Since not all pellet limes are the same we first need to talk about the properties of lime that is used. One of the most important characteristics of minerals is particle size. If you are like me, you slept through physics class and surface area to volume ratio may not mean much. However it is vitally important to how quickly lime reacts.
Surface area to volume ratio is a relatively simply property that is very important. It's why your wife can be cold while your sweating. Why road rock doesn't break down very fast, why sand leaches and clay doesn't let go of fertilizer.
Surface area to volume ratio is also important when choosing a fertilizer or soil amendment. The surface-area-to-volume ratio is an important factor for the reactivity or the rate at which the chemical reaction will take place.
Materials with large surface area to volume ratios (e.g., very small diameter, like the base lime in SuperCal 98G) react at much faster rates than larger materials, because more particle surface is available to react. An example is grain dust; while grain is not typically flammable, grain dust is explosive. Another example is steel wool. Steel wool will burn, but take a nail and try and light it on fire. It take a lot of time and a lot of heat to get that nail to just melt.
Many people think that a ton of lime is a ton of lime. So why don't they just dump a 1 ton boulder in the field and call it limed? The finer the lime the more complete and quicker the reaction.
In an article by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (published 30/03/2004) 'Reactivity is controlled by the electrons and electronic structure of the particles, which changes as the particle gets smaller,' Madden explains. In a smaller hunk of matter, more of the atoms are at the surface.'
|In this test, we are showing how reactive a product is.
The rate at which the acid reacts with the limestone, dolomite of other calcareaous earth formation, is a function of acid concentration, temperature, velocity, the particular type of calcareous material or rock, and the rock surface area to volume ratio.
In other words, when you have small pure particles it just works better!
Yield Starts Here is a blog for farmers, focusing on increasing yield and profitability by focusing on the soil. It is managed by Craig Dick, a Blogronomist and Sales and Marketing Manager at Calcium Products. Find other articles by Craig and guest writers at http://blog.calciumproducts.com/ .