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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 17 No. 2, p. 103-106
    Received: Dec 3, 1952

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Removal of Coatings from Soil Particles for Petrographic Analysis1

  1. Roy P. Matelski2



Detergents and builders have been used successfully to remove the organic and inorganic coatings from soil particles prior to petrographic analysis. Essentially, the procedure consists of triturating the soil sample in a liter beaker with a cationic detergent, dilution and decantation of the clay and fine silt, followed by several triturations with an anionic detergent and builders, dilution and decantation of the clay and fine silt.

Soils representative of the Prairie, Chernozem, Chestnut, Reddish Chestnut, Gray-Brown Podzolic, Podzol, Red-Yellow Podzolic, Planosol, Grumusol, Humic Glei and Ground-Water Podzol were investigated. All coarse silt and sand particles after treatment were free of organic matter, iron oxide and other coatings. No hydrogen peroxide was needed to remove the organic matter from the soil.

The effect of the reagents of this and of Jeffries' nascent hydrogen procedure on apatite, hornblende and albite are shown on photomicrographs. Considerably less breakdown of the minerals is evident with the proposed method. In general, the suggested new procedure is more rapid, simple and less destructive than the currently used soil cleaning methods.

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