Characterization of Wood Ash and Potential Applications

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Kilani, Maram
Abed Rabbo, Naheel
Mas’oud, Munya
Al-Wawi, Shurouq
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The main objective of our project is to study wood ash from local plants and to explore its beneficial use in different industries, including glass, ceramics, fertilizers, soap, and construction, and thus to reduce its health and environmental effects. Eight different ash samples were collected, sieved and dried. Then the solubility test in both cold and hot water was carried out, pH of the soluble part was determined. Also, the eight different samples were analyzed by flame photometry, spectro photometry and by titration methods to determine their contents of Mg, Ca, Na, K, P and Cl. Almonds ash, silica sand and sodium carbonate were used to produce glass. Almonds ash, silica sand and clay were used to produce ceramic. The soluble part from calcium hydroxide, olive ash and sodium hydroxide was mixed with olive oil to make soap. Citrus ash, limestone and clay were used to make cement. The soluble part of citrus ash was added to growing beans grains as fertilizer. It is found that the solubility of the ash differs from one sample to another depending on the wood type and origin. The pH measurement showed that the wood ash is highly alkaline. For glass preparation, almonds ash has not provided enough sodium for vitrification. So, a supplementary source of sodium was used. Also, the glass color varied according to the sources of silica sand and ash. For ceramic production, it is found that by increasing the amount of ash up to 20 wt. % in the clay paste, the strength increased and the material becomes lighter. For soap production, olive ash has not provided enough soda needed. Therefore, the caustic soda was added with ash to saponify the oil. For cement production, by increasing the amount of ash the cement particles become larger and the strength of cement is increased. When ash is used as fertilizer, the plants grow faster, especially when using the total ash instead of the soluble part alone. The growth is fastest when high potassium ash is used. Chemical analyses show that composition differs from one ash source to another. Some ash is rich in potassium such as almonds-olive ashes, some in calcium and magnesium as olive cake ashes, and some others in chlorine like olive-olive cake ashes. Chemical composition defines what application ash is suitable for. For example, high K content makes ash suitable for use as fertilizer and in liquid soap, whereas high Na makes it suitable for hard soap and glass making.