Impact of long-term application of blast furnace and steel slags as liming materials on soil fertility, crop yields and plant health


The aim of this RFCS project is to improve the ecological and economic aspects using iron and steel slag fertilisers in agriculture. Furthermore the results will be advantageous also for other slag applications, presenting the environmental compatibility of slags, at all. After having finished the research, it is expected to have a comprehensive knowledge on the sustainable behaviour of chrome and vanadium in and from iron and steel slags.
The project objectives and aims correspond to the programme objectives described in Steel 3 “Conservation of resources and improvement of working conditions”.

Mainly the following objectives should be investigated:

  • Influence of long-term liming with iron and steel slags including the higher chrome and vanadium contents on soil fertility and on soil structure.
  • Determination of chemical or physical bonds of chromium and vanadium and their alteration in soils accumulated by long-term liming with steel slags compared to soils with high chromium and vanadium contents of natural geological origin.
  • Effects of regular long-term liming with iron and steel slags on Cr and V immobilisation in the soil with special regard on Cr and V bonds.
  • Uptake of chrome and vanadium by plants into sprouts and roots with special regards on potatoes, tomatoes and winter wheat.
  • Effects of the silicon content in slags on plant health; effects of silicon in plants on resistance agains disease attacks.
  • Effects of liming of acid soils on structure, heavy metal immobilisation, especially planting potatoes, that react on liming, formation of typical potato plant disease, especially scab.
  • Effects of high Cr and V content in P rich soil on yields of crops and influence on soil microbiology, under
  • consideration of the Cd balance.
  • Effects of steel slag on soil, crops growth and leaching of metals combined with the use of salin irrigation water in non-acid soils.
  • Effects of conservation liming of forest soils with converter and ladle slag on chemical, physical and biological soil properties and on the vegetation (growth, biodiversity, yield).
  • Behaviour of Cr and V on acidic forest soils.
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