Application Note

Organic Elemental Analysis of Soils -- Understanding the Carbon-Nitrogen Ratio


Understanding the health of the soil in which crops grow is fundamental in ensuring healthy yields. Two elements that are essential to this are Carbon and Nitrogen, especially in their proportion to each other. This relationship is called the CarbonNitrogen or CN ratio. This ratio is relatively simple to understand. If soil is made up of 30% Carbon and 2% Nitrogen then the CN ratio is 15 to 1. The EA2400 CHNS/O Analyzer is shown to be a powerful tool for the analysis of soil samples of varying organic contents. It is shown that along with CN ratios, TOC and TIC measurements can also be performed to a high level of accuracy. It has also been shown that the EA2410 Nitrogen analyzer can also perform Nitrogen measurements on soil to high levels of accuracy.