Practical Considerations in Solid and Liquid Organic Carbon Quantification for Soil Analysis

New Organic Monitoring Techniques
Oral Presentation

Prepared by V. Kirk
Analytik Jena US, 14525 Kirby Dr, Pearland, TX, 77047, United States


Contact Information: victoria.kirk@us.analytik-jena.com; 346-399-0028


ABSTRACT

Measuring the total carbon content and soil microbial biomass is critical to understanding soil ecosystem health. The overall health can often be approximated through quantification of the total organic carbon content of the soil. Reliable and automated total organic carbon (TOC) analyses methods are highlighted with an emphasis on practical considerations for both the quality of results and efficiency of analysts’ time. The basis for the diet of microorganisms is dissolved organic matter and requires extraction from the soil into the liquid phase to quantify. The organic matter can be extracted with aqueous salt solutions according to DIN EN ISO 14240-2 “Determination of soil microbial biomass, Part 2: Fumigation-extraction method”. The extractable organic carbon is then determined with a non-purgeable organic carbon (NPOC) catalytic-combustion method. These high salt solutions often take a harsh toll on expensive catalysts and combustion tubes, causing undue down time on instruments. The presentation will summarize key considerations in solid and aqueous TOC analysis and long-term instrument care.