Hydrophobic properties and chemical characterisation of natural water repellent materials in Australian sands
ABSTRACT Water-repellency in non-wetting sands is due to hydrophobic waxes present on the surface of sand grains and contained in particulate organic matter present in these sands. This study investigates the physico-chemical characteristics of these natural waxes and compares them to waxes extracted from potential original source materials.Non-polar and polar hydrophobic wax extracts were obtained from whole non-wetting sand, and its individual constituents, and associated organic matter. These included the sand fraction, the intrinsic particulate organic matter, tree litter, eucalyptus leaves, bark, lucerne and lupin plants, and fungi and actinomycetes isolated from these sands. Waxes were characterised for their hydrophobic properties and composition of their chemical constituents. The hydrophobicities of the waxes were assessed by measuring the water-repellency induced after treating acid washed sand with wax extracts.Non-polar and polar wax extracts of the tree litter displayed hydrophobic properties that were similar to the corresponding waxes isolated from non-wetting sand and intrinsic particulate organic matter. Unlike these plant-derived waxes, the microbial wax extracts possessed different hydrophobic properties.Characterisation of the components of the extracted waxes by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis revealed a strong similarity in the composition of waxes isolated from non-wetting sand, tree litter and other plant material. The major components found were unbranched and branched C16 to C36 fatty acids and their esters, alkanes, phytanols, phytanes, and sterols. Some of these components were not detected in the microbial waxes.Unextracted samples, as well as wax extracts of non-wetting sand, intrinsic particulate organic matter, tree litter and fresh plant material were further analysed by solution and solid state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy which revealed the relative content of the different chemical species present.
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ABSTRACT: Water repellency is a widespread property of Pinus pinaster and Eucalyptus globulus forest soils in NW Spain and is particularly severe during the summer dry conditions. The aim of this work was to compare actual water repellency at field‐moist samples with potential water repellency after drying at 25 and 105 °C in samples collected at different times of year under four forest soils. Also, we investigated whether drying at 25 or 105 °C led to repellency values comparable to the highest levels reached under field conditions in the summer with a view to developing an appropriate sampling protocol towards estimating the maximum possible water repellency of a given soil as a key to establishing its environmental effects. The actual and potential water repellency was determined by using the water drop penetration time (WDPT) and molarity of an ethanol drop (MED) tests. Clear seasonal patterns of water repellency were observed from the results for the four forest soils, peaking in the dry period and disappearing after prolonged wet periods. Water repellency lasts longer in sandy loam soils than in more finely textured soils, and also under eucalyptus than under pine forests. Drying soil samples at 25 or 105 °C increased water repellency, as measured with the WDPT method, in the four soils, but especially in the non‐repellent samples collected during the wet period. The increase was more marked in the sandy loam soils than in the more finely textured soils, and also after drying at 105 °C than at 25 °C. MED measurements exposed a common trait in the four soils; thus, the water repellency values obtained under field conditions in summer invariably exceeded those obtained after drying at 25 or 105 °C. In addition, the repellency values for dried samples collected in the wet period were never comparable to the maximum levels observed under field conditions in the summer. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Hydrological Processes 04/2012; 26(8):1179-1187. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Application of biosolids in soils is an efficient method of recycling nutrients from biosolids and it is considered even safer when it is modified after mixing and diluting with other suitable soil organic amendments. A variety of soil organic amendments, such as green manures and composts, are used for modifying and co-composting with biosolids. However, these may not be considered as appropriate biosolids disposal and remedial measures for soils with unique problems such as low soil pH, water repellence nature, and poor water and nutrient retention capacities due to soil textural issues. Historically, soil amendments such as lime, clay, and recently biochar are being applied for such problematic soils atWestern Australia and these researches focused mostly on improvement in soil physical and chemical properties. However, studies with potential for applying modified biosolids with these amendments are not complete yet. This review focused on identifying such gaps in these studies from over 170 peer-reviewed key research and review articles published over decades to latest in these areas.Applied and Environmental Soil Science 12/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Although soils are generally considered to wet readily, some are actually water-repellent at the surface. This communication presents the recent progress in relating the severity of water repellency to different soil management practices and land uses under the lower Himalayan region of India. All soils under sal forest, chrysopogon and cropland had less water drop penetration time (<5 s) and therefore were classified as wettable. However soils under eucalyptus plantation and panicum stand showed considerable hydrophobicity. This is considered as being caused by differences in organic matter composition rather than amount of organic carbon. If planted indiscriminately and particularly where there is significant competition for land area, nutrients or water, notable problems can occur under the eucalyptus stand.Current science 01/2009; 96(1):148-152. · 0.83 Impact Factor