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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Determination and Isotope-Ratio Analysis of Different Forms of Nitrogen in Soils: 4. Exchangeable Ammonium, Nitrate, and Nitrite by Direct-Distillation Methods1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 5, p. 583-587
    Received: Feb 28, 1966
    Accepted: Apr 18, 1966

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  1. D. R. Keeney and
  2. J. M. Bremner2



Methods of determining exchangeable ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite in soils which do not require extraction of the soil sample are described. The soil sample is treated with 2M KCl (5 ml/g of soil) and analyzed directly by steam-distillation methods involving use of magnesium oxide for liberation of ammonium, ball-milled Devarda alloy for reduction of nitrate and nitrite to ammonium, and sulfamic acid for destruction of nitrite. The methods are rapid, specific, and precise, and they permit nitrogen isotope-ratio analysis of exchangeable ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite in N15-tracer studies of nitrogen transformations in soils. Results of soil analyses by these direct-distillation methods are practically identical to those obtained by extraction-distillation methods.

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