Laboratory automation for soil analyses

Automated measurement of nutrients in soil using wet chemical methods.


for soil analyses

Laboratory automation for soil analyses

Before the analysis of a soil sample can take place to measure nutrients, preparation must occur in the lab. The accuracy required in determining the desired ingredients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other micro-elements, heavily relies on the quality of sample preparation. Errors in this process can lead to significant deviations in analysis results, affecting the assessment of soil fertility and subsequent agronomic recommendations. A standardized and careful sample preparation is therefore crucial to obtaining reliable and reproducible analysis results.

Alsys International is involved in a project to automate the sample preparation for official chemical soil analyses. The lab robots from Alsys International feature various modules that automate the sample preparation of the soil sample and prepare it for analysis. The modules ensure that the perfect analysis can be performed, through the automation of the sample preparation. The robot is equipped with a range of advanced analytical instruments and features measuring systems that are crucial for reading the nutrients in soil samples. This equipment includes, but is not limited to, mass spectrometers, chromatographic systems, and spectrometers. Each of these instruments plays a specific role in determining the concentrations of various nutrients in a given soil sample.

  1. Mass Spectrometry (MS), is used to accurately measure the mass-to-charge ratios of ions in the sample. This is particularly useful for identifying and quantifying specific molecules, including organic compounds essential for soil fertility.
  2. Chromatographic Systems, such as Gas Chromatography (GC) or Liquid Chromatography (LC), are used for separating complex mixtures in the sample. This is essential for isolating specific nutrients for further analysis.
  3. Spectrometry, including Absorption Spectrometry and Emission Spectrometry, is used for determining the concentration of nutrients by measuring the light absorption or emission from the sample. These methods are crucial for quantifying elements such as phosphorus and potassium in soil.


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