Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 186–197 | Cite as

Influence of soil variability on single and competitive interaction of ammonium and potassium: experimental study on seven different soils

  • Poly Buragohain
  • S. Sreedeep
  • Peng Lin
  • Junjun Ni
  • Ankit Garg
Soils, Sec 3 • Remediation and Management of Contaminated or Degraded Lands • Research Article



Ammonium and potassium are nutrients that generally co-exist together in soils in municipal wasteland. The main objective of this study is to investigate the interactive effects of NH4+ and K+ on their sorption characteristics in seven different soils.

Materials and methods

The adsorption parameters (Freundlich partition coefficient KF and maximum contaminant adsorbed by solid Qm) of both the isotherms for single and competitive interactions were correlated with soil-specific parameters (total specific surface area (SSA) and cation exchange capacity (CEC)). To depict the significant variation of the ions in the presence of other ions, percentage reduction of the isotherm parameters was calculated.

Results and discussion

Both the ions exhibited a competitive mode of inhibition in the presence of one another. However, the effects varied with soils and the range of concentration. The study demonstrated that at lower concentration, the NH4+ and K+ ion competed equally in all the soils. However, after a certain range of concentration unique for each soil, NH4+ retention was found to be marginally higher than K+. The study also signified some analogous values of the Freundlich and Langmuir isotherm parameters for soils like F Bent and Kao, which contradicted other experimental findings.


This study can be useful for predicting fate of potassium and ammonium for risk assessment of contaminated sites and hence, in design or analysis of certain waste contaminant barrier under concept of sponge city.


Ammonium Different soils Interaction Isotherms Potassium 



The authors would like to acknowledge Shantou University Scientific Research Fund (NTF17007) for the project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Poly Buragohain
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Sreedeep
    • 2
  • Peng Lin
    • 3
  • Junjun Ni
    • 4
  • Ankit Garg
    • 3
  1. 1.Mahindra Ecole Polytechnic InstituteHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyGuwahatiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringShantou UniversityShantouChina
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineeringthe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong KongHong Kong SAR

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