Fertilizer Analysis

Application Brief

Analysis of Fertilizer and Fertilizer Precursor Materials Using ICP-OES With Side-On and DSOI

Soil fertility has been monitored for a long time. Already thousands of years ago crop productivity was enhanced by the use of minerals and manure. The age of artificial fertilization started in the beginning of the 20th century with the development of the Haber and Oswald process for the production of ammonia and nitric acid. Fertilizers contain substances enhancing growth, with nitrogen being the most important element, in addition to phosphorus and potassium. Calcium (Ca), Mg and S are referred to as macro nutrients.

Micro nutrients — like Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Zn, B, Si, Co and V — are important for the plants metabolism and have a strong impact on the plant despite their low concentrations.

Fertilizers are available as single, straight, binary, NPK, multi-nutrient and micro-nutrient products, in granular and liquid forms. In addition to the product composition, also the precursor materials, e.g. phosphate rock or recycled metals, need to controlled as they may contain unwanted or toxic elements. Those elements also need to be controlled in the final product.

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