Laboratory Soil Analyses

Despite a long blogging silence, the land is still in good order. The trees are growing and cared for by our neighbors while I am at university. Currently, I am beginning my thesis research, using our land as the focus of my research. Soil samples were taken from the soil horizons at 6 key locations. 3 on the PermaPai property, and 3 from the surroundings. The idea is to provide a comparison of topsoil quality over a variety of land uses. In collaboration with the Geoscience laboratory of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, we are conducting the following soil tests: pH, bulk density, cation exchange capacity, organic carbon content, potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus and a soil particle analysis.

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Above are the preparations for the cation exchange capacity tests, which require 3 days preparation. These tests will be finalised on Wednesday.

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This fancy 25,000 euro piece of equipment above is a LECO EC-12 Carbon Determinator, which burns the carbon in the soil at 1000 degrees C. The CO2 produced can be measured using infrared sensors. By multiplying by a factor of 1,724 we can convert the CO2 gas to the soil organic carbon content.

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Here we see the preparations for the pH tests with the pH meter in the background.

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I look forward to sharing the results with you soon!

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