Movement of zinc sulphate in a calcium-saturated soil: cation exchange and precipitation of gypsum.

  • K. Harmsen


A one-dimensional model for the movement of zinc sulphate through calcium-saturated soil is presented. Processes considered include mass flow, ion exchange, precipitation and dissolution. Precipitation occurs when the solubility product of gypsum is exceeded. In the presence of gypsum, ion exchange takes place at two separate interfaces, which move with different velocities through the soil. At the first interface precipitation of gypsum takes place in conjunction with ion exchange, and at the second interface the gypsum dissolves again and ion exchange proceeds until equilibrium is reached with the leaching solution. The composition of the transition zone between the two interfaces is calculated from the conditions of mass conservation and electroneutrality, the solubility product of gypsum and assuming a linear ion exchange equation. It is shown that the concentration of sulphate in the transition zone is higher than in the leaching solution, due to dissolution of gypsum at the second interface. In the presence of gypsum, zinc penetrates deeper into the soil than in its absence, but the fraction of the adsorption complex saturated with zinc is smaller. (Abstract retrieved from CAB Abstracts by CABI’s permission)