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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - Soil Chemistry

Kinetics of Phosphate Sorption to Polygalacturonate-coated Goethite


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 2, p. 541-549
    Received: July 28, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): christian.mikutta@tu-berlin.de
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  1. Christian Mikutta *,
  2. Friederike Lang and
  3. Martin Kaupenjohann
  1. Dep. of Soil Science, Institute of Ecology, Berlin Univ. of Technology, Salzufer 12, D-10587 Berlin, Germany


Biogenetic polysugars may affect the sorption characteristics of soil mineral particles in the rhizosphere. We hypothesized that polygalacturonate [PGA, (C6H7O6)n ] coatings on goethite reduce the diffusion of phosphate into the pores of the adsorbent. Goethite was preloaded with PGA (0–10 mg C g−1). The samples were characterized by N2 and CO2 adsorption, electrophoretic mobility measurements, and scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDX). The phosphate sorption kinetics was studied with batch experiments over 2 wk at pH 5 and an initial phosphate concentration of 250 μM Pore volume and specific surface area of the goethite samples declined after PGA addition. The PGA coatings reduced the ζ-potential of goethite from 42.3 to −39.6 mV at the highest C loading. With increasing PGA-C content and decreasing ζ-potential the amount of phosphate sorbed after 2 wk decreased linearly (P < 0.001). Sorption of phosphate to pure and PGA-coated goethite showed an initial fast sorption followed by a slow sorption reaction. At the smallest C loading (5.5 mg C g−1) the portion of phosphate retained by the slow reaction was smaller than for the treatment without any PGA, while at higher C loadings the fraction of slowly immobilized phosphate increased. Our results suggest that at low C-loadings PGA impaired the intraparticle diffusion of phosphate. In contrast, the slow step-by-step desorption of PGA (<52% within 2 wk) or the diffusion of phosphate through PGA coatings or both are rate limiting for the slow phosphate reaction at C loadings > 5.5 mg C g−1

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