Inorganic pH Dependent Cation Exchange Charge of Soils

V. V. Volk and M. L. Jackson
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Abstract: Sodium hydroxide titration curves were determined on H resin treated montmorillonite, untreated acid and neutral soils of different origins and on the same soils with an H resin treatment. The acid montmorillonite titration curve reveals four buffer ranges corresponding to hydronium ions (range I), monomeric trivalent aluminum ions Range II), and two pH dependent charge ranges. Untreated acid soils contained pH dependent buffer zones governed jointly by the organic fraction, the soil pH, the presence of monomeric trivalent aluminum, and the exchange blocking mechanisms of other cations. Following an H resin treatment, soils containing less than 2 per cent of organic matter exhibited a clearly defined third buffer range (Range III) from pH 5.5 to 7.6. The inflection points are masked in the pH dependent buffer range in soils containing more than 2 per cent organic matter. The presence of added aluminum increased the pH dependent charge in an acidified montmorillonite while added ferric iron slightly decreased it. The natural acid weathering processes in soils result in some blocking of pH dependent charge as in Dodge soil of Wisconsin (KCl pH 4.5). When greater acidity develops, a large pH dependent charge results, as in Coolville soil in Ohio (KCl pH 4.0), and the lime requirement of the soil thus increases greatly.

Clays and Clay Minerals; 1963 v. 12; no. 1; p. 281-295; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1963.0120130
© 1963, The Clay Minerals Society
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