ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
Registr. No.: MK SR 9/7

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Nutrient release from K-feldspar ore altered in hydrothermal conditions

Davide Ciceri and Antoine Allanore

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA



Abstract: The development of potash materials from local K-bearing resources such as aluminosilicate minerals is desirable to overcome reliance on imported fertilizers in tropical countries. However, the nutrient release from such materials follows a time-dependent profile that is not well-understood and that is significantly different if probed at agronomic or geological timescales. This work investigates the nutrient release from a calcium–aluminum–silicate-hydrate (C–A–S–H) material obtained via hydrothermal alteration of K-feldspar ore and CaO. The C–A–S–H hydrothermal material is subjected to sequential leaching cycles with diluted HNO3 (initial pH = 5), renewing the leaching solution at every cycle. X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRD) is used to monitor changes in the material mineralogy as the leaching progresses, showing a relative increase of calcite (up to 7 wt%) and amorphous phase (up to 23 wt%). Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) of the leachates is used to monitor the release of K, Ca, Si and Al, and shows that the material releases K nutrient at every leaching cycle. The pH of the leachates shows that as the content of calcite in the material increases a buffering capacity at pH ≈ 9.6 is developed by the material. The mineralogy, nutrient release, and pH results presented in this study suggest a potential application of the material as a slow release fertilizer when compared to KCl. Experimental results also imply that kinetic parameters rather than solubility are more suited to describe the fertilizer value of silicate materials.

Keywords: Calcium–aluminum–silicate–hydrate (C–A–S–H) ; K-feldspar ; Hydrothermal processing ; Potash ; Slow release fertilizers 

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-019-00887-7


Chemical Papers 74 (2) 431–440 (2020)

Monday, December 06, 2021

SCImago Journal Rank 2020
XXVIII. International Conference on Coordination and Bioinorganic Chemistry
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