Modern multi-nutrient fertilizers produced for home and agricultural use are formulated from multiple sources to provide significant amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the major plant nutrients, and lesser or even trace amounts of other nutrients needed by different crops, such as boron, calcium, iron and zinc.
Until relatively recently, fertilizers were tested and certified for their nutrient content, but little attention was paid to the possibility of heavy metal contaminants introduced by the mineral sources used to prepare the fertilizer. However, in response to incidents of heavy metal contamination of cropland, several states have enacted regulations in the past seven years that limit the amounts of some potentially hazardous non-nutritive elements in fertilizers. Several countries, including Japan, China, and Australia, and the European Union, also limit the amount of selected elements in fertilizers.
While fertilizer manufacturers and state regulatory authorities have needed to develop analytical methods to implement these regulations, until now there have been no certified reference materials available that they could use to validate the accuracy of their measurements. It can be difficult to measure accurately trace levels of some metals in a chemically complex mixture like fertilizer.
NIST's Standard Reference Material, SRM 695, "Trace Elements in Multi-Nutrient Fertilizer," was developed in collaboration with members of the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) to help meet this need. SRM 695 is a typical multi-nutrient fertilizer certified for the content of both major elements and trace elements, including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, sodium, potassium, zinc, arsenic cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, lead and vanadium. Additional reference values are provided for aluminum, boron, nitrogen, phosphorous and selenium.
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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