Plant and Soil

, Volume 410, Issue 1–2, pp 139–152 | Cite as

Dissolution rate and agronomic effectiveness of struvite fertilizers – effect of soil pH, granulation and base excess

  • Fien Degryse
  • Roslyn Baird
  • Rodrigo C. da Silva
  • Mike J. McLaughlin
Regular Article

Abstract

Aims

Struvite (MgNH4PO4.6H2O) recovered from wastewater can be used as fertilizer. The agronomic effectiveness of struvite has mostly been evaluated using ground fertilizer mixed through soil. However, fertilizers are most commonly applied in granular form in the field. In this study, we assessed the dissolution and effectiveness of different struvites when applied in granular or powdered form.

Methods

Phosphorus (P) diffusion in soil, determined using a visualization technique and chemical analyses, and P uptake by 6-week old wheat was compared for soluble fertilizer (monoammonium phosphate, MAP), a commercial struvite and three synthesized struvites with different excess MgO, in both granular and ground form.

Results

Ground struvite mixed through soil quickly dissolved and its agronomic effectiveness was similar to that of MAP. For pure granular struvite, the granule dissolution rate ranged from circa 0.03 mg d−1 in alkaline soil to 0.43 mg d−1 in acidic soil. Excess base in the struvite fertilizer reduced its dissolution rate. The P uptake by wheat followed the order MAP > > struvite ≥ control (no P), with no significant difference between the control and the struvite treatment in alkaline soil.

Conclusions

Both fertilizer characteristics (particle size, excess base) and soil pH strongly affect the dissolution rate of struvite and hence its agronomic effectiveness.

Keywords

Phosphorus Fertilizer Struvite Granule Dissolution 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fertilizer Technology Research Centre, Soil Science Group, School of Agriculture, Food and WineThe University of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Land and WaterGlen OsmondAustralia

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