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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 5, p. 577-582
    Received: Feb 28, 1966
    Accepted: Apr 18, 1966

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Determination and Isotope-Ratio Analysis of Different Forms of Nitrogen in Soils: 3. Exchangeable Ammonium, Nitrate, and Nitrite by Extraction-Distillation Methods1

  1. J. M. Bremner and
  2. D. R. Keeney2



Methods of determining exchangeable ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite in soils are described. They involve extraction of the soil sample with 2M KCl (10 ml/g of soil) and analysis of the extract by steam-distillation methods in which magnesium oxide is used for distillation of ammonium, ball-milled Devarda alloy for reduction of nitrate and nitrite to ammonium, and sulfamic acid for destruction of nitrite. The distillation methods are rapid, accurate, and precise, have high specificity, and are applicable to turbid, colored, and unfiltered soil extracts. They give quantitative recovery of ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite added to soil extracts and permit nitrogen isotope-ratio analysis of these forms of nitrogen in N15-tracer studies of nitrogen transformations in soils.

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