Sulfur in fertiliser

  • Thread starter Stroodle
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  • #1
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Hi,

I'd just like to know why fertiliser producers refer to "the percentage by mass of sulfur present as sulfate" in their fertilisers?

Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
907
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Because sulfur in fertilizers is typically present in the form of sulfates ... I'll guess that's because elemental sulfur is not soluble in water, and sulfites are too unstable.
 
  • #3
chemisttree
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It's possible that it is indeed present as sulfate but if it is time-released, it is usually present as zero valent sulfur or as a sulfur-containing polymer and perhaps both. Rather than speciate all the forms of sulfur present, the assay is given as if all were converted to sulfate.
 
  • #4
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Phosphorous is listed as P2O5 though and clearly this is not the active form taken up by plants. I guess it's just a convenient metric, although for the chemist it makes things more complicated.
 
  • #5
chemisttree
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In the case as phosphorous, all of the P is converted to orthophosphate and the result is multiplied by a factor to express it as P2O5. A little more complicated but not by much.
 

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