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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 53 No. 2, p. 362-366
    Received: Jan 21, 1988

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A Sequential Extraction Procedure with Concentrated Sulfuric Acid and Dilute Base for Soil Organic Phosphorus

  1. R. A. Bowman 
  1. USDA-ARS, Crops Res. Lab., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80526



A total soil organic P (TPo) method that retains the relative ease of the dry combustion method and still preserves essentially all organic P in the extract would be desirable. A sequential extraction procedure for TPo with concentrated sulfuric acid and dilute base was therefore developed to meet these objectives. The method was based on the high efficiency of Po extracted from soils by the heat of solution created by addition of water to concentrated H2SO4. In this step of the procedure, 79% of the total Po was extracted. The acidic soil residue was next treated with NaOH to complete the extraction of Po. The sum of the acid- and base-extractable Po gave a measure of the total soil Po. The method did not hydrolyze or only minimally hydrolyzed Po substrates added to test soils. The proposed procedure was compared with the Mehta extraction method, and with an ignition method developed by Saunders and Williams. In a test of 12 different soils (prairie to highly weathered) the proposed procedure extracted an average of 4% more Po than did the Mehta, and 17% less Po than the Saunders and Williams procedures. The proposed procedure is more rapid than either of the other procedures, and is equally precise. The ease with which the proposed method can be performed as stated, or performed in combination with the high temperature base extraction of the Mehta procedure, makes it ideal for routine laboratory use, especially when the nature of the Po compounds also is being investigated.

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