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Reclamation of Coal Mine Spoil Dump through Fly Ash and Biological Amendments

N. K. Srivastava, L. C. Ram


The generation of huge quantities of mine spoil, consisting shale, coaly matter, stones, etc. in the ratio from open cast coal mining, is a serious environmental concern. Similar is the problem with the generation of gargantuan quantity of fly ash from 85 thermal power plants (TPPs) in our country. As such the development of an eco-friendly technology for reclamation of mine spoil through fly ash amendment is indeed much more desirable. Fly ash being alkaline and endowed with an excellent pozzolanic nature, silt loam texture, and plant nutrients, has the potential of its application (preferably with better performance in combination with biological amendments), to improve the texture, fertility and crop productivity of the mine spoil. In situ bio-reclamation of mine spoils at Eastern Jharia Area (BCCL), Dhanbad was made through the selective plantation using fly ash and biological amendments. The mine spoil has significantly improved in terms of physicochemical/biological properties together with 80% survival rate of the planted species. The planted species have shown quite high photosynthetic rate, soil conserving efficiency, considerably reduced SPM, and gaseous pollutants to the tune of 15 to 30% as compared to the bare site. As such selective plantation using fly ash and biological amendments has successfully reclaimed mine spoil together with thick foliage cover, reduction in surface runoff, and mitigation of atmospheric pollutants.


Coal mining, mine spoil, reclamation, photosynthesis, leaf area, soil conservation modeling.

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