The effect of low-molecular-weight organic acids and inorganic phosphorus concentration on the determination of soil phosphorus by the molybdenum blue reaction
Low-molecular-weight organic acids play an important role in the mobilization of soil phosphorus (P). The molybdate blue colorimetric method, based on the formation of P molybdenum blue compound, is commonly used for analysis of phosphate in soil and environmental samples. However, some organic acids can act as a ligand to bond with molybdenum acid, which subsequently interfere with the colorimetric reaction. The recoveries of P were inhibited by the addition of oxalic (>2 mM) and citric acids (>3 mM) both in standard P solutions and soil extracts, but formic and maleic acids did not interfere with the P determination. The inhibition of oxalic and citric acids on P recovery remained even at higher level of P (up to 100 姠P 100 ml-1) though such interferences decreased by increasing P concentration. Comparison between oxalic and citric acids revealed the more pronounced interference by the addition of oxalic acid. The results suggested that the interference of organic acids with P determination is related to the types of organic acids and the ratio of organic acid ligands to P anions in the solutions. Thus, analysis of P using the molybdate blue colorimetric method should be undertaken cautiously in the presence of relative strong ligands like oxalic and citric acids.
Biology and Fertility of Soils
Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science)