Publication Details

Taglieri, P., Milham, P., Holford, P. & Morrison, R. John. (2020). A Methodology to Estimate Net Proton: Phosphorus Co-Adsorption Ratios for Acidic Soils. Advances in Chemical Research, 2 (2), 1-16.


Despite extensive research, the behaviour of the key nutrient element, phosphorus (P), in soil is not yet fully understood. This study focussed on the outstanding issue of the co-adsorption of protons (H+) and P by soils. We developed a congruent set of measures to determine the net H+:P co-adsorption ratio and tested it on goethite, for which a ratio of 1.6:1 had been estimated under CO2-free conditions for additions of NaH2PO4. Under our conditions, and using additions of KH2PO4, the net H+:P co-adsorption ratio was estimated to be 1.44:1, i.e., in passable agreement with the published value. Application of the protocol to acidic soils resulted in a net H+:P co-adsorption ratio of 1.92:1, and substitution of H3PO4 for KH2PO4 gave a ratio of 1.96:1. These ratios for soils differ significantly from that for goethite. The soils for which we estimated net H+:P co-adsorption ratios had a wide range of properties and two had received previous applications of P fertiliser (Ca(H2PO4)2), which does not appear to have affected the net H+:P co-adsorption ratios. The H+:P co-adsorption ratio method could benefit from refinement, and further study is required to explore how these findings may apply to commercial P fertilisers under field conditions.



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