Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences | JIRCAS

Solubility improvement of African low-grade phosphate rock through calcination with potassium carbonate

Description

Although many phosphate deposits have been found in sub-Saharan Africa, farmers are facing high prices of P fertilizers because of the low solubility of the African low-grade phosphate rocks (PRs). We have previously reported that PR calcination with Na carbonate improves the solubility of these PRs, but their application showed limited crop growth, especially in upland conditions. It was speculated that Na accumulation in the soil caused plant growth inhibition. Therefore, we tried to elucidate the effect of calcination with potassium carbonate (K2CO3) on PR solubility and its application effects for lowland rice and maize through pot experiments.

We used Kodjari PR produced in Burkina Faso for the calcination. Fine powdered PRs were mixed with K2CO3 in five doses to achieve the target K2O compositions of 200, 250, 300, 350, and 400 g kg-1. The mixtures were pressed with distilled water to form coin-shaped pellets. Then, the pelletized PR-K2CO3 mixtures were calcined at 900, 1000, 1050, and 1100 °C for 10 min using a muffle furnace. The pot experiments were conducted for 56 days, monitoring the growth of rice and maize under several application rates.

As a result, the solubility reached about 100% in 20 g L-1 citric acid and about 40% in water. This shows that K carbonates behave like Na carbonate in the solubilization of low-grade PRs in Burkina Faso. The calcinated Burkina PR (CB) application in the application rates up to 1 g P2O5 pot-1 yielded comparable plant growth to that of triple super phosphate (TP). K carbonate calcination deterred Na accumulation in the soil, and it was effective for soil P fertility improvement and plant growth. The calcination technology can be conducted by external heating U-turn rotary kiln using solar power.

Figure, table

  1. Fig. 1. Solubility changes of Burkina Faso phosphate rock through calcination with several compounding rates of potassium carbonate under four levels of temperature
    Fig. 1. Solubility changes of Burkina Faso phosphate rock through calcination with several compounding rates of potassium carbonate under four levels of temperature
    Error bars are standard errors (n =3)

  2. Fig. 2. Application effects of phosphate rocks calcinated with Na carbonate and K carbonate on rice and maize
    Fig. 2. Application effects of phosphate rocks calcinated with Na carbonate and K carbonate on rice and maize
    Error bars are 95% confidence intervals (n=3). CBn: Calcinated PR with Na carbonate, CBk: Calcinated PR with K carbonate, TP: Triple super phosphate

  3. Table 1. Soil chemical properties after several phosphate fertilizer applications

    Crop/
    Soil water condition
    Fertilizer pH EC Available P   Exchangeable cation
    Bray I Bray II   Ca Mg K Na
        mS m-1 mgP kg-1   cmolc kg-1
    Rice/ None 5.84 c 108 c 0.08 b 6.39 d   3.31 c 0.70 bc 0.28 b 0.15 c
    Submerged BP 5.72 c 110 c 0.16 b 107 c   3.18 c 0.64 c 0.24 b 0.16 c
      CBk 6.45 a 183 a 6.34 a 141 a   10.20 a 0.78 b 6.67 a 0.28 a
      TP 6.10 b 141 b 4.94 a 117 b   5.42 b 1.09 a 0.47 b 0.24 b
    Maize/ None 5.85 a 114 b 0.09 b 6.77 c   3.39 c 0.69 b 0.30 b 0.14 c
    Upland BP 5.70 a 123 b 0.17 b 96.1 b   3.56 c 0.69 b 0.33 b 0.15 c
      CBk 5.97 a 189 a 5.81 a 158 a   9.36 a 0.73 b 6.39 a 0.21 b
      TP 6.28 a 168 a 5.69 a 107 b   5.90 b 1.11 a 0.49 b 0.24 a
    None: No P application, BP: Burkina Faso PR, CBk: Calcinated PR with K carbonate, TP: Triple super phosphate. Bray I, and Bray II are available P content determined by Bray I method and Bray II method, respectively. Alphabet difference indicates significant differences (p<0.05) by Tukey HSD method.
  4. Fig. 3. External heating U-turn rotary kiln for calcination (Burkina Faso, INERA-Kamboinse)
    Fig. 3. External heating U-turn rotary kiln for calcination (Burkina Faso, INERA-Kamboinse)

Affiliation

Crop, Livestock and Environment Division, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences

Classification

Research

Country
  • Burkina Faso
  • Program name

    Environment and Natural Resource Management

    Term of research

    FY2019 (FY2016-FY2021)

    Responsible researcher
  • Nakamura Satoshi (Crop, Livestock and Environment Division)
  • Nagumo Fujio (Crop, Livestock and Environment Division)
  • Kanda Takashi (Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, NARO)
  • Imai Toshio (Taiheiyo Cement Corporation)
  • Sawadogo Jacques (Environmental Institute for Agricultural Research, Burkina Faso)
  • Publication, etc.

    Nakamura S et al. (2019) Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 65(3):267-273 https://doi.org/10.1080/00380768.2019.1598236

    Japanese PDF
  • PDF icon Download 2019_A06_A4_ja.pdf (944.38 KB)
  • PDF icon Download 2019_A06_A3_ja.pdf (221.97 KB)
  • English PDF
  • PDF icon Download 2019_A06_A4_en.pdf (289.77 KB)
  • PDF icon Download 2019_A06_A3_en.pdf (283.94 KB)
  • Poster PDF
  • PDF icon Download 2019_A06_poster_fin.pdf (424.82 KB)