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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 1, p. 299-305
    Received: July 6, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): lsherrod@agsci.colostate.edu
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Inorganic Carbon Analysis by Modified Pressure-Calcimeter Method

  1. L. A. Sherrod *a,
  2. G. Dunna,
  3. G. A. Petersonb and
  4. R. L. Kolbergc
  1. a Great Plains Systems Res. Unit, USDA-ARS, P.O. Box E, Fort Collins, CO 80522
    b Dep. of Soil and Crop Science, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523
    c USDA-ARS, P.O. Box 1109, Sidney, MT


Soil organic C (SOC) analyses using high temperature induction furnace combustion methods have become increasing popular because of advances in instrumentation. Combustion methods, however, also include C from CaCO3 and CaMg(CO3)2 found in calcareous soils. Separate analysis of the inorganic C (IC) must be done to correct C data from combustion methods. Our objective was to develop a efficient and precise IC method by modification of the pressure-calcimeter method. We modified the method by using Wheaton serum bottles (20-mL and 100-mL) sealed with butyl rubber stoppers and aluminum tear-off seals as the reaction vessel and a pressure transducer monitored by a digital voltmeter. Our gravimetric IC determination of six soils showed a strong correlation when regressed against IC from the modified pressure-calcimeter method (slope of 0.99, r 2 = 0.998). The method detection limit (MDL) was 0.17 g IC kg−1 for the 20-mL serum bottles and the limit of quantification (LOQ) was 0.30 g IC kg−1 The 100-mL serum bottle had a MDL of 0.42 with a LOQ of 2.4 g IC kg−1 When using a 100-mL Wheaton serum bottle as the reaction vessel with a 0.50-g sample size, soils containing up to 120 g IC kg−1, which represent a 100 % CaCO3 equivalent, can be analyzed within the V output range of the pressure transducer. Soil organic C determined by subtraction of IC from total C from combustion analysis correlated well with SOC determined by the Walkley-Black.

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Copyright © 2002. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.66:299–305.