Tests have proved Enefix soil treatment made of oil shale ash to have positive impact on the productivity of fields

The results of the tests for the soil treatment agent made of oil shale ash - Enefix - that lasted over a year were recently completed. Enefix was tested both on regular and organic fields. Tests have confirmed the positive impact of oil shale ash on extra yield and to the neutralization of the pH of the soil, and it’s suitability for organic farming.

“Although the positive impact of oil shale ash on extra yield and soil pH neutralization has previously been measured and surveyed quite a lot, there was the lack of a field trial carried out during recent years, which would have monitored the impact of fly ash on the harvest,” said the portfolio manager for fuels of Eesti Energia, Lauri Laanemäe . In order to register Enefix as an organic lime fertilizer, information obtained from real field trials is needed in addition to the description of the positive qualities of the lime fertilizer. “We have carried out tests in collaboration with Mahetootjate Nõu- ja Jõukoda (Estonian Organic Farmers Advisory Board), the results of which allow us to move on and register oil shale ash as a certified lime fertilizer for organic farming,” Laanemäe added.

Mahekoda started with field trials in November 2016, where special features of organic farming were taken into account when performing them and as many new approaches as possible were brought in to the testing methods. Margus Ess , the board member of Mahetootjate Nõu- ja Jõukoda, the organization uniting Estonian organic farmers, sees the perspective for Enefix made of oil shale ash as a soil treatment agent and its possibilities in organic farming. “Testing areas in various sizes were located in Lilastvere, Jõgeva County and Ulvi, Ida-Viru County. True hemp grew in the largest field in a fine area of cultivation in 2017. We followed the requirements for organic farming after spreading the oil shale ashes on a smaller field and otherwise didn’t do anything else with the field. Spring wheat and field peas grew on the smaller field in 2017 and we received 150–830 kg/ha as extra harvest. Tests showed that the natural origin of Enefix, very high mineral content and its alkaline composition neutralizing the acidity of the soil make the soil treatment agent a necessary and suitable product also for companies operating in organic farming,” said Margus Ess.

Eesti Energia offered three sorts of oil shale ash with the norms of 1, 2 and 3 t/ha for the farmers to test, and some special higher-limit variables as well. While Enefix and Enefix Pluss are already familiar products to farmers, then oil shale ash used in the third test is a new product, which should reach farmers this spring. It’s about ash from the new boilers of Eesti Energia, where the combustion temperature is lower. The new product has obtained good results in tests as well.

When producing electricity from oil shale, high calcium fly ash, which is safe to the environment and suitable for liming soils, is separated from the smoke. Oil shale ash has been used on Estonian fields since 1960s. Eesti Energia started the wholesale of the soil treatment agent made from oil shale ash under the brand name Enefix to agricultural and horticultural companies in 2016. This March the company sold the record amount of ash of the past five years – over 20 000 tons, of which 11 000 tons went to agriculture and the rest to the field of construction.

При производстве электроэнергии из сланца из дымовых газов выделяется летучая зола с высоким содержанием кальция, которая безопасна для окружающей среды и подходит для известкования почв. Сланцевая зола используется на полях Эстонии с 1960-х годов. Оптовую продажу удобрения из сланцевой золы под торговой маркой Enefix концерн Eesti Energia начал для предприятий сельского хозяйства и садоводства в 2016 году. В марте этого года предприятие продало рекордный объем золы за последние пять лет – более 20 000 тонн, из которых 11 000 тонн были отправлены в сферу сельского хозяйства, а остальной объем – в сектор строительства.

Wider utilization of oil shale helps to increase the value received from oil shale and use the by-products of energy production efficiently and environmentally friendly. Information about Enefix soil treatment can be found from the website