Diffusion method to prepare soil extracts for automated nitrogen-15 analysis

Brooks, P.D., Stark, J.M., McInteer, B.B. and Preston, T. (1989) Diffusion method to prepare soil extracts for automated nitrogen-15 analysis. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 53(6), p. 1707. (doi:10.2136/sssaj1989.03615995005300060016x)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1989.03615995005300060016x


A diffusion method that requires less labor than distillation methods was developed for preparing soil KCl extracts for <sup>15</sup>NH<sup>+</sup><sub>4</sub> and<sup> 15</sup>NO<sup>-</sup><sub>3</sub> analyses. The procedure is ideal for preparing samples having low N mass (50–200 µg N) with no cross contamination. The method uses 140 mL disposable specimen containers to hold the sample, and 7-mm diam, disks of acidified GF/D glass fiber filter paper on stainless steel wire as the acid trap. Devarda's alloy and MgO are used as the reductant and base respectively. Complete diffusion for 40 to 60 mL of sample takes 6 d at room temperature with no shaking. Paired t-tests comparing analyses of soil extracts of varying <sup>15</sup>N enrichment by this method and steam distillation showed no significant difference (p = 0.64). Use of KHSO<sub>4</sub> as the trapping acid allows the paper disks to be placed in a Sn capsule and analyzed by direct combustion mass spectrometry. Alternately, H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub></sub>4 can be used and the disks analyzed by an automated NaOBr method. The disks can be easily dried in a desiccator over H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub> and mailed for <sup>15</sup>N analysis by service laboratories.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Preston, Professor Tom
Authors: Brooks, P.D., Stark, J.M., McInteer, B.B., and Preston, T.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Soil Science Society of America Journal
ISSN (Online):1435-0661

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record