The Use of Cigarette Ash as an Alternative Fertilizer for Mongo Plant

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The Use Of Cigarette Ash As an Alternative Fertilizer For Mongo Plant

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Background of the Study
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Hypothesis
  • Scope and Delimitation
  • Review of related literature and studies
  • Cigarette ash
  • Fertilizer
  • Cigarette ash as a Fertilizer
  • Soils
  • Phosphorus
  • Nitrogen
  • Potassium
  • Mongo
  • Organic Fertilizers
  • Alternative Fertilizers
  • Methodology of the study
  • Preparation
  • Fertilizing Procedure
  • Data Gathering Technique
  • Data Gathering Procedure


“The key to a good garden is a good soil.” – Jackie Ritz. To grow a plant, the nutrients needed should be sustained for it to continuously live and also choosing the soil best for it. Some uses different ways to consistently make the plant become even bigger, taller, and better. To create a new way of producing more crops from plants, amendments become involved in the process. According to Space for Life (n.d.), substances that are added to the soil to improve its physical, chemical and biological properties are called amendments. These amendments are what we commonly known as “fertilizer”. Fertilizers become in demand in the agricultural industry due to the increasing demand for crops.

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There are a lot of factories that produce different types of fertilizers with the use of different ingredients regarding to plant growth. According to North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (2017), plants need primary nutrients which are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and a lesser extent of secondary nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. These are called macronutrients. Most people do not know that these nutrients can also be found on cigarettes.Cigarettes are made up of stripped or ground tobacco that was usually wrapped to a paper or another material which does not have tobacco. A cigarette smoker lights it up, smokes it down and throws away the stub. It becomes a routine, a mechanized order, and the smoker may conclude that anything as tiny as the butt of it can surely make no huge difference. Cigarette stubs, however, according to Ocean Conservancy (2018), 4.5 trillion of them are thrown away each year throughout the world. On that point, they make a big difference to the street, the soil and the environment, as well as increasing fire risk. The stub is the end part of the cigarette which usually measures 30% of its original length. It consists of ashes which is the residue remaining after the burning of cigarette tobacco. Cigarette ash contains potassium nitrate and other substances combined to the tobacco in a cigarette which makes it somehow unique among the plant ashes. This results to the typical combination of two different refractive indices on inorganic derivatives and charred leaf residues in the ash.

Moreover, the cigarette ash helps the plants because most soil does not provide the essential nutrients required for optimum growth. Even though people are lucky enough to start with great garden soil, as plants grow, they absorb nutrients and leave the soil less fertile.

On the other hand, plants without fertilizer tend to lose its capability for optimum growth due to the soil which cannot provide the essential nutrients it needed. Although a garden has the suitable soil to provide the nutrients for a plant needs, it will lessen its fertility it grows due to absorption of essential nutrients. By using fertilizer, lost nutrients will be replenished and food from plants will flourish. This study, therefore be conduct in order to develop a new technique, cigarette ash as an alternative fertilizer for mongo plant as well as other plants so as to increase crop yield, improves poor quality land and makes it grow faster.

Background of the Study

Human population has been increasing every year as well as the demand for food especially in the Philippines. The demand for rice increases as well as its price due to the importation of the foreign rice in the country. Mung bean is one of the most favorable foods that Filipinos usually eat. Foods that people eat are usually from plants wherein the use of fertilizers is highly necessary. Fertilizers that really help in production of food are increasing in demand which also adds up to its cost. This has led to the use of alternative fertilizer such as the cigarette ash.

After smoking, cigarette stubs are just thrown away and disposed improperly. Most people do not have the idea of the other purposes of these tiny left sticks of cigarettes. The cigarette ash can be used as an alternative fertilizer which can help in improving the physical, chemical, biological properties of the soil. This cigarette ash can help in increasing the crops number and can make the plants grow even. Although there are differences in vegetation and the amounts and types of nutrients that a specific plant obtains from the soil and water, there are three important ingredients plants require that are obtained from the soil: Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. With this, the researchers have decided to conduct a study regarding to the alternative fertilizer, the cigarette ash; and without the fertilizer in their effectiveness to improve the growth of the mongo plant.

Theoretical Framework

One of the non-renewable reserves that has high frequency of pollutants and very low rate of replenishment in this environment is the soil. The required usage of chemical fertilizers to have optimum crop leaf area in minimum time scale that have devastating impacts on biological, physical and chemical properties of the soil are due to the massive food requirements that have been evolved. Organic farming is an ultimate solution for the soil management.

Conceptual Framework

The figure above shows the factors that are needed for the growth and development of Vigna radiata (mongo). The cigarette ash, as a great source of macronutrients, such as, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, will be used as a fertilizer for Vigna radiata (mongo). The fertilizer’s role is to boost the growth rate and development of Vigna radiata (mongo) because the soil cannot provide the adequate amount of most essential nutrients required by plant. Also, it should contain large amounts of primary macronutrients for the basic building blocks of the plant.

Statement of the Problem

The study discussed the Efficacy of cigarette ash as an alternative fertilizer for Vigna radiata plant. This study would like to generally tackle the issue about the development of a new technology that will be offered to the citizens in order to deliver a satisfaction in growing plants in an effective way. Specifically, it attempts to answer the following problems:

  1. Is there a significant difference on growth of Vigna radiata (mongo) without fertilizer and with cigarette ash fertilizer?
  2. Which is more effective, cigarette ash fertilizer or without fertilizer?


Based on the research questions identified, the proponents formulated the following hypothesis:

Ho: Cigarette ash is not an effective fertilizer for providing nutrients for the soil and enhancing growth of the plants. There is no difference in the speed of plant growth when plants are grown with or without fertilizer.

Ha: Cigarette ash is an effective fertilizer for providing nutrients for the soil and enhancing growth of the plants. Plants grow more quickly when fertilizer is used than when it’s not used.

Significance of the Study

The Findings which this study will reveal may benefit certain groups and the benefits they may be able to gain are as follows:

  1. Community. Involves of farmers, agriculturists, home crop growers, the consumers of the produce and for the typical local citizens in cities and province. Cigarette ash as a fertilizer is cheap and can be used to grow plants easier than without fertilizer. Plant production will cost less and more convenient to produce.
  2. Environmental Field. Cigarette ash can almost be found everywhere. Recycling cigarette ash can help to lessen the waste to be collected.
  3. Future Researchers. The study can serve as a reference for future studies and take into account any revisions.

Scope and Delimitation

The study will focus on the application of cigarette ash as the alternative fertilizer that will be collected from different places with a large amount of cigarette stubs can be found. Wet cigarette stubs will be disregarded due to its quality. The study will only be focusing on the assessment of the growth and development of the Vigna radiata (mongo) plant which can also be found in the Philippines. The study will discuss the growth and development of Vigna radiata (mongo) plant on cigarette ash as an alternative fertilizer in terms of the following: time and length of sprout, leaves, stem, and fruit production only. The data analysis of the study will be focusing on the efficacy of cigarette ash as an alternative fertilizer. The study will not discuss the evaluation of the soil used since Vigna radiata (mongo) plant is said to grow in all types of soil but grows best in a sandy loam or clay loam soils with good drainage, high organic matter and pH ranging from 6.3 to 7.2 which will be used in the study. The researchers will not use any other soil, plant and chemical fertilizer other than indicated above.

Review of related literature and studies

Cigarette ash

Cigarette ash is the residue remaining after the burning of cigarette tobacco. Cigarette ash is a bit unique among the plant ashes because of the potassium nitrate and other substances added to the tobacco in a cigarette. The result is that the ash is associated with a significant amount of highly birefringent small crystals. Often the amount of charred plant matter is quite small compared to the associated mass of small highly birefringent crystals.


Fertilizers boost the growth rate of the plants since the soil itself cannot provide adequate amount of nutrients the plants need. The organic fertilizers are from naturally occurring mineral deposits and organic materials, e.g. bones, animal manure, or plant meal. The chemically processed raw materials produce synthetic fertilizers. Fertilizer are manmade that may appear in many forms, such as liquid or granular. Conventional fertilizer is still use over other methods because it is less expensive and fast acting. Overuse of fertilizer may harm the environment, may burn the plants and increase the risk of exposure to pests and diseases. Fertilizer to be use depends on what plant will be growing and what type of methods are to be use. It may not make the plants grow but they provide additional nutrients for boosting the plants when needed.

According to an article entitled “What is fertilizer and why do plants need it?” (2000), most packaged fertilizers contain the primary macronutrients, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Sulphur, Calcium, and Magnesium are secondary nutrients and Boron, Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, and Zinc are the micronutrients. The most important and needed in large quantities are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium because they are necessary for the basic building blocks of plants. If any macronutrient is missing, it may limit the growth rate of the plant.

Cigarette ash as a Fertilizer

Ash from cigarettes can be used for some cleaning jobs, as well as other household tasks. Many smokers give the ashes of cigarettes in the potting soil, emphasizing that this is a good fertilizer. Pure wood ash contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium and other minerals. The ash of the cigarette also comprises calcium, manganese and silicon. These materials are useful for plants. Claiming the poison would burn and is not present in the ash. The smoke and ashes of cigarettes contain over 12,000 different substances. Among other things, hydrogen cyanide, butadiene, benzene, formaldehyde and acetone are included.


Soils also play a critical role in the health of natural lands including forests, wetlands, grasslands, watersheds, and species habitats throughout the state. Healthy soils can also play a key role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, through carbon sequestration. Soils are threatened by nutrient depletion, salination, wind and water erosion, subsidence, and loss of organic matter and biodiversity, resulting from overuse, chemical soil contamination, and conversion to urban uses. This can result in significant soil loss, and a reduction or elimination of soil productivity for agricultural, silvicultural, or ecological purposes.


Phosphorus is essential to plant’s development and wellness. It contributes to the conversion of sun’s energy and other chemicals, like nitrogen, into food for plants. It should be mixed with water so that the plants will be able to absorb phosphorus from the soil. It is one of the major players in the process of photosynthesis and transport of nutrients and energy. It is also a contributor to the cellular structure of plants. Proper amount of phosphorus will make the plant to grow more vigorously. It will also establish a stable root system. Also, it will make the plant mature earlier than the plants with insufficient phosphorus. A plant that lacks supply of phosphorus exhibits stunned growth, lack of fruits or flowers, and wilting.


Nitrogen is also one of the most essential macronutrients required by the plants because it aids in cellular respiration, chlorophyll synthesis, and plant growth. It also helps the plants to grow their leaves. But excessive use of nitrogen may hasten the plant growth on some plants. In some cases, it may lead to poor fruit or seed production. A plant cannot make the proteins, amino acids and even its very DNA without the nitrogen. Deficiency of nitrogen on the soil tends to make plants slow to grow. They simply cannot make their own cells. In order for plants to use the nitrogen in the air, it must be converted in some way to nitrogen in the soil. This can happen through nitrogen fixation, or nitrogen can be “recycled” by composting plants and manure.


Potassium is a common mineral in the soil and it is also an essential element for plant growth like nitrogen. It also acts as a balancer for the fertilizer. It is called as the regulator of plants because it helps them use water and resist drought. It also enhances the size of fruits and vegetables. Inadequate amount of potassium may lead to stunned growth, poor flower development, vulnerability to disease and heat stress, and low quality of fruit and vegetable harvest. Potassium in chemical fertilizers readily dissolves in water and can be consumed easily by the roots. It controls the stomata, the plant cells that are responsible for the use of water. It aids in the enzymes promoting plant life. The plants cannot cycle the nutrients to the roots, leaves, and fruits without potassium.


According to Philippine Statistical Authority, In January to March 2018, production of mung bean reached 7.93 thousand metric tons which was 7.7 percent higher than the 7.37 thousand metric tons level in the same quarter of 2017. The growth in production could be attributed to increased area planted in Central Luzon (Tarlac) due to seeds distribution program of the Department of Agriculture through the Local Government Units (DA-LGUs). Also, the improvement of production this year could be due to the utilization of rainfed palay areas in Western Visayas (Antique). Ilocos Region, the biggest producer, contributed 3.03 thousand metric tons, or 38.2 percent of the country’s total mung bean production this quarter. The other major producers were Western Visayas with 20.4 percent share and Central Luzon, 15.4 percent. Mung bean is a legume cultivated for its edible seeds and sprouts across Asia. It is the cheapest source of vegetable protein with protein content of 20-25 percent, rich in vitamins, calcium and sodium, which are usually deficient in most bean diets. It is an excellent crop for green manuring, because it matures early, grows fast and produces abundant vegetative tops.

Mung beans are mainly utilized for human food: infant supplements, snacks, desserts and viands. It is a basic ingredient in popular food items like hopia, butse-butse, sotanghon and halo-halo. It is cooked with meat or shrimps or served as vegetable dish. It is the basic material in the preparation of piyaya, an ilonggo delicacy. Its sprouts in meal dishes are very popular not only in the Philippines but also in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. It is also a relovent, carminative and antipoisoning agent. Mung bean is drought-tolerant and requires a warm climate during its growing period. The prevailing temperature and humidity in the region is suited for optimum yields.

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers comprise a variety of plant-derived materials that range from fresh or dried plant material to animal manures and litters to agricultural by-products. The nutrient content of organic fertilizers varies greatly among source materials, and readily biodegradable materials make better nutrient sources. Nitrogen and phosphorus content is lower, often substantially lower, in organic fertilizers compared to chemical fertilizers. Moisture content is another factor that reduces or dilutes the nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations of organic fertilizers.

Alternative Fertilizers

Organic residues have the advantage over standard NPK fertilizers of adding other nutrients such as Ca, Mg, and micronutrients. They also assist in maintaining soil organic matter. Large soil organic matter content is favorable for cocoa production. A number of organic fertilizers are used in cocoa. Commonly mentioned is the scattering of pod husks and residues in the fields. Especially in areas prone to black pod disease, husks should be burned or composted prior to field application. Adejobi et al. (2014) obtained good responses in leaf nutrient content and growth measurements of cocoa seedlings after applying cocoa husk ash. Leaf content of P and K increased the most, probably due to the high content of these nutrients in the ash. However, N is lost by volatilization during burning. Agbeniyi et al. (2011) found cocoa pod husk to increase yields and profitability of cocoa production in Nigeria.

Methodology of the study

For this study, the research used quantitative approach. The quantitative research method permits specification of dependent and independent variables and allows for longitudinal measures of subsequent performance of the research subject. Quantitative method is compatible with the study because it allows the research problem to be conducted in a very specific and set terms. Moreover, quantitative research plainly and distinctively specifies both the independent and the dependent variables under investigation. It also follows resolutely the original set of research goals, arriving at more objective conclusions, testing hypothesis, determining the issues of causality and eliminates or minimizes subjectivity of judgment. Furthermore, this method allows for longitudinal measures of subsequent performance of research subjects.

The research study will be following the experimental design wherein a procedure carried out is to support, refute, or validate a hypothesis. The data will be obtained from a test wherein the changes within a variable will be observed. It is a study where independent variables (with the Cigarette Ash Fertilizer and without) will be manipulated then the dependent variable (Mongo) will be controlled.

Cigarette butts will be collected within certain places in Carmona (Brgy.1, Cabilang Baybay, Milagrosa and Lantic) and Biñan (Brgy. Sto. Tomas and Langkiwa) and the cigarette ash from it will serve as the main material of the study. The appropriate soil will be collected from a farm in Lantic and the Mongo seeds will be bought.


The preparation starts in collecting the cigarettes. The number of cigarette butt needed to be collected ranges from 300 to 500 pieces to make sure that the cigarette ash to be collected will be 75g or more. The paper wrapped on a cigarette will be removed leaving the cigarette ash or the dust from it. Separating the cigarette to the filter then drying the cigarette ash obtained from it. The cigarette ash will be refined. The soil will be put on to two regular-size pot which with or without the cigarette ash fertilizer. The mongo seeds will be bought to a supermarket. All the materials needed to start the process are needed to be completed to do the study effectively.

Fertilizing Procedure

In using cigarette ashes as a soil fertilizer, apply 2.5 g of cigarette ashes on a pot of soil, tilling them thoroughly into the soil. The ashes help break down the organic materials as they compost. Amend heavy clay soil by using cigarette ashes because they break up the soil and help it retain more air. Deter garden pests by using cigarette ashes. Sprinkled lightly throughout the pot, cigarette ashes also repel maggots, aphids, slugs, snails, and cutworms. Reapply the ashes after heavy rains. To keep ashes, apply them on a day that is not too windy. Otherwise they’re liable to blow away before they have a chance to settle into the soil.

Data Gathering Technique

After the process of preparing and fertilizing, the technique to be use is through observation. By observing the results of the growth of mung bean using cigarette ash as fertilizer and the comparison of it from the non-experimental group it can be determined its efficacy. Observation has important advantages which makes it best suited for certain kinds of studies.

Data Gathering Procedure

Two pots were used in the study. Mung bean will be planted on each pot. One trial will do for experimental group and non-experimental group, one pot for treatment A and also one pot for treatment B. Mung bean will be planted to each pot. Cigarette ash as alternative fertilizer will place in pot one and a natural planting for pot number two, then after few days observe what will be the results and record right after the observation.

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