Spectroscopic Investigation of Phosphorus Mineralization as Affected by the Calcite-Water Interfacial Chemistry

Ai Chen, Lingyang Zhu, Hee Sun Han, Yuji Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mineralization and bioavailability of phytic acid, the predominant organic phosphorus (OP) species in many soils, have generally been rendered limited due to its interaction with soil minerals. In particularly calcareous and neutral to slightly alkaline soils, phytic acid is known to actively react with calcite, although how this interaction affects phytic acid mineralization is still unknown. This study, therefore, investigated the mechanisms regarding how the calcite-water interface influences phytic acid mineralization by phytase, at pHs 6 and 8 using in situ spectroscopic techniques including solution nuclear magnetic resonance and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The findings indicated a pH-specific effect of the calcite-water interface. Inhibited phytase activity and thus impaired phytic acid mineralization were induced by calcite at pH 6, while the opposite effect was observed at pH 8. How the interaction between phytic acid and calcite and between phytase and calcite differed between the two pH values contributed to the pH-specific effect. The results demonstrate the importance of soil pH, enzyme-, and OP-clay mineral interactions in controlling the mineralization and transformation of OP and, consequently, the release of phosphate in soils. The findings can also provide implications for the management of calcite-rich and limed soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16606-16615
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 31 2023


  • NMR
  • clay mineral
  • mineralization
  • phosphorus
  • phytase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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