Rising price and limited geographical availability of traditional sources of potassium (K) fertilizers have stimulated a search for alternative K sources in different parts of the world. We evaluated mineral transformations and agronomic properties of an alternative source of K produced through thermal and chemical treatment of the verdete rock (VR). Chemical and mineralogical characteristics were evaluated before and after each treatment. Four K sources (verdete rock, KCl, acidified verdete, and calcinated verdete) were applied to a Typic Hapludox at different rates. Eucalyptus and sequentially cropped maize and grass were grown in the treated soils. Verdete rock, which contained glauconite and microcline as K crystalline minerals, had very low solubility in water and in citric acid. Thermal and chemical treatments increased the concentration of water soluble K and citric acid soluble K. These treatments also caused crystalline K minerals to collapse and form sylvite and arcanite. Untreated verdete rock was not suitable as a K source for maize (Zea mays L.) and eucalyptus (Eucaliptus urograndis I144). Thermal and chemical treatments increased agronomic performance of VR to be similar to KCl. When K was applied as K‐calcined verdete, 82% of the total K was recovered in maize and grass cultivations. Less K was recovered in plant following addition of K‐acidified verdete and KCl (72% and 77%, respectively). Potassium recoveries by eucalyptus were about 52, 53, and 60% of the amount applied of calcined verdete, acidified verdete, and KCl, respectively. Both calcination and thermal treatment increased the K uptake and dry matter production for all plant species tested to be similar to KCl suggesting that this silicate rock could be beneficiated to be an effective K fertilizer.
The development of efficient fertilizers with a diminished environmental footprint will help meet the increasing demand for food and nutrients by a growing global population. Our objective was to evaluate whether an acidic mine waste (AMW) could be used beneficially by reacting it with sparingly soluble phosphate rocks (PRs) to produce more soluble P fertilizer materials. Three PRs from Brazil and Peru were reacted with different concentrations of AMW. Changes in mineralogy and P species were determined using a combination of X-ray diffraction and phosphorus K-edge XANES spectroscopy, in addition to extractable P concentrations. Increasing the AMW concentration typically increased extractable P. X-ray diffraction data showed transformation of apatite to other species when PRs were reacted with AMW at ≥50% (v/v) in water, with gypsum or anhydrite forming at AMW concentrations as low as 12.5%. Linear combination fitting analysis of X-ray absorption near edge structure spectra also indicated a progressive transformation of apatite to noncrystalline Fe(III)-phosphate and more soluble Ca-phosphates with increasing AMW concentration. Because this AMW is costly to dispose of, reacting it with PR to produce a higher-grade phosphate fertilizer material could decrease the environmental impacts of the AMW and diminish the consumption of pure acids in conventional P fertilizer production.
RESUMOPotassium is a nutrient found at low levels in Brazilian soils, requiring large inputs of fertilizers to achieve satisfactory crop yields. Brazil has high external dependence and limited reserves of soluble K mineral, which is traditionally exploited for the production of fertilizers. On the other hand, it is common the occurrence in the country of potassium-rich silicate minerals which are not commercially exploited. This study aimed to characterize mineralogically and chemically samples of verdete rock separated into size fractions and evaluate its potential as potassium fertilizer. The mineral composition of verdete rock is based on glauconite, quartz and feldspar. The total K 2 O content in verdete rock ranged from 5.18 to 9.0 dag/kg. The K content extracted in water or 2% citric acid was 2.4% below the total of K, indicating low reactivity of verdete rock and limitations for direct use as K source. The processes of physical fractionation and sedimentation in water are inefficient to promote the concentration of K in the different verdete rock fractions. The total K content in some samples are considerable and may enable the use of this rock as raw material for production of more reactive potassium fertilizers.
Caracterização do verdete como fonte potencial de potássioO K é um nutriente encontrado em baixos teores em solos brasileiros, sendo necessário grande aporte via fertilização para alcançar produtividades satisfatórias das culturas. O Brasil apresenta elevada dependência externa e possui limitadas reservas de minerais solúveis de K, tradicionalmente explorados para a produção de fertilizantes. Por outro lado, é comum a ocorrência no país de minerais silicatados ricos em K não explorados comercialmente. Neste trabalho, objetivou-se caracterizar mineralógica e quimicamente amostras de verdete, separadas em frações granulométricas e avaliar seu potencial de uso com fertilizante potássico.A composição mineral do verdete é à base de glauconita, quartzo e feldspatos. Os teores totais de K 2 O no verdete variaram de 5,18 a 9,0 dag/kg. O teor de K extraído em água ou em ácido cítrico a 2% foi inferior a 2,4% do K total, indicando baixa reatividade do verdete e limitações para seu uso direto como fonte de K. O fracionamento físico e a sedimentação em água são processos ineficientes para promover a concentração de K nas diferentes frações do verdete. Os teores totais de K em algumas amostras de verdete são consideráveis, podendo viabilizar o uso desta rocha como matéria prima para produção de fertilizantes potássicos mais reativos.Palavras-chave: glauconita, K, fertilizante.
The production of fertilizers with industrial wastes reduces the environmental impacts of waste disposal and improves environmental sustainability by generating added-value products. Our objective with this study was to evaluate the agronomic performance and potential soil/plant contamination with heavy metals of alternative phosphate (P) fertilizers, obtained from the acidulation of phosphate rocks (PR) by a metallurgical acidic waste. Seven P fertilizers were evaluated: three PR (Araxá, Patos, and Bayóvar), their respective acidulated products (PAPR), and triple superphosphate fertilizer (TSP). A greenhouse trial was carried out to test the agronomic performances of fertilizers in a sequentially cultivated maize-soybean-white oat. The reaction of PR with acid waste was effective to increase their solubility and improve plant yield and P uptake compared to their natural PR. There was a cumulative recovery by plants of 1.4 and 8.1% of added P via PR and PAPR, respectively. No increase in heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Cr, and Ni) availability in soil or accumulation in shoots was observed, indicating that the PAPR were environmentally safe. The usage of acid waste to produce P fertilizers therefore represents a strategic way to employ marginal products for the production of fertilizers.
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