Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

David C. Hilderbrand


The performance of regulatory analysis on commercial products is an important consumer service. The current regulatory method for phosphorus analysis in fertilizers is very time consuming and laborious. Because of the high price of fertilizers it is necessary to compare the indicated level of phosphorus and actual level in fertilizer sample. The analysis of fertilizer samples assures the farmer that he will be receiving a fair value for his money. The ideal method would be one which is accurate, fast, precise and less expensive. Flame emission spectrometry is an elemental method of analysis sensitive to parts per million and parts per billion concentrations for many elements. It has been widely used in medicine and biology, in agronomy and food analysis, in geology, in glass and cement industries, in the analysis of metals and alloys, in petroleum products, and in environmental studies of air and water. Analysis by flame emission spectrometry is rapid and convenient, it allows high precision and accuracy, and instrumentation is considerably less expensive than that required in many other instrumental methods which permit similar detection limits. Phosphorus can be determined by measurement of several features of its flame spectrum. The continuum, either the PO or the HPO band, is useful in the by emission mode. The phosphorus atomic lines, weak have been employed in both emission and modes. Molecular emission spectroscopy potential for the successful determination of analysis although absorption has the phosphorus in fertilizer samples. A complete evaluation of the method was needed before routine laboratory analysis application could be made. The purpose of this work was to study the application of molecular emission spectroscopy to analysis of phosphorus in fertilizer samples.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fertilizers -- Analysis

Flame spectroscopy

Phosphatic fertilizers



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University