Batch and column experiments on nutrient leaching in soils amended with Italian natural zeolitites

N. Colombani, M. Mastrocicco*, D. Di Giuseppe, B. Faccini, M. Coltorti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the application of the Italian chabazite-rich tuff of Sorano (Grosseto) as a soil conditioner and slow nutrient fertilizer to a silty-clay soil and a sandy soil. The study was developed by means of batch and column experiments. The objectives of the study were: (1) to evaluate and compare the physical and hydraulic properties of mixtures of soil and natural zeolitite (95:5% v/v) with those of unamended soils, (2) to determine the effects of applying NH4 +-enriched zeolitites on soils and (3) to model water and solutes movement in two different scenarios, with and without amendment incorporation. Results of column experiments were then modelled to obtain the physical-chemical and hydraulic parameters representative of the soils amended with the NH4 +-enriched zeolitites. Using synthetic rainwater as eluent, NH4 + was never detected in the water phase of batches and columns; NO3 - and PO4 3- were both present at high concentrations in batch tests and were leached in column elution tests. NO3 - displayed very high concentrations at the beginning of the elution whereas PO4 3- showed low concentrations and retarded peaks in both amended soil columns. The rationale of the study lies in the belief that inorganic amendments, which improve the physical and hydraulic properties of soils, can lead to minimized leaching of nutrients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-71
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Leaching
  • Modelling
  • Natural zeolites
  • Nitrate
  • Soil conditioning


Dive into the research topics of 'Batch and column experiments on nutrient leaching in soils amended with Italian natural zeolitites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this