Soil chemistry

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is the knowledge of the characteristics of the soil and its principal functions. The soils will be studied for their agronomic characteristics and for how much it concerns their vulnerability in relationship to different uses.
Expected learning outcomes
Chemical, physical and biological characteristics of soil. Laboratory activity for the determination of the principal soil characteristics.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
No variations.

Prerequisites for admission
No variations.

Teaching methods
The lessons will be delivered using the Microsoft Teams platform, partly synchronous and partly asynchronous. Compatibly with the laws and regulations, some face-to-face meetings will be held aimed at discussing program topics. The laboratory exercises will take place in small groups. All detailed information will be posted on the Ariel website which is recommended to be consulted frequently.

Teaching Resources
No variations.

Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam will be held remotely in oral form using the Microsoft Teams platform. 3 questions will be submitted: on the basis of the data provided, the student will have to illustrate the method suitable for formulating a fertilization or amendment plan + 2 open questions. A maximum score of 10 points will be applied to each question. The vote is expressed out of thirty
Course syllabus
-Soil definition: the soil as an open system. -The main soil functions: productive function, protective function, naturalistic function. -The soil as a three-phase system: solid, liquid and gas phase. -Minerals and rocks: non-silicate minerals, classification and structure of silicate minerals. Processes of mineral salteration. -Alteration of phyllosilicates: clays. Structure of clays: 1: 1 clays, 2: 1 clays, heterovalent isomorphic substitutions. -The soil physical properties: real and apparent texture, structure, density and porosity. - Organic matter: non-humic component and humic component, accumulation and consumption processes in relation to soil fertility. Role in soil fertility. - Soil chemical properties: adsorption and exchange: main theories; the characteristics and composition of the soil exchange complex, degree of basic saturation, specific and non-specific cationic and anionic adsorption-The soil / water ratios. - Soil / air relationships: soil as a respiratory system - Red-ox potential of the soil. -pH current and potential. Acid, saline, sodium, submerged soils. Soils with abnormal pH and their correction. Biogeochemical cycles: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and other meso and micro elements in relation to availability in the soil. - Fertilizers, soil improvers and corrective agents. - Fertilization plans. - Soil analysis with laboratory exercises.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry
Teaching methods
Lectures and laboratory exercises
Teaching Resources
Principles of Soil Chemistry, CRC Press; Author: Kim H.. The book is available at the library of the faculty. Slides on ARIEL
Assessment methods and Criteria
The written exam consists of 3 questions: Comment of a soil analysis and preparation of a fertilization plan + 2 open questions. A maximum score of 10 points will be applied to each question. The vote is expressed out of thirty. The exam will last 2 hours. The calculator can be used.
AGR/13 - AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
appointment by e-mail
DiSAA - soil chemistry section - I Floor