Increased urbanization and industrialization worldwide has resulted in increased releases of solid waste, and enhanced environmental pollution around the globe. There are several categories of solid waste and these include sewage sludge, and municipal solid wastes (Singh et al. 2011). Fly Ash (FA), a coal combustion residue (CCR), is a major type of solid waste. The global dependence on coal as a major source of energy production, especially to produce electricity, has made FA a prime solid waste problem and a growing environmental pollutant. Proven global coal reserves have been estimated at 847 billion tons for the year 2007 (Sarkar et al. 2012). The USA has the largest share of global coal reserves (25.4 %), followed by Russia (15.9 %), China (11.6 %) and India (8.6 %) (Sarkar et al. 2012). Since India became independent in 1947, there has been a rapid increase in power generation, largely dominated by coal-based thermal generation constituting about 79 % of total production. Energy production has increased from a capacity of 1,362 MW in 1947 to 120,000 MW in 2005. The Indian government plans to increase installed capacity to 300,000 MW by 2017 (Kumar et al. 2005; Vaidya 2009). India, like the United States, Russia and China, possesses abundant coal reserves, and coal-fueled generation of electricity is the common national policy (Singh et al. 2012; Sarkar et al. 2012). © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
Singh, R. P., Sharma, B., Sarkar, A., Sengupta, C., Singh, P., & Ibrahim, M. H. (2014). Biological responses of agricultural soils to fly-ash amendment. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 232, 45–60. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-06746-9_2