Effects of organic acids on salt precipitation in drip emitters and soil

Z. Yuan, P. M. Waller, C. Y. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Three organic acid compounds were evaluated for preventing precipitation of salts and/or removing salts in drip irrigation systems and soils. Three experiments were conducted to measure drip emitter clogging, ponded infiltration and soil salinity change. All acid compounds included maleic acid, a form of dicarboxylic acid. The first organic acid was composed of polymaleic acid, maleic acid, surfactant blend, and inert ingredients. The second was an anionic polymer with maleic acid as the organic acid. The third included a soap and was a 1:1 stoichiometric equivalent of an organic carboxylic acid and an amine base. The first and third organic acid significantly reduced drip emitter clogging compared to a water-only treatment. The third organic acid was significantly better than the first for reducing clogging. The third organic acid and water-only treatments significantly reduced soil sodicity below the drip irrigation laterals during the study. Ponded infiltration tests with organic acid in water were also conducted. All three organic acid treatments produced significantly lower infiltration rates than the water-only treatment. This may have occurred because salt precipitates in the soil were removed and pores were clogged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1689-1696
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1998


  • Emitter clogging
  • Organic acids
  • Soil infiltration
  • Soil sample analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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