Plant growth in two acidic soils amended with wallboard waste
Crouch, William Brandon
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Fiberglass-faced wallboard consisting of gypsum, fiberglass, and urea formaldehyde is used in construction to form finish walls. Waste and cut-off gypsum based wallboard constitute 1.5 million Mg of construction waste per year and are readily amenable to on-site grinding in preparation for soil amendment. The objective of the study was to determine if fiberglass wallboard had any deleterious effect on growth or composition of agronomic crops. Application of three types of wallboard was made at three rates (11.2, 22.4, and 44.8 Mg/ha) to two soils (Cecil and Tifton) planted with two plants (wheat and sorghum) in a greenhouse evaluation. The biomass of both plants was unaffected by wallboard application, while soil pH and calcium concentration increased. Wheat tissue decreased in Mn, As, Ba and increased in Mo. Sorghum tissue decreased in K, Mg, Ba, and As. The application of fiberglass-faced wallboard was judged to have no negative effects under these conditions.