Liming reaction

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Compounds are electrically neutral, e.g. salt (NaCl) and potassium sulphate (K2SO4), but when dissolved in water they breakdown (dissociate) into charged elements or molecules which have a positive or negative charge, e.g. Na+ & Cl-, and 2K+ & SO42- The positively charged ions are called cations those with a negative charge are anions.

An important feature of soils is that the mineral particles and organic matter that constitute soil have negative charges especially on the edges of clay particles .

To maintain electrical neutrality positive ions (cations) “sit on” negative charges, and this is what holds cations like potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+) in soil.

The total amount of negative charges is called the “cation exchange capacity” (CEC) because the cations held by these negative charges can be readily exchanged with other cations depending on the relative concentrations in the soil solution Ameliorating acid soils involves reversing the acidification process, i.e. calcium (Ca2+) and/or magnesium (Mg2+) ions have to be “put back” on the negative sites on the CEC and H+ removed.

This is done by supplying an excess of calcium and/or magnesium together with an anion which can associate with the H+ and be lost in drainage water Calcium and magnesium are usually applied in the cheapest available forms and when using the carbonate an excess is added because both calcium and magnesium carbonates are only sparingly soluble in water and a large quantity well mixed throughout the topsoil ensures that there is sufficient to saturate the soil solution with Ca2+ and Mg2+. The CO3 will dissolve in the soil solution forming the bicarbonate ion, HCO3- a balancing anion for the H+.

Why Measure PH

Why Measure PH

pH is a scale that chemists use to measure acidity. Values < 7 are considered acidic Read More...

pH is a scale that chemists use to measure acidity. Values < 7 are considered acidic, values > 7 are alkaline and 7 is neutral. Most plants can tolerate a wide pH range in solution culture, but they cannot tolerate a wide range of acidity in the soil... Read More...

 

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Tattva Hical stood first in a competition held by Unconvention, a Villgro initiative, at Ahmedabad on 26th March'2016. THC's project of 'Granulated liming products' was recognized as an initiative with high social impact.

 

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