The acidification of agricultural soils in high rainfall regions is usually countered by the application of finely ground calcite or dolomite. As this carbonate dissolves, soil pH is raised, but CO2
is released. Mining activities often produce large quantities of very fine silicate rock-derived powders that are commonly deposited in stockpiles. However, the dissolution of such powders can also result in an increase in pH, without any direct release of CO2
. Of particular interest are those silicate powders that have a high reactivity and higher capacity for raising pH. In this contribution, we report experimental work addressing the dissolution of various silicate rock-derived powders that were produced during mining activities in Norway under conditions that were representative of weathering in agricultural soils. Three different powders—derived from Åheim dunite, Stjernøya nepheline syenite, or Tellnes ilmenite norite—were exposed to different acids at pH 4 in unstirred flow cells, and dissolution or leaching kinetics were determined from the changes in the fluid composition. Based on these kinetics, pH neutralization rates were determined for the individual powders and compared to expected values for carbonates. Based on this comparison, it is concluded that the application of silicate rock-derived powder dissolution to replace carbonate-based liming may not be feasible due to slower reaction rates, unless larger quantities of a finer particle size than normal are used. The application of larger volumes of slower-reacting silicates may have the additional benefit of reducing the required frequency of liming.
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