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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 28 No. 5, p. 1497-1504
    Received: Dec 1, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): phil.haygarth@bbsrc.ac.uk
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Preconcentration and Separation of Trace Phosphorus Compounds in Soil Leachate

  1. Miguel Espinosa,
  2. Benjamin L. Turner and
  3. Philip M. Haygarth *
  1. Soil Science Group, Inst. of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2SB, England;
    Dep. of Geography, Royal Holloway, Univ. of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, England.



The speciafion of P in soil solutions and runoff waters presents an analytical challenge that must be overcome before P transfer processes can be fully understood. We describe a method employing strong anion exchange (SAX) resins for the concentration and speciation of trace amounts of P compounds in soil waters. Concentration of P was achieved by passing filtered samples through SAX cartridges and eluting the retained negatively charged species with a solution of 0.75 M NaCl and 0.5 mM EDTA. Separation was achieved by the application of strong anion exchange HPLC with a linear ionic gradient varying between 0.11 to 0.75 M NaCl and a constant concentration of 0.5 mM Na4EDTA. Total P detection was carried out by discrete fraction collection and manual analysis using a sulphuric acid-persulphate digest followed by reaction with molybdate. We detected a range of P species in soil leachate water, which included orthophosphate, inositol hexaphosphate, glucose-6-phosphate, adenosine 5′-triphosphate, phosphonates and other as yet unidentified forms of P. With refinements, this method has the potential to significantly enhance our understanding of the P forms in soil waters and the processes controlling P transfer from the land.

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