A Soil Probe for In-Situ Near Infrared Spectroscopic Measurement of Soil Carbon

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER84115
Agency Tracking Number: 76063S04-I
Amount: $333,409.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: 22 a
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0072
Small Business Information
601 N. Broadway, Salina, KS, 67401
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Colin Christy
 (785) 825-1980
Business Contact
 Larry Kejr
Title: Mr.
Phone: (785) 825-1980
Email: kejrl@veristech.com
Research Institution
76063S International initiatives are underway to reduce greenhouse gases in the air. The sequestration of carbon in agricultural soils is a candidate technology for achieving this reduction; however, more rapid and less expensive methods of measuring soil carbon are needed. This project will develop a soil probe for carbon measurement based on near infrared reflectance spectroscopy. The probe will measure carbon and bulk density in order to provide a rapid inventory of carbon on a field or project scale. In Phase I, a probe was designed that delivered low noise spectra during in situ field measurements in Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa. Calibrations using these spectra were used to measure soil carbon with a root-mean-square error of 0.5% or less. Phase II will automate the optical reference on the probe to make it practical for usage by a more general end-user. In addition, modifications will be made to the probe geometry to increase the accuracy of bulk density measurements. Finally, effective calibration methods will be identified, tested, and integrated into a user-friendly interface. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The soil carbon measurements made by this probe should find use in auditting sequestered soil carbon, the subject of carbon trading and carbon offsets. In addition, the probe and calibration methods would be applicable to the measurement of other soil attributes that are important for making good agronomic decisions.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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