Carbonatite is an igneous rock that is composed mainly of carbonate minerals and silicates. It is recently applied as fertilizer due to its high content of calcite and dolomite. This study presents a physical and chemical characterization of the Spanish River Carbonatite (SRC) and its application as fertilizer is tested. The chemical composition obtained by X-ray fluorescence and Energy Dispersive X-ray analyses indicates that Ca, Fe and Si are the main contained elements. Calcite and SiO2 are the principal mineralogical phases as detected by X-ray diffraction. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirms the presence of calcite, silicates and also organic material and water. It also suggests the presence of vermiculite. Thermal analysis reveals only a one-step reaction that corresponds to the decomposition of calcite. Mössbauer spectroscopy performed at room temperature do not show magnetic order between the iron moments instead it shows Fe2+ and Fe3+ doublets in M1 and M2 octahedral sites belonging to vermiculite. At 50 K, we observe that the isomer shift increases their values due to the second order Doppler shift. SQUID magnetometry measurements reveal that most of the sample contains paramagnetic domains assigned to the silicates and calcite components. However, under low applied fields, a tiny signal for Verwey transition appears at 124 K (suggesting the presence of magnetite) although screened by the strong paramagnetic signal of the main components. The SRC has been tested as potential fertilizer on sweet cucumber (Solanum muricatum) which responded positively to the application to carbonatite as an amendment, expressing itself in high foliar biomass.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a collaboration agreement between the University of Cambridge (UK) and the National University of Cañete (Peru) (Agreement RG99980).
This work was supported by a collaboration agreement between the University of Cambridge (UK) and the National University of Ca?ete (Peru) (Agreement RG99980).
© 2022, The Author(s).
- Spanish River carbonatite
- SQUID magnetometry