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Interaction of phosphorus species with aluminium species in soils - new evidence from nuclear magnetic resonance

Funding or Partner Organisation: NSW Agriculture (NSW Agriculture Partner Funds)
Australian Research Council (ARC SPIRT (Strategic Partnerships with Industry Re)

Start year: 1999

Summary: Phosphorus is the most important nutrient element after nitrogen limiting agricultural production in Australia. As phosphate or its conjugate acids, it combines in soils with a number of soil components. The mechanism by which this occurs and the structure of the products are unknown. Of particular concern to the NSW Department of Agriculture is that part of the phosphate which is irreversibly bound because this is no longer available to plants. In this work NMR techniques will be used to study the nature of irreversibly bound species and their behavior explored. From the results methods of reducing irreversibly bound phosphate will be proposed and laboratory studies completed prior to field tests. The original project was to determine the nature of how phosphorus is bound in soils when not available to plants. The objectives were to explore inorganic systems particularly calcium phosphates and understand the effects of organic matter in those systems in performance of the soil ecosystems. It was envisaged the project would develop new isotopic analysis methodologies. If time, field studies would be carried out.


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Alvarez, R, Evans, LA, Milham, PJ & Wilson, MA 2004, 'Effects of humic material on the precipitation of calcium phosphate', Geoderma, vol. 118, pp. 245-260.
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Alvarez, R, Evans, LA, Milham, PJ & Wilson, M 2000, 'Analysis of Oxygen-18 in Orthophosphate by Electrospray Ionisation Mass Spectrometry', International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, vol. 203, no. 0, pp. 177-186.

FOR Codes: Soil Chemistry, Chemical sciences, Agricultural sciences, Groundwater