Nitrogen-inorganic forms

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Most soils contain inorganic nitrogen (N) in the form of ammonium (NH4 +) and nitrate (NO3 -). Although methods have been described to determine exchangeable NH4 +, NO3 -, or NO2 - in soils without extraction, most methods for these determinations involve the preparation of extracts, which are easily stored for later analysis. To prevent loss of NO2 --N through chemical decomposition of HN02 formed under acidic conditions, a neutral or alkaline reagent is normally employed in extracting soil for determination of NO3 - or NO2 -. The steam-distillation procedures described for determination of NH4 +, N03 -, and NO2 - in soil extracts developed from the finding that interference by alkali-labile organic-N compounds in alkali-distillation methods of determining NH4 +is eliminated if the distillation is performed with steam for only a short period using a small amount of MgO. The duplicate distillation procedure for estimating nonexchangeable NH4 + in soils was originally proposed by I. Barshad.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods of Soil Analysis, Part 3
Subtitle of host publicationChemical Methods
Number of pages62
ISBN (Electronic)9780891188667
ISBN (Print)9780891188254
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Ammonium determination
  • Exchangeable ammonium
  • Nitrate determination
  • Nitrite determination
  • Nitrogen-inorganic form
  • Nonexchangeable ammonium
  • Soil extract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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