On the reversibility of phosphate sorption by soils

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Sorption of phosphate was induced by incubating phosphate with samples of two soils. Both desorption and further sorption of phosphate were then measured on separate subsamples of the incubated soils. The effects of varying the amount of phosphate incubated with the soil and of period of desorption, or of further sorption, were measured on one soil; the effect of period of incubation was measured on the other. Plots of desorbed phosphate versus concentration were continuous with plots of newly sorbed phosphate versus concentration. Neither of these coincided with the plots of the original additions of phosphate. These results were compatible with a model for the reaction between soil and phosphate in which phosphate is initially adsorbed and subsequently diffuses beneath the adsorbing surfaces. Sorption is reversible in the sense that a continuous curve of sorbed and desorbed phosphate is obtained when these are measured in opposite directions by increasing, or decreasing, the solution concentration of phosphate. However, because dynamic processes are involved, an earlier position of a plot of sorbed phosphate against concentration is not retraced when the concentration is changed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-758
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Soil Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1983


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