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NovADEC: Novel approach for determination of the elemental content of organic matter

Mohammad, Arif, O'Kelly, Brendan C. and Singh, Devendra Narain 2021. NovADEC: Novel approach for determination of the elemental content of organic matter. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry 10.1080/03067319.2020.1863956

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Abstract

Organic matter (OM) significantly influences the physico-chemico-biological properties of geomaterials (viz., soils, sediments, municipal solid waste) and hence its accurate determination has profuse applications in agriculture, environmental and geotechnical engineering fields. OM mainly consists of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen, collectively known as elemental content (EC), and these elements can be determined to estimate OM and its variation in several processes, including decomposition under the actions of thermal and biological activities. Usually, EC is determined by employing an elemental analyser, wherein the sample is exposed to an elevated temperature for the conversion of the elements to their respective gases (viz., CO2, H2O, N2, and NyOx) followed by detection of these gases to quantify the percentage of C, H, N, and O. However, this technique has limitations, including time-consuming process, expertise required for instrument operation, issues related to sample preparation and analysis of heterogeneous materials and the destruction of the analysed specimen. These provided the impetus for the development and validation of a Novel Approach for Determination of the Elemental Content, NovADEC, which employs Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and multiple regression analysis (viz., partial least-squares regression), as presented in the present manuscript. To develop NovADEC, five samples of different natures, including geomaterials and two standard materials (viz., cellulose and its derivative), with volatile solids ranging between 13% and 85% have been considered. Further, to create a wide range in ECs, sub-samples were thermally treated at furnace temperatures ranging between 150°C and 700°C. These sub-samples were subsequently analysed by employing elemental analyser and FTIR-spectroscopy techniques. A critical synthesis of the results demonstrates that the NovADEC predictive model facilitates a quick determination of the OM of geomaterials.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Taylor & Francis: STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles
ISSN: 0306-7319
Date of Acceptance: 8 December 2020
Last Modified: 18 May 2022 11:45
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/149691

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