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Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(5):4830-9. doi: 10.3390/s110504830. Epub 2011 May 3.

Rapid assessment of mineral concentration in meadow grasses by near infrared reflectance spectroscopy.

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Department of Biosystems Engineering, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.


A near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) method for rapid determination of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in diverse meadow grasses was developed with a view towards utilizing this material for biogas production and organic fertilizer. NIRS spectra between 12,000 cm(-1) and 4,000 cm(-1) were used. When validated on samples from different years to those used for the calibration set, the NIRS prediction of nitrogen was considered moderately useful with R(2) = 0.77, ratio of standard error of prediction to reference data range (RER) of 9.32 and ratio of standard error of prediction to standard deviation of reference data (RPD) of 2.33. Prediction of potassium was less accurate, with R(2) = 0.77, RER of 6.56 and RPD of 1.45, whilst prediction of phosphorous was not considered accurate enough to be of any practical use. This work is of interest from the point of view of both the removal of excess nutrients from formerly intensively farmed areas and also for assessing the plant biomass suitability for conversion into carbon neutral energy through biogas production.


NIR; biogas; eutrophication; grassland; minerals

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