SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1993

Neutralization Potential as an Assay of Alkalinity of Environmental Solids


The method used to determine neutralizing equivalence of agricultural limestone has been applied to quantify the amount of bases present in a broad diversity of mineral materials, solid reagents, and products involved in environmental processes. The capacity to neutralize native or imposed acidity must be known in many processes in order to preserve near-neutral material. The standard method for assaying agricultural limestones was adapted to quantify native alkalinity in calcareous rocks exposed by coal surface mining. Data from these analyses continue to provide the surface mining industry and regulating agencies with a measure of the extent to which acidic mine drainage may be neutralized by the natural components of surrounding rock strata and disturbed materials. This approach to determine base content has also been applied to commercially available industrial byproducts added to soils or wastes. Kiln dust, fly ash, sludge, and other additives have been evaluated routinely to measure their alkalinity contribution and also batch-to-batch uniformity. The application of this technique to monitor amounts of reagents added to neutralize acid waste materials by adding alkalis is discussed. Use of this procedure to evaluate different materials is documented with exemplary data. Results of analyses of a broad variety of rock and soil materials, amended soils, soil additives or amendments, industrial waste byproducts, sludge, and treated wastes are presented. Utility of the procedure for routine quality control in soil treatment, amendment uniformity, and product analysis is discussed.

Author Information

Grube, WE
Research and Development, Clem Environmental Corporation, Fairmount, GA
Ammons, JT
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, TN
Freeman, JR
Sturm Environmental Services, Bridgeport, WV
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 160–167
DOI: 10.1520/STP23880S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5225-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1475-3