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Microcrystalline Apatite Minerals: Mechanochemical Activation for Agricultural Application

1
School of Materials Science and Technology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Materials Utilization of Nonmetallic Minerals and Solid Wastes, National Laboratory of Mineral Materials, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
2
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
3
Zibo Tsingda Powder Material Engineering Co, Ltd., Zibo 255000, China
4
Functional Materials Laboratory (FML), School of Materials Science and Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an 710055, China
5
School of Materials and metallurgy, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
6
Tianjin Eco-city Municipal Landscape Co. Ltd., Tianjin 300467, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040211
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 31 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Crystallography and Physical Chemistry of Minerals)
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Abstract

Phosphate minerals of apatite from three mines with different amounts of gangue minerals were activated by milling to increase their microcrystallinity and subsequent dissolution in a citric acid solution to serve as slow-release fertilizers for agricultural production. XRD (X-ray diffraction), FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared), and SEM (Scanning electron microscope) were employed to characterize the properties of the prepared samples, such as changes in microcrystallinity, mineral composition, lattice structure, and granule morphology during the milling. With prolonged milling time, accompanied with the progress in microcrystallinity, the ratio of the formed amorphous compositions increased, resulting in higher dissolution in citric acid solution. In the case of carrot plants, the addition of the microcrystalline phosphate rock together with phosphorus bacteria allowed an efficient nutrient (P, K, and N) uptake as high as 77.0%, 36.7%, and 32.2%, which increased by 91.3%, 123.0%, and 105.2%, respectively, from the growth on an original soil without any addition, demonstrating clear contribution of the activated apatites in agricultural production. View Full-Text
Keywords: phosphate mineral; mechanochemical process; slow-release fertilizer; lattice structure; granule morphology phosphate mineral; mechanochemical process; slow-release fertilizer; lattice structure; granule morphology
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Zhang, X.-M.; Hu, C.; He, Z.-Q.; Abbas, Y.; Li, Y.; Lv, L.-F.; Hao, X.-Y.; Gai, G.-S.; Huang, Z.-H.; Yang, Y.-F.; Yun, S.-N. Microcrystalline Apatite Minerals: Mechanochemical Activation for Agricultural Application. Minerals 2019, 9, 211.

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