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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - SHORT COMMUNICATIONS

Construction of Platinum-Tipped Redox Probes for Determining Soil Redox Potential


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 6, p. 2375-2379
    Received: Feb 17, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): deanna_osmond@ncsu.edu
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  1. Carrie C. Wafer,
  2. J. Barrett Richards and
  3. Deanna L. Osmond *
  1. Department of Soil Science, Box 7619, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27696-7619


Redox probes are typically constructed by soldering Pt wire to a metal wire or rod, such as copper or brass. The junction between the Pt and wire or rod is often sealed with an epoxy resin and hardener or with heat-shrink tubing. Microcracks (small cracks invisible to the unaided eye) can form in the hardened resin and result in incorrect readings. The hardened resin is not easily removed, making repairs difficult. Heat-shrink tubing is thin, lacks rigidity, and can be damaged in the soil. The method described in this paper used a thick-walled, adhesive-lined terminal insulator to seal the junction. The terminal insulators were easily applied and removed, which made faulty probes easy to repair. Two-hundred forty probes were made with this method and eight were made with a marine epoxy resin. The probes were tested with a redox buffer solution (Light Solution) and were usable if they read +476 ± 10 mV. The probes were installed 0.76 and 1.5 m deep in the soil. The ability of the probes to provide reliable redox readings was examined by testing selected probes after 10 mo of use and testing all of the probes after completion of the study (19 mo). Ten of the twelve probes tested after 10 mo worked satisfactorily, while the other two clearly malfunctioned before testing. After the study was completed, 236 of the 240 of the probes worked satisfactorily. These results indicate that the construction method presented produces reliable, long-lasting probes.

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Copyright © 2004. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA