Fertilizers provide Primary plant nutrients (N, P, K), eg Chlorophyll, the green substance in plants responsible for photosynthesis, is largely composed of nitrogen.

Secondary plant nutrients include Ca, S, Mg and micronutrients include elements such as B, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mo, Cl. Accurate determination of the composition of fertilizers is essential so that the correct dose can be applied to the soil. An insufficient application of a fertilizer may result in poor crop yield. In contrast, an excessive application may result in environmental damage – caused by dissolved phosphates and nitrates entering water courses or land contamination from non-nutrient elements within the fertilizers. ICP-OES facilitates the cost effective analysis of fertilizers due to the powerful multi-element capability of this technique. Exeter Analytical’ s ICP-OES instrument – the iCAP 7400 Duo from Thermo Scientific enables the simultaneous analysis of the plant nutrients K and P as well as potential harmful metal elements in fertilizers. Exeter Analytical’s CE 440 Elemental Analyser can test for Nitrogen comfortably down to 0.1% wt/wt.

Chlorine Cl can be tested either by Oxygen Flask content down to 0.1% or at lower levels using IC which can be organised with one of our suppliers.