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Gas diffusion in soil

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Gas diffusion in soil

Soil gas is the air space in soil containing oxygen, and the oxygen allows for respiration of both plant roots and soil organisms. This air space could also contain carbon dioxide as a product of respiration of plant roots and soil organisms.

Composition of air in soil and atmosphere:[1]

  • Nitrogen: Soil Air: 79.2% Atmosphere: 79.0%
  • Oxygen: Soil Air: 20.6% Atmosphere: 20.9%
  • Carbon Dioxide: Soil Air: 0.25% Atmosphere: 0.03%

Gas molecules in soil are in continuous thermal motion according to the kinetic theory of gases, there is also collision between molecules - a random walk.

In soil, a concentration gradient causes net movement of molecules from high concentration to low concentration, this gives the movement of gas by diffusion.

Numerically, it is explained by Fick's law of diffusion.

Soil gas includes air, water vapour and the pollutants that might be picked up from the soil underneath a building and carried by air leakage into the building. The chief concerns among these pollutants are radon and methane gases. Template:Or

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