Dassanayake KB, Jayasinghe GY, Surapaneni A, Hetherington C. A review on alum sludge reuse with special reference to agricultural applications and future challenges. Waste Management (New York, N.Y.) 2015 Feb 2
Alum salts are commonly used in the water industry to promote coagulation in the production of clean drinking water, which results in the generation and accumulation of ‘waste’ by-product ‘alum sludge’ in large volumes. Effective and efficient management of alum sludge in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner remains a significant social and environmental concern with ever increasing demand for potable water as a result of rapidly escalating world population and urban expansion. Various intensive practices have been employed to reuse the alum sludge in an attempt to figure out how to fill the gap between successful drinking water treatment process and environmentally friendly alum sludge management for over the years. This paper primarily aimed at comprehensive review of the existing literature on alum sludge characteristics, its environmental concerns and their potential utilization, especially in agricultural and horticultural sectors leading to update our recent state of knowledge and formulate a compendium of present and past developments. Different types of alum sludge utilizations in various fields were recognized and examined. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and potential risks of alum sludge reuse options with particular reference to agriculture were highlighted and knowledge gaps were identified. Research priorities and future challenges that will support in the development of effective alum sludge management practices in agriculture with multi-prong strategies were discussed.