CASE STUDY 12 | UWA Nitrogen Testing Equipment Install

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NPS recently installed Nitrogen testing equipment at the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment – Soil Science Department.

The nitrogen line services bespoke pressure chambers in the university laboratory which ultimately measures soil water retention for applications in land capabilities and soil health.

Application for soil water retention curves is most often used in land management and agricultural areas – which is often translated into understanding the ‘plant available water’ in a particular environment by plotting a water retention curve.

We installed a stainless steel pipe connecting a Nitrogen Gas cylinder to multiple pressure chambers via pressure regulators with braided hosing and quick release fittings. The pressure chamber apparatus consists of an extractor vessel, ceramic pressure plate cells and tubing which connects the outlet stem of the ceramic pressure plate cell to an outlet port on the side wall of the extractor vessel.  The outlet port allows for water to be removed from the pressure chamber until equilibrium at the desired pressure is reached.

To measure the amount of “plant available water”, saturated soils are sealed inside the pressure chamber and pressurised.  Over time water if forced out of the soil sample, until equilibrium is reached. The water capacity of the soil at pressure is calculated by drying out the sample once at equilibrium and determining percentage water content.  With multiple pressurised values, a water retention curve can be plotted and analysed.

To ensure the safety of the students and operators, we installed safety signage and an oxygen depletion sensor.  UWA Laboratory staff ensure safe work practices by requiring all laboratory users to undergo inductions to be shown correct equipment use and pressurised gas safety.

Nessco Pressure Systems has the experience & capabilities to design, install and commission complete systems for the specialist and laboratory gas industry. Utilising quality materials and highly skilled employees we can meet your particular flow, purity, pressure and gas type expectations while ensuring the relevant standards are always followed and adhered too.

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