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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

The Use of Ferrosul, a Steel Industry Byproduct, as a Soil Amendment1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 27 No. 1, p. 51-53
    Received: Apr 12, 1962
    Accepted: July 5, 1962

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  1. J. L. Stroehlein and
  2. K. C. Berger2



The disposal of spent pickle liquor (largely spent sulfuric acid and sulfate of iron) has long been a problem of the steel industry. Ferrosul, a neutralized and precipitated pickling material, was applied to field plots at rates of 200,000 and 400,000 pounds per acre. Corn was grown with and without starter phosphorus fertilizer treatments to determine if phosphorus was fixed by the iron in Ferrosul. The ferrosul and phosphorus treatments had little effect on corn grain yield when compared to check plots.

Corn and alfalfa were grown in the greenhouse on Plainfield sand and Miami silt loam soils treated with 1, 10, 20, and 40% Ferrosul on the weight basis, as well as an untreated check. It was found that corn yields were best on the 1% treatment with the Plainfield sand as a result of a sulfur deficiency of the check. Corn yields were decreased at the 40% level with both soils. Alfalfa yields were generally best with the Ferrosul treatments. The highest total yield of eight harvests was with the 20 and 40% treatments with the Miami and Plainfield soils, respectively. Phosphorus fixation was not found to be a problem when additions of phosphorus fertilizer were made.

It is concluded that large amounts of Ferrosul can be applied to agricultural land without detrimental effects on crops and soils.

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