forty-two million tons of fly ash were produced by the electric utilities of the U. S. in 1975 and it is estimated 52 million tons will be produced annually by 1980 (Faber, 1976). The idea of forming a useful byproduct from two waste materials, namely fly ash and aqueous phosphorus, was very intriguing and forms the central core of this study. Brookings municipal sewage effluent collected at the point where the lagoon empties into the creek was my aqueous phosphorus source. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the plant-availability of this phosphorus when removed from sewage effluent by fly ash. An attempt was also made to evaluate the efficiency of aqueous phosphorus removal by the fly ash. Two greenhouse studies were used to study the availability of this phosphorus source to plants.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plants -- Nutrition
Sewage -- Purification -- Phosphate removal
Fly ash




South Dakota State University