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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Determination of Organic and Carbonate Carbon in Calcareous Soils Using Dry Combustion


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 52 No. 4, p. 965-968
    Received: Aug 20, 1987

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. M. C. Rabenhorst 
  1. Department of Agronomy, H.J. Patterson Hall, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742



A procedures is proposed which utilizes dry combustion and gravimetric determination of evolved CO2 for the determination of both organic and carbonate C in soil samples. A series of experiments was designed to determine the optimum temperature and duration of combustion that would be consistent with efficiency of analysis. Heating at 575 °C for 900 s using an O2 flow rate of 3.3 mL/s allows for determination of organic carbon (OC). Carbonate C from CaCO3 and dolomite is then determined by subsequently heating the same sample at 1000 °C for 600 s using the same O2 flow rate. This method gives quantitative recovery of organic and carbonate C from standard materials. Values for organic and carbonate C from 14 soil samples are in good agreement with existing procedures. The method is simple, requires a minimum of equipment, and has the benefit of using essentially the same procedure for both organic and carbonate C.

Contribution no. 7688 and Scientific Article no. A-4692 of the Maryland Agric. Exp. Stn. and the Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742.

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