Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Understand the chemical composition of the constituents of the soil solid phase and the soil solution, the reactions that take place and the soil chemical properties.
2. Understand the effect of soil constituents and soil chemical properties on the environment and plant growth.
3. Carry out the most common laboratory methods for the determination of the soil chemical properties and interpret the results.
Course Content (Syllabus)
Soil chemical composition. Major and trace elements: properties and role in soil. Soil solid phase: primary minerals and secondary clay minerals. Clay minerals: properties and identification. Soil organic matter: composition and properties of humic and non-humic substances. Soil solution: properties, composition and distribution of soluble components. The charge of clay, the exchangeable cations and the cation and anion exchange capacity of soils. Chemical equilibrium between soil solid phase and soil solution. Solubility of the solid constituents and quantitative description. Soil acidity and alkalinity. Expansion and dispersion phenomena. Ion exchange: qualitative and quantitative description. The retention (adsorption) of ions in soil and its quantitative description. Oxidation-reduction phenomena and reaction kinetics in soil.