The usability of Isparta-Keçiborlu sulphur mine flotation wastes in the
reclamation of highly calcareous sodic soils
This study was carried out on the usability of sulphur mine flotation
wastes (SMFW) in the reclamation of calcareous sodic soils. SMFW are
formed during the mineral ore beneficiation process and are stored in
ponds built around the plant. However, from time to time, there are
complaints that SMFW overflows from ponds and damages the environment.
SMFW is very acidic (pH =1.0) and, according to chemical tests, it
contains free sulphur, iron, and calcium sulphate. Due to these features
of SMFW, it is thought that it can be used in calcareous sodic soil
rehabilitation and also contribute to the solution of the waste
management problem. For this purpose, the field trial was carried out
for three years. The soil improvement tests were carried out in random
blocks with 3 replicates, and 0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 tons of SMFW per
hectare have been used. SMFW raised the infiltration rate of soil by
nearly double. At the same time, the effect of SMFW on sodium leaching
was very rapid, and exchangeable sodium was removed from the upper layer
with 30 cm of leaching water. In conclusion, SMFW improved the physical
properties of sodic soils and established low-cost soil reclamation.
SMFW doses of 30, 60, 90, and 120 tons per hectare provided exchangeable
sodium leach equivalent to 32, 58, 59, and 86 tons of pure gypsum,
respectively, and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) decreased
significantly, particularly in the topsoil layer. These results showed
that SMFW can be used in the reclamation of calcareous sodic soils.