Fertilizer is a substance added to soil to improve plants' growth and yield. Modern synthetic fertilizers are composed mainly of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium compounds with secondary nutrients added. The use of synthetic fertilizers has significantly improved the quality and quantity of the food available today, although their long-term use is debated by environmentalists due to the waste and run-off, which produces a decrease in the bio-availability of oxygen in rivers, streams and the ocean leading to the depletion of fish life.
Analyzing Fertilizer products can be challenging analytically, this paper explores the pitfalls of quantifying nutrients and how to overcome these limitations through simple sample preparation.
EDXRF offers a cost-effective and relatively easy way to quantify the elements that are vital for the success of Fertilizers and other agricultural service products.
Using XRF for the fertilizer quality control
The Xenemetrix XRF solutions are very useful to Fertilizer companies and mining companies supplying the fertilizer manufacturers with raw materials. The EDXRF is used for quality control of their intermediate process products and the final products that need to meet warranty specifications as stated on the product labels
Phosphate rock in the USA is mined primarily in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and in the Western states of Wyoming, Colorado and Idaho.
Qualitative Assessment of Phosphate Rock
Analysis of Phosphate Rocks
Analysis of Phosphate rich rocks can be readily carried out using powder samples of well blended rock samples. The powder can be read as received or pressed into pellets using a binding agent like a wax blend to form more robust pellets. Pressed pellets increase the volume of measured material in the analytically measured volume, enhancing analysis of Low Z elements like Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S Cl and K.
Calibration curves built with previously analyzed materials (by ICP after sample dissolution) were used to analyze unknown samples.
The elements measured included Al, P and Fe in Phosphate Rocks – the main elements in Phosphate rocks.
Precision Data – 10 Static Measurements
Liquid Fertilizers have been analyzed for Mg, Al, P, S, Cl, K , Ca and Fe on the GENIUS IF with very effective results and each analysis costs less than 60 (sixty) cents to perform. In addition EDXRF can be used to measure other trace elements which are essential nutrients in plants and thus included in fertilizers to maximize yield and increase nutritional value.
Introducing the GENIUS IF
This versatile instrument can be configured for any number of elements in any level of concentrations. From percentage to sub-ppm. The combination of both direct excitation and indirect excitation in the same instrument makes for a very versatile piece of analytical equipment. With the right sample preparation and measurement practices the GENIUS IF can offer unparalleled versatility for meeting any analytical needs as product specifications and product ingredients are changed to meet specific agricultural goals. The GENIUS IF’s, unique combination of direct and indirect excitation allows the measurement of Micro-nutirients in the same sample as the Macro-nutrients thereby shortening the analytical process to achieve multi element analysis in a few readings. The use of secondary targets improves the sensitivity and lower limits of detection.