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PH Against Type Of Soil Used

10
9
8
7
6

PH

PH Meter

Universal Indicator

4
3
2
1
0

Farm soil

Field soil

River Bank

Type Of Soil Used

Sand

Paddy Field

DISCUSSION
Soil could be classified as acidic soil and alkaline soil. Acidity of a soil is caused by
the activity of hydrogen ions (H+) in the soil solution. Besides, plants take up nutrients in
the form of ions (NO3, NH4+, Ca2+, H2PO4, etc.) and often, they take up
more cations than anions. In order to compensate for these extra positive charge, they will
release H+ ions from the root. Furthermore, some plants will also exude organic acids into
the soil to acidify the zone around their roots to help solubilise metal nutrients that are
insoluble at neutral pH, such as iron (Fe).

Alkaline soil is mainly due to the dominating presence of sodium carbonate, which
causes the soil difficult to settle. The sodium carbonate when dissolved in water dissociates
into two sodium cations, 2Na+ and a carbonate anion CO32 . They can react with water to
produce carbon dioxide (CO2) escaping as a gas and sodium hydroxide (Na+OH), which is
alkaline and gives high PH values (pH>8.0). [4]

The PH of farm soil is 8.5 which is alkaline. Soil with high PH ( >8.0 ) is considered
as a poor soil structure and has a low infiltration capacity. As the farm soil is collected from
the oil palm estate, the soils were less acidic and showed high nutrient contents. This trend
became stronger with increasing farming duration. Fertilizers applied around the oil palm
appeared to migrate and spread across the fields as the PH of the soil is high. This may be due
to the result of natural weathering of the soil particles or brought in by irrigation or flood
water. [5]

On the other hand, the PH of field soil is 6.2 which is slightly acidic. Field soil will
become acidic when basic elements such as calcium held by soil colloids are replaced by
hydrogen ions. [6] This is most probably because the field soil that we collected is in urban
area which is packed with motor vehicles causing acidic rain. Water combines with carbon
dioxide to form carbonic acid (H 2CO3). It ionizes and release hydrogen (H+) and bicarbonate
ion (HCO3 ). Hydrogen ions replace calcium ions and combine with the bicarbonate ions to
form calcium bicarbonate. The net effect is increased in field soil acidity. [7]

Furthermore, riverbank soil has a PH of 3.6 which is extremely acidic. Nowadays, the
soils along the riverbank are being polluted. The persistence of trace-element pollution such
as Cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) cause the riverbank soil to become acidic. [8] This could
possibly due to the building of industries near the riverbank. Hence, the riverbank soil is
more prone towards acidic rain. When atmospheric water reacts with sulphur and nitrogen
compounds that result from industrial processes, the result can be the formation of sulphuric
and nitric acid in rainwater. Thus, riverbank soil is extremely acidic.

REFERENCES
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkali_soil
5. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016788090800265X
6. http://www.extendonondaga.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Soil-pH-for-Field-Crops.pdf
7. http://www.cropnutrition.com/efu-soil-ph#overview
8. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706115300203

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