Strategies for Covering Fly Ash Dumps with Plant Species Suitable for Phytostabilization


  • Anca Pricop USAMVB - Faculty of Animal Sciences and Biotechnologies, 119 Calea Aradului, 300645 Timisoara, Romania
  • Smaranda Masu National Research and Development Institute for Industrial Ecology-ECOIND, Piata Victoriei no. 2, et.2, PO Box 254 phone/fax: +40 256 220369, Timisoara, 300 251, Romania
  • Benoni Lixandru USAMVB - Faculty of Animal Sciences and Biotechnologies, 119 Calea Aradului, 300645 Timisoara, Romania
  • Florica Morariu USAMVB - Faculty of Animal Sciences and Biotechnologies, 119 Calea Aradului, 300645 Timisoara, Romania
  • Neculai Dragomir USAMVB - Faculty of Animal Sciences and Biotechnologies, 119 Calea Aradului, 300645 Timisoara, Romania
  • Isabelle Laffont-Schwob Institut Méditerranéen d’Ecologie et de Paléoécologie - IMEP – UMR CNRS IRD 6116 Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de St Jérôme, Av. Escadrille Normandie-Niemen - case 441, 13397 Marseille Cedex 20, France
  • Dumitru Popescu USAMVB - Faculty of Animal Sciences and Biotechnologies, 119 Calea Aradului, 300645 Timisoara, Romania


heavy metals, vegetal layer, metal-tolerant plant species, bioaccumulation


In the context of the revegetation of fly ash dumps, the strategy chosen is very important in order to obtain a vegetal layer that quickly and efficiently covers the fly ash dump, as well as, to allow the wildlife habitat development. The strategy must include: adequate treatments by incorporating fertilizer and amendments, as composts and modified indigenous volcanic tuff; selecting plant species and agricultural work in accordance with geographical and weather conditions. Our in situ experiment on a lignite fly ash dump was performed in the fall during the seeding period of Festuca arundinacea and Onobrychis viciifolia species to provide the water requirement of plants, and consequently a quick and efficient development of plants, enabling them to resist later in the hot and drought days of summer. Among the seeding species, Festuca arundinacea adjusted more easily in the experimental variants. In this case, the treatment with biosolids and modified indigenous volcanic tuff can reduce the metal bioaccumulation, especially Pb (with 84-94%), Fe (with 53-63%) and Cu, Cr and Ni (between 12-53%). The other plant species did not tolerate the unfertilized fly ash. The fertilizer and modified indigenous volcanic tuff provided establishing conditions for the plant supplying the nutrients. Metal transfer to aerial tissues was reduced compared to control by 29.5-59.3% in the case of Cu, Cr, Ni and ranged 50-66% for Pb. Limiting the transfer of heavy metals in plant tissues is in accordance with a healthy habitat for the wildlife.


Adriano D.C., Page A.L., Elseewi A.A., Chang A.C., Straughan I., Utilization and disposal of fly ash and other coal residues in terrestrial ecosystems: a review, Journal of Environmental Quality, 1980, 9, p. 333-344

Haynes R.J., Reclamation and revegetation of fly ash disposal sites – Challenges and research needs, Journal of Environmental Maganement 2008, 90, p. 43-53

Erakhrumen A.A., Phytoremedation: an environmentally sound technology for pollution prevention, control and remediation in developing countries, Educational Research and Review, 2007, vol. 2, (7), 151-156

Jambhulkar H. P., Juwarkar A.A., Assessment of bioaccumulation of heavy metals by different plant species grown on fly ash dump, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 2009, 72, 1122 – 1228

Maiti S.K., Shishir J., Bioacumulation and translocation of metals in the natural vegetation growing on fly ash lagoons: a field study from Santaldih thermal power plant, West Bengal, India, Environ. Monit. Assess, 2008, 136, p. 355-370

Lasat M. M., , Phytoextraction of toxic Metals: A Review of Biological Mecanism, J. Environ. Qual. 2002, 31, p. 109 – 120

Masu Smaranda, Andres L., Rus Valeria, Pricop Anca Revegetation of fly ash disposal sites, The 16th Symposium on analytical and environmental problems, 28 September, Szeged, Hungary, 2009,

Martin T.A., M. V. Ruby, Review of in situ Remediation Technologies for lead, zinc, and cadmium in soil, Willey Periodicals Inc. published on line in Willey Interscience, , 2004, p. 35

Mitrovici L., Pavlovici P., Lakusic D., Djurdjevic L., Stevanovic B., Kostic O., Gajic G., The potential of Festuca rubra and Calamagrostis epigenos for the revegetation of fly ash deposits, Science of the total environment, 2008, 407, p. 338- 347

Silveiro M.L.A., Alloni L. R. F., Guilherme L.R.G., Biosolids and heavy metals in Soils, Sciencia agricola, 2003, vol. 60, no. 4

Tripathi R.D., Vajpayee P., Singh N., Rai U. N., Kumar A., Ali M.B., Kumar B., Yunus M., Efficacy of various amendments for amelioration of fly-ash toxicity: growth performance and metal composition of Cassia siamea Lamk, Chemosphere, 2004, 54, 1581 – 1588

Masu S., Uruioc S, Dragomir N., Pricop A, Decrease oh heavy metal accumulation in plant by soil treatment with pillared volcanic tuff, Studia Universitas Babes-Bolyai, Geologia, Sp Iss., MAEGS-16, 2009, 157-160

Leggo P.J., Ledesert B., Christie G., The role of clinoptilolite in organo-zeolitic-soil systems used for phytoremediation, Science of the Total Environmental, 2006, 363, p 1-10

Rauta C., Carstea. S., Prevenirea si combaterea poluarii solului (Soil Pollution Control), Editura Ceres, Bucuresti, Romania, 1983, 283 p.

Mâşu S., Andres L., Rus V., Bogatu C., Botău D., Cochei D., Demetrovici L., Demetrovici L., Chira D., Procedeu de obţinere a unor materiale suportate de tip Tuf- Aln, Brevet de invenţie 122630 B1 Oficiul de Stat pentru Invenţii şi Mărci, Bucureşti, 2009, 1-5.