, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 167-174

An enzymatic approach to the determination of the degree of stabilization of organic carbon in fertilizers

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An enzymatic approach to assess the stability of organic matter extracted from organic fertilizers and amendments is proposed. The use of 0.1M NaOH plus 0.1M Na4P2O7 previously suggested as a suitable extractant solution for soil organic matter was also found satisfactory for the extraction of organic matter from organic fertilizers and amendments, especially when the temperature was raised to 65°C. The presence of nonhumified compounds in the extracts from organic fertilizers may interfere considerably during fractionation of organic carbon. An enzymatic hydrolysis with lipase, lysozyme and pronase, added sequentially to the extracts, led to an appreciable reduction in the interference. The interference was further reduced by carrying out a successive acid hydrolysis with 3N H2SO4; in this case the DH values (percentage of humified fractions with respect to total extractable carbon) were reduced to less than 10% in all organic fertilizers, but remained higher than about 70% in organic amendments.