Soil Research Soil Research Society
Soil, land care and environmental research

Comparison of cation/anion exchange resin methods for multi-element testing of acidic soils

MJ Mclaughlin, PA Lancaster, PG Sale, NC Uren and KI Peverill

Australian Journal of Soil Research 32(2) 229 - 240
Published: 1994


Increasing laboratory costs and time constraints have stimulated development of techniques which allow the simultaneous extraction of many elements from soil. We assessed several techniques using cation/anion exchange resins which allow the simultaneous extraction of Ca, Mg, K, Al, Mn and P from soil. Elements are extracted by shaking soil either with resin beads or resin membranes in distilled water. The resin is separated from the soil and elements are desorbed using BaCl2/HCl. Concentrations of elements in solution are then determined by conventional chemical methods. Using 50 soils which varied in acidity/fertility, a comparison was made between concentrations of elements extracted by the resin methods and commonly used extraction procedures. Apart from Al, concentrations of elements extracted by the resin procedures correlated well with conventional extraction procedures, although P was less well correlated (R2 < 0.8) than cations (R2 > 0.8). All the resin procedures have the potential to reduce the time required for analysis of Ca, Mg, K, Mn and P in soils. The resin membrane method offers considerable speed and cost advantages over the unconfined resin bead method.

Keywords: Resin Membranes; Available P; Available K; Exchangeable Ca; Exchangeable Mg; Extractable Al; Extractable Mn; Soil Extractants; Soil Testing;

© CSIRO 1994

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