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The simple open soil method of measuring urea volatilisation losses

CHAN KHOON SAN
Plant and Soil
Vol. 92, No. 1 (1986), pp. 73-79
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42935716
Page Count: 7
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The simple open soil method of measuring urea volatilisation losses
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Abstract

A simple technique of estimating ammonia volatilisation loss from urea applied to soil is described. The soil is incubated with urea, after which hydrochloric acid is added to prevent loss of N from the hydrolysed urea during drying of the soil. The volatilisation loss is estimated by difference between the N recovered from the soil and the urea applied. Recovery studies of urea hydrolysis on 3 Malaysian soils show that the hydrolysis products, consisting of ammonium Í and any unreacted urea, can be quantitatively recovered from the soil by this technique, with average recoveries of 95%-97%. A cross-check by 9 laboratories indicated good accuracy and precision in the method. When the open soil method was compared with the direct measurement of ammonia loss in simple volatilisation chambers, it gave much higher results suggesting that the closed system of trapping tended to underestimate volatilisation losses during urea hydrolysis.

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