Soil Chemistry

Welcome to Agro-Environmental Chemistry Research (AECR)

This program is centered around the application of chemistry in order to conduct, promote, and disperse research and information to industries and the public that is relevant and beneficial to increasing agricultural production while simultaneously minimizing environmental impact or improving environmental quality

This program is centered around the application of chemistry in order to conduct, promote, and disperse research and information to industries and the public that is relevant and beneficial to increasing agricultural production while simultaneously minimizing environmental impact or improving environmental quality

 

Our Approach

A systems approach is the basis for this program.  Also foundational to our research and teaching philosophy is the notion that agricultural production and environmental quality are not two different “boxes”, but are intertwined and contingent on each other.  Similarly, economic viability is integral to this approach.  N sorption by zeolites in swine effluentFor example, increased efficiencies tend to be more sustainable, profitable, and productive for agriculture.  From this perspective we have studied issues concerning carbon, nutrient use efficiency, remediation, water quality, waste management (industrial and agricultural wastes), bio-energy feedstock production, and soil quality.  A systems approach translates to interdisciplinary research that involves input from engineers, agronomists, crop scientists, animal scientists, ecologists, and economists.     

The second main tenet of this program is an examination of issues and problems at both the basic and applied levels. We begin by trying to gain a fundamental understanding of how the system behaves and then apply that information in a practical manner to reach a solution. The result is a fully integrated program, combining basic chemistry research with practical applications. This integration of basic and applied research from the molecular to field level is very challenging, yet has led to results that have a true impact beyond the walls of the laboratory. 

 Research

  • A significant portion of the program involves the characterization and assessment of by-products from both industrial and agricultural sources.  This includes determining potential options for re-use of the materials in some new fashion, and also determining safe and economic disposal options.
  • Through several years of research on industrial by-products, we have found that many materials have a strong affinity for phosphorus (P) and can be used to construct phosphorus removal structures that filter P from runoff and drainage waters and improve water quality.
  • Flu gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum is an example of an industrial by-product that can have great agricultural and e nvir onmental value.  The use of mined or FGD gypsum may provide a unique solution to acid subsoils in no-till agriculture

    P deficiency in wheat

  • We have begun research on improving phosphorus use efficiency by agricultural plants.  So far, our work has been relegated to winter wheat.  The ultimate goal is to be able to develop a plant that can produce a viable crop with little or no P fertilizer.
  • Our program seeks to maintain balance by not simply focusing on application only.  Instead, we simultaneously examine the basic and theoretical aspects of soil and environmental chemistry, which provides us with greater flexibility and knowledge for creatively solving problems.  Thus, the study of thermodynamics via isothermal titration calorimetery (ITC) is a continuing research area that we utilize in the context of various agro-environmental isues.  This helps us to better understand the "why" and "how" of system behavior. 

 

Oklahoma State University
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
368 Agricultural Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-6028

Office Location: 367 Agricultural Hall
Lab Location: 365 Agricultural Hall
Phone Number: 405-744-6130
FAX Number: 405-744-0354

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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