Milling plant and soil material in plastic tubes over-estimates carbon and under-estimates nitrogen concentrations

Stuart William Smith, A.H. Jean Robertson, Andrew Alexander Meharg, Robin J. Pakeman, David Johnson, Sarah J. Woodin, Rene Van Der Wal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background and aims
Milling of plant and soil material in plastic tubes, such as microcentrifuge tubes, over-estimates carbon (C) and under-estimates nitrogen (N) concentrations due to the introduction of polypropylene into milled samples, as identified using Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy.
Methods and results
This study compares C and N concentrations of roots and soil milled in microcentrifuge tubes versus stainless steel containers, demonstrating that a longer milling time, greater milling intensity, smaller sample size and inclusion of abrasive sample material all increase polypropylene contamination from plastic tubes leading to overestimation of C concentrations by up to 8 % (0.08 g g−1).
Conclusions
Erroneous estimations of C and N, and other analytes, must be assumed after milling in plastic tubes and milling methods should be adapted to minimise such error.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-513
Number of pages5
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume369
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Fingerprint

plastics
plastic
carbon
nitrogen
polypropylenes
soil
abrasives
infrared spectroscopy
stainless steel
sampling
Fourier transform
containers
steel
material
methodology
method

Keywords

  • carbon
  • Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy
  • grinding
  • microcentrifuge tubes
  • milling
  • nitrogen

Cite this

Milling plant and soil material in plastic tubes over-estimates carbon and under-estimates nitrogen concentrations. / Smith, Stuart William; Robertson, A.H. Jean; Meharg, Andrew Alexander; Pakeman, Robin J.; Johnson, David; Woodin, Sarah J. ; Van Der Wal, Rene.

In: Plant and Soil, Vol. 369, No. 1-2, 08.2013, p. 509-513.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, Stuart William ; Robertson, A.H. Jean ; Meharg, Andrew Alexander ; Pakeman, Robin J. ; Johnson, David ; Woodin, Sarah J. ; Van Der Wal, Rene. / Milling plant and soil material in plastic tubes over-estimates carbon and under-estimates nitrogen concentrations. In: Plant and Soil. 2013 ; Vol. 369, No. 1-2. pp. 509-513.
@article{3b930a2c6c814843a7517c53ef242188,
title = "Milling plant and soil material in plastic tubes over-estimates carbon and under-estimates nitrogen concentrations",
abstract = "Background and aimsMilling of plant and soil material in plastic tubes, such as microcentrifuge tubes, over-estimates carbon (C) and under-estimates nitrogen (N) concentrations due to the introduction of polypropylene into milled samples, as identified using Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy.Methods and resultsThis study compares C and N concentrations of roots and soil milled in microcentrifuge tubes versus stainless steel containers, demonstrating that a longer milling time, greater milling intensity, smaller sample size and inclusion of abrasive sample material all increase polypropylene contamination from plastic tubes leading to overestimation of C concentrations by up to 8 {\%} (0.08 g g−1).ConclusionsErroneous estimations of C and N, and other analytes, must be assumed after milling in plastic tubes and milling methods should be adapted to minimise such error.",
keywords = "carbon, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, grinding, microcentrifuge tubes, milling, nitrogen",
author = "Smith, {Stuart William} and Robertson, {A.H. Jean} and Meharg, {Andrew Alexander} and Pakeman, {Robin J.} and David Johnson and Woodin, {Sarah J.} and {Van Der Wal}, Rene",
year = "2013",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1007/s11104-013-1599-y",
language = "English",
volume = "369",
pages = "509--513",
journal = "Plant and Soil",
issn = "0032-079X",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "1-2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Milling plant and soil material in plastic tubes over-estimates carbon and under-estimates nitrogen concentrations

AU - Smith, Stuart William

AU - Robertson, A.H. Jean

AU - Meharg, Andrew Alexander

AU - Pakeman, Robin J.

AU - Johnson, David

AU - Woodin, Sarah J.

AU - Van Der Wal, Rene

PY - 2013/8

Y1 - 2013/8

N2 - Background and aimsMilling of plant and soil material in plastic tubes, such as microcentrifuge tubes, over-estimates carbon (C) and under-estimates nitrogen (N) concentrations due to the introduction of polypropylene into milled samples, as identified using Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy.Methods and resultsThis study compares C and N concentrations of roots and soil milled in microcentrifuge tubes versus stainless steel containers, demonstrating that a longer milling time, greater milling intensity, smaller sample size and inclusion of abrasive sample material all increase polypropylene contamination from plastic tubes leading to overestimation of C concentrations by up to 8 % (0.08 g g−1).ConclusionsErroneous estimations of C and N, and other analytes, must be assumed after milling in plastic tubes and milling methods should be adapted to minimise such error.

AB - Background and aimsMilling of plant and soil material in plastic tubes, such as microcentrifuge tubes, over-estimates carbon (C) and under-estimates nitrogen (N) concentrations due to the introduction of polypropylene into milled samples, as identified using Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy.Methods and resultsThis study compares C and N concentrations of roots and soil milled in microcentrifuge tubes versus stainless steel containers, demonstrating that a longer milling time, greater milling intensity, smaller sample size and inclusion of abrasive sample material all increase polypropylene contamination from plastic tubes leading to overestimation of C concentrations by up to 8 % (0.08 g g−1).ConclusionsErroneous estimations of C and N, and other analytes, must be assumed after milling in plastic tubes and milling methods should be adapted to minimise such error.

KW - carbon

KW - Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy

KW - grinding

KW - microcentrifuge tubes

KW - milling

KW - nitrogen

U2 - 10.1007/s11104-013-1599-y

DO - 10.1007/s11104-013-1599-y

M3 - Article

VL - 369

SP - 509

EP - 513

JO - Plant and Soil

JF - Plant and Soil

SN - 0032-079X

IS - 1-2

ER -