Acid sulfate soil (ASS) materials that are subject to oxidation are often treated with neutralising agents to minimise the export of acidity that may result from pyrite oxidation. The effects of additions of both CaCO3 and seawater-neutralised bauxite refinery residue (SNBRR) on the oxidation of sulfides and acidification were assessed for 4 ASS materials using laboratory incubation experiments. As the application of sub-optimal rates of neutralising materials can occur for a variety of reasons, the effect of application rates were also examined. Two application rates were chosen; a sub-optimal rate [approximately 20% of the theoretical neutralising requirement (NR)] and an excessive application rate (>250% of the NR). There was minimal sulfide oxidation and no acidification after the addition of excess CaCO3 over the 180 days of incubation. The addition of excess SNBRR prevented acidification, but substantial sulfide oxidation still occurred. Following a brief initial increase in pH when sub-optimal rates of CaCO3 and SNBRR were applied, the treated ASS materials rapidly acidified. For three of the ASS materials the addition of sub-optimal amounts of CaCO3 had little impact on the rate of sulfide oxidation. However, for the other ASS material (a peat) both the rates of sulfide oxidation and acidification were accelerated by the addition of sub-optimal rates of CaCO3, resulting in higher soluble Fe and Al concentrations than in the untreated ASS materials. For some of the ASS materials, sub-optimal applications of SNBRR resulted in elevated soluble Al.
Ward, NJ, Sullivan, LA & Bush, RT 2002, ‘Sulfide oxidation and acidification of acid sulfate soil materials treated with CaCO3 and seawater-neutralised bauxite refinery residue', Australian Journal of Soil Research, vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 1057-1067 - 454.
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