Comparison of spectroscopic techniques for the determination of Kjeldahl and ammoniacal nitrogen content of farmyard manure

E. Katherine Kemsley, Henri S. Tapp, Andrew J. Scarlett, Simon J. Miles, Robert Hammond, Reginald H. Wilson

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The feasibility of determining the nitrogen content of farmyard manure using infrared spectroscopy was investigated. Fifteen samples each of cattle, pig, and turkey manure were analyzed by three infrared techniques:  Fourier transform mid-infrared (MIR), using attenuated total reflection (ATR); near-infrared reflectance (NIR-R); and near-infrared optothermal photoacoustic (NIR-OT). The near-infrared measurements were made at wavelengths determined respectively by four (NIR-OT) and five (NIR-R) band-pass filters. The total nitrogen (using the Kjeldahl method) and volatile (ammoniacal) nitrogen contents of all samples were measured by wet chemistry. Internally cross-validated (ICV) partial least-squares (PLS) regression was then used to obtain calibrations for the nitrogen content. The data sets obtained by each technique were treated separately. Within these sets, data from each manure type were treated both separately and combined:  the best predictive ability was obtained by combining data from all three manure types. From the combined data set, the residual standard deviations and correlation coefficients for the ICV-predicted versus actual Kjeldahl nitrogen content were, respectively, 6772 mg/kg dry wt, 0.862 (MIR); 9434 mg/kg dry wt, 0.771 (NIR-OT); and 8943 mg/kg dry wt, 0.865 (NIR-R). For the ammoniacal nitrogen content, the residual standard deviations and correlation coefficients were 3869 mg/kg dry wt, 0.899 (MIR); 6079 mg/kg dry wt, 0.820 (NIR-OT); and 3498 mg/kg dry wt, 0.961 (NIR-R).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-609
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2001

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