Increasing NH4+ retention efficiency of sandy soils by adding a modified kaolin material: Mesolite

Zwingmann, Naoko, Singh, Balbir, Mackinnon, Ian D.R., & Gilkes, Robert J. (2004) Increasing NH4+ retention efficiency of sandy soils by adding a modified kaolin material: Mesolite. In Singh, Balwant (Ed.) Supersoil 2004: Program and Abstracts for the 3rd Australian New Zealand Soils Conference, The Regional Institute Ltd, University of Sydney, Australia, pp. 1693-1694.

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Abstract

Water and ammonium retention by sandy soils may be low and result in leaching of applied fertiliser. To increase water and nutrient retention, zeolite is sometimes applied as a soil ameliorant for high value land uses including turf and horticulture.

We have used a new modified kaolin material (MesoLite) as a soil amendment to test the efficiency of NH4+ retention and compared the results with natural zeolite. MesoLite is made by caustic reaction of kaolin at temperature between 80-95°C; although it has a moderate surface area, its cation exchange capacity is very high;(SA=13m2/g,CEC=500meq/100g).

A 13cm tall sand column filled with ~450g of sandy soil homogeneously mixed with 1, 2, 4, and 8g of MesoLite or natural zeolite per 1kg of soil was prepared. After saturation with local bore water, concentrated ammonium sulfate solution was injected at the base. Then, bore water was passed from bottom to top through the column at amounts up to 6 pore volumes and at a constant flow rate of 10ml/min using a peristaltic pump. Concentrations of leached NH4+ were determined using an AutoAnalyser.

The concentration of NH4+ leached from the column with 0.4% MesoLite was greatly (90%) reduced relative to unamended soil. Under these conditions NH4+ retention by the soil-MesoLite mixture was 11.5 times more efficient than the equivalent soil-natural zeolite mixture.

Glasshouse experiments conducted in a separate study show that NH4+ adsorbed by MesoLite is available to plants.

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ID Code: 59931
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: sandy soil, nutrient retention, ammonium selective zeolite, column experiments
ISBN: 1920842276
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000) > CROP AND PASTURE PRODUCTION (070300) > Crop and Pasture Nutrition (070306)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000) > OTHER AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (079900) > Fertilisers and Agrochemicals (Application etc.) (079902)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Deposited On: 12 Aug 2013 01:15
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2013 00:16

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