Trace Detection of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) in soils using Separation and Infrared Spectroscopy Methods

  • Lahiru Gamage
  • Wilson K. Gichuhi


According to NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, the atmospheric concentrations of nitrous oxide (N2O) increased from 270 ppb to 328 ppb between 1750 to 2015. Whereas soil and manure management practices are regarded as major contributors to N2O emissions, emissions from natural agricultural soils plays a major role in the total N2O emission budget. Emissions of N2O from agricultural lands can vary depending on the soil type. According to the 2012 census data, Putnam County has a total of 31,445 acres of agricultural land.  As the most common type of soil in these agricultural lands, loam soils can contain N2O mole fractions ranging from 0.04 to 0.78, depending on whether the land is already cultivated with growing crops or is just manured. In this poster, the viability of Gas Chromatography and Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic techniques in detecting and quantifying trace concentrations of N2O from Putnam County agricultural soils is being investigated.
Environmental Studies