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Environmental Soil Chemistry
TPSS 435

Goals and Objectives

Study of soil chemical processes such as weathering, adsorption, precipitation, complex formation, and ion exchange; causes of soil acidity, alkalinity, and salinity; reactions between soil and fertilizers, bio-wastes, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Skills and Knowledge to be Acquired

Skills: Know how to determine chemical analysis of soils, fertilizers, and biowastes.

Knowledge: Know what to expect from a soil using its chemical and mineralogical properties or when inputs, such as fertilizers or heavy metals, are needed.

Computer Skills to be Acquired

Know how to estimate ion concentrations in the soil solution, to predict the thickness of a diffuse double layer.


TPSS 304 or Consent


Soil Chemistry, by Strawn, Bohn, and O'Connor. 2015. 4th. ed. ; Wiley Blackwell Publisher.

Additional reading:

  • Principles of soil chemistry. K. H. Tan. 1994. Marcel Dekker, Inc. NY.
  • The Chemistry of Soils. 1989. G. Sposito. Oxford University Press, NY.



Videotapes on compost making and beneficial uses or compost.

Guest Speakers

One or two

Field Trips


Course Organization/text

Introduction to Soil Chemistry

Periodic Table

Chemical Principles as applied to soils

Soil Weathering

The Solid Phase
...... (supplemental)....Dr. El-Swaify's paper

...... (supplemental)....Structure of some clay minerals

Soil Organic Matter

. amino acids list

Cation Exchange

Anion Exchange and sorption

Soil Acidity and Liming

Salt-affected soils

Redox Reactions

Heavy metals & Pesticides


The examination on the lecture portion are 50%, homework assignments 25%, and laboratory assignments 25%. There are two 1-hour exams (15% of the grade, each) and a final exam. The first 1-hour exam will cover Chapters 1 to 5 . The second 1-hour exam will cover Chapters 6 to 10 . The final two-hour examination will be comprehensive (covers all 11 chapters) and will be held on the date listed in the Univ.'s Registration Booklet. (20% grade).

The grading scale: A = 90% or above: B = 80% - 89%: C = 70% - 79%: D = 60% - 69%, and F = < 60%.


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