A sensitive method for the measurement of ammonium in soil extract and water

Hojeong Kang, Emily H. Stanley, Seok Soon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Ammonium is one of the most important inorganic nutrients in many ecosystems. The utility of a sensitive method for the measurement of ammonium (NH4+) in water, soil and plant-derived samples using fluorescence of an o-phthaldialdehyde (OPA)-based compound was evaluated in this study. This method involves less toxic chemicals than a conventional method, requires minimal equipment, and allows for fairly rapid sample processing. This method is not only sensitive for low (e.g., sub-micromolar) NH4+ concentrations, but also applicable for samples with much higher concentrations (> 100 μM NH4+) by using a modified spectrophotometric protocol developed herein. This evaluation demonstrates that this method provides a valuable tool for the measurement of NH4+ in a variety of environmental samples including soil extracts, litter leachates and highly polluted water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2193-2201
Number of pages9
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number15-16
StatePublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency STAR Program (Grant No. R826600). The completion of the manuscript was

Funding Information:
supported by a grant (No. 5-4-1) from Sustainable Water Resources Research Center of 21st Century Frontier Research Program endowed to H. Kang and S-S. Park.


  • Eutrophication
  • Fluorescence
  • Methodology
  • Nitrogen


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