Prediction of Heavy Metal Content in Compost Using Near-infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy

  • Ko, H.J. (Incheon Regional Campus, Korea National Open University) ;
  • Choi, H.L. (School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Park, H.S. (School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, H.W. (Department of Agronomy, Korea National Open University)
  • Received : 2004.03.10
  • Accepted : 2004.07.28
  • Published : 2004.12.01


Since the application of relatively high levels of heavy metals in the compost poses a potential hazard to plants and animals, the content of heavy metals in the compost with animal manure is important to know if it is as a fertilizer. Measurement of heavy metals content in the compost by chemical methods usually requires numerous reagents, skilled labor and expensive analytical equipment. The objective of this study, therefore, was to explore the application of near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS), a nondestructive, cost-effective and rapid method, for the prediction of heavy metals contents in compost. One hundred and seventy two diverse compost samples were collected from forty-seven compost facilities located along the Han river in Korea, and were analyzed for Cr, As, Cd, Cu, Zn and Pb levels using inductively coupled plasma spectrometry. The samples were scanned using a Foss NIRSystem Model 6500 scanning monochromator from 400 to 2,500 nm at 2 nm intervals. The modified partial least squares (MPLS), the partial least squares (PLS) and the principal component regression (PCR) analysis were applied to develop the most reliable calibration model, between the NIR spectral data and the sample sets for calibration. The best fit calibration model for measurement of heavy metals content in compost, MPLS, was used to validate calibration equations with a similar sample set (n=30). Coefficient of simple correlation (r) and standard error of prediction (SEP) were Cr (0.82, 3.13 ppm), As (0.71, 3.74 ppm), Cd (0.76, 0.26 ppm), Cu (0.88, 26.47 ppm), Zn (0.84, 52.84 ppm) and Pb (0.60, 2.85 ppm), respectively. This study showed that NIRS is a feasible analytical method for prediction of heavy metals contents in compost.


Compost Quality;NIRS;Calibration Equation;Coefficient of Multiple Determination;Standard Error of Prediction


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