Wollastonite is a natural silicate mineral that can be used as an agricultural soil amendment. Once in the soil, this mineral undergoes weathering and carbonation reactions, and, under certain soil and field crop conditions, our previous work has shown that this practice leads to accumulation of inorganic carbon (calcium carbonate). Mineral carbonation is the carbon sequestration approach with the greatest potential for sequestration capacity and permanency. Agricultural lands offer vast areas onto which such minerals can be applied, while benefiting crops. This work illustrates a technique to separate wollastonite-containing soils into different fractions. These fractions are characterized separately to determine organic and inorganic content, as well as to determine the chemical and mineral composition. The aim is to detect the fate of wollastonite in agricultural soils, and the fate of weathering/carbonation products in the soil. The soils used in the study were collected from soybean and potato farmlands in Southern Ontario, and from an experimental pilot plot. Soil fractionation was done using sieving, and soil fractions were analyzed by a calcimeter, X-ray diffraction, and loss-on-ignition. Acid digested samples were measured by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Carbonates and wollastonite were enriched by fractionation.
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