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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Effect of EDTA on the Self-Diffusion of Zinc in Aqueous Solution and in Soil1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 66-70
    Received: Sept 2, 1968
    Accepted: Sept 15, 1969

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  1. S. M. Elgawhary,
  2. W. L. Lindsay and
  3. W. D. Kemper2



Self-diffusion coefficients for Zn and ZnEDTA (zinc ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) were determined in aqueous solution and in soil. Those in solution were estimated from diffusion measurements in agar-agar gel and were found to be 8.8 × 10-6 cm2 sec-1 for Zn and 6.8 × 10-6 cm2 sec-1 for ZnEDTA. The apparent diffusion coefficient of Zn in soil increased from 0.36 × 10-9 cm2 sec-1 to 3.0 × 10-9 cm2 sec-1 with addition of 1.53 × 10-8 mole of EDTA/g soil and to 9.0 × 10-9 cm2 sec-1 with addition of 1.53 × 10-8 mole of ZnEDTA/g soil. The true diffusion coefficient Dp of Zn in soil was fairly constant at different levels of EDTA, averaging 1.81 × 10-7 cm2 sec-1.

Addition of EDTA to soils increased the diffusion of Zn; this increase was explained by the transformation of the solid phase soil Zn into soluble ZnEDTA complexes, thereby increasing the concentration gradient of total diffusible Zn. Chelating agents were shown to play an important role in overcoming the rate-limiting steps of solution and diffusion which are largely responsible for the movement of micronutrient cations in soils.

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