Potassium adsorption in soil cultivated with sugarcane

ABSTRACT Vinasse is a byproduct of the process of distillation of sugarcane juice for the manufacture of sugar and alcohol. Because it is rich in nutrients, mainly potassium (K), is used as fertilizer and applied via fertigation, without concerning for the fate of this compound in the soil. Thus, the objective of the study was to evaluate the interactions of the potassium ion (K+), applied via vinasse in a soil representative of the sugarcane zone of the State of Pernambuco using adsorption isotherms. The methodology was based on physical, chemical and soil mineralogical characterization, as well as equilibrium batch tests, where the experimental curves were fitted by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. The results allowed to infer that the Freundlich model showed better fit of the curve in both forms: linear and non-linear (direct fit); the non-linear model was selected due to the values of coefficient of determination (R²). The interaction between potassium and soil occurred mainly with organic matter and the presence of soil kaolinite, because they showed negative ions on the external surface, thereby promoting potassium adsorption. Soil potassium adsorption capacity was higher for the first layer (0-20 cm) and decreased along the depth profile.