Morrisville State CollegeDepartment of Agricultural Sciences

Instructional Soil Testing Lab

Organic matter Test
1. Place 0.5 g of air-dry soil into a 250-mL beaker.
2. Add 5 mL of Potassium dichromate solution and swirl gently to mix before adding acid.
3. Add 10 ml concentrated Sulfuric acid and immediately swirl for 5-10 seconds.
4. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes then add 50 mL of distilled water and mix.
5. Allow the mixture to stand one hour and then centrifuge for 5 minutes and let the solution stand overnight.
6. Transfer a potion of the clear solution to a colorimetric vial.
7. Read the color at 610 milli-micron wave length with the distilled water set to give 100% transmittance.  Then ,determine the organic matter content (%) using a spreadsheet system.

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Department web site designed and maintained by Dr. Walid Shayya.  Last modified: August 20, 2010.