Effects of sample pretreatment and particle size on the determination of nitrogen in soil by portable LIBS and potential use on robotic-borne remote Martian and agricultural soil analysis systems

Xiu T. Yan, Karen M. Donaldson, Christine M. Davidson, Yichun Gao, Hanling Wu, Andrew M. Houston , Aron Kisdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Field determination of nitrogen in soil is of interest for both terrestrial and Martian applications. Improved management of soil nitrogen levels on Earth could benefit global food production, whilst the determination of soil nitrogen on Mars is required to assess the planet's future habitability. In this study, a mobile laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system with a 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser delivering 25 mJ per pulse was used to assess the effects of sample pretreatment on the measurement of nitrogen in soil. Although pelletisation was preferred, simply milling the sample to <100 mm particle size – which may be more feasible on a remote rover-based analytical platform – improved the spectra obtained. Ablation craters formed in targets prepared from different particle size fractions of the same commercially-available topsoil showed a clear trend in morphology, with smaller particles yielding more uniform craters with fewer fractures. The LIBS emission intensity at 746.83 nm followed a similar trend to results obtained for total nitrogen content in the soil particle size fractions by microanalysis (Perkin Elmer CHN Elemental Analyser) and was well-correlated (R2 = 0.94) with soil nitrate determined by ion chromatography (Dionex DX-100). Although correlations were less good when analysing field soil samples collected from central Scotland (R2 = 0.82 for comparison between LIBS and microanalysis) the study nevertheless demonstrates the potential of portable LIBS for measurement of soil nitrogen content.
LanguageEnglish
Pages36886-36894
Number of pages9
JournalRSC Advances
Volume8
Early online date31 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2018

Fingerprint

Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy
Robotics
Nitrogen
Particle size
Soils
Microanalysis
Ion chromatography
Planets
Ablation
Nitrates
Laser pulses
Earth (planet)
Lasers

Keywords

  • soil nitrogen levels
  • mobile laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system
  • remote rover-based analytical platform

Cite this

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title = "Effects of sample pretreatment and particle size on the determination of nitrogen in soil by portable LIBS and potential use on robotic-borne remote Martian and agricultural soil analysis systems",
abstract = "Field determination of nitrogen in soil is of interest for both terrestrial and Martian applications. Improved management of soil nitrogen levels on Earth could benefit global food production, whilst the determination of soil nitrogen on Mars is required to assess the planet's future habitability. In this study, a mobile laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system with a 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser delivering 25 mJ per pulse was used to assess the effects of sample pretreatment on the measurement of nitrogen in soil. Although pelletisation was preferred, simply milling the sample to <100 mm particle size – which may be more feasible on a remote rover-based analytical platform – improved the spectra obtained. Ablation craters formed in targets prepared from different particle size fractions of the same commercially-available topsoil showed a clear trend in morphology, with smaller particles yielding more uniform craters with fewer fractures. The LIBS emission intensity at 746.83 nm followed a similar trend to results obtained for total nitrogen content in the soil particle size fractions by microanalysis (Perkin Elmer CHN Elemental Analyser) and was well-correlated (R2 = 0.94) with soil nitrate determined by ion chromatography (Dionex DX-100). Although correlations were less good when analysing field soil samples collected from central Scotland (R2 = 0.82 for comparison between LIBS and microanalysis) the study nevertheless demonstrates the potential of portable LIBS for measurement of soil nitrogen content.",
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Effects of sample pretreatment and particle size on the determination of nitrogen in soil by portable LIBS and potential use on robotic-borne remote Martian and agricultural soil analysis systems. / Yan, Xiu T.; Donaldson, Karen M.; Davidson, Christine M.; Gao, Yichun ; Wu, Hanling ; Houston , Andrew M. ; Kisdi, Aron.

In: RSC Advances, Vol. 8, 31.10.2018, p. 36886-36894.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of sample pretreatment and particle size on the determination of nitrogen in soil by portable LIBS and potential use on robotic-borne remote Martian and agricultural soil analysis systems

AU - Yan, Xiu T.

AU - Donaldson, Karen M.

AU - Davidson, Christine M.

AU - Gao, Yichun

AU - Wu, Hanling

AU - Houston , Andrew M.

AU - Kisdi, Aron

PY - 2018/10/31

Y1 - 2018/10/31

N2 - Field determination of nitrogen in soil is of interest for both terrestrial and Martian applications. Improved management of soil nitrogen levels on Earth could benefit global food production, whilst the determination of soil nitrogen on Mars is required to assess the planet's future habitability. In this study, a mobile laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system with a 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser delivering 25 mJ per pulse was used to assess the effects of sample pretreatment on the measurement of nitrogen in soil. Although pelletisation was preferred, simply milling the sample to <100 mm particle size – which may be more feasible on a remote rover-based analytical platform – improved the spectra obtained. Ablation craters formed in targets prepared from different particle size fractions of the same commercially-available topsoil showed a clear trend in morphology, with smaller particles yielding more uniform craters with fewer fractures. The LIBS emission intensity at 746.83 nm followed a similar trend to results obtained for total nitrogen content in the soil particle size fractions by microanalysis (Perkin Elmer CHN Elemental Analyser) and was well-correlated (R2 = 0.94) with soil nitrate determined by ion chromatography (Dionex DX-100). Although correlations were less good when analysing field soil samples collected from central Scotland (R2 = 0.82 for comparison between LIBS and microanalysis) the study nevertheless demonstrates the potential of portable LIBS for measurement of soil nitrogen content.

AB - Field determination of nitrogen in soil is of interest for both terrestrial and Martian applications. Improved management of soil nitrogen levels on Earth could benefit global food production, whilst the determination of soil nitrogen on Mars is required to assess the planet's future habitability. In this study, a mobile laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system with a 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser delivering 25 mJ per pulse was used to assess the effects of sample pretreatment on the measurement of nitrogen in soil. Although pelletisation was preferred, simply milling the sample to <100 mm particle size – which may be more feasible on a remote rover-based analytical platform – improved the spectra obtained. Ablation craters formed in targets prepared from different particle size fractions of the same commercially-available topsoil showed a clear trend in morphology, with smaller particles yielding more uniform craters with fewer fractures. The LIBS emission intensity at 746.83 nm followed a similar trend to results obtained for total nitrogen content in the soil particle size fractions by microanalysis (Perkin Elmer CHN Elemental Analyser) and was well-correlated (R2 = 0.94) with soil nitrate determined by ion chromatography (Dionex DX-100). Although correlations were less good when analysing field soil samples collected from central Scotland (R2 = 0.82 for comparison between LIBS and microanalysis) the study nevertheless demonstrates the potential of portable LIBS for measurement of soil nitrogen content.

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KW - remote rover-based analytical platform

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SN - 2046-2069

ER -