Applications in Agriculture

Agriculture is the science and art of cultivation on soil and the rearing of livestock, and is the most important sector of the Sri Lankan economy. Although Sri Lanka is a fertile tropical land with the potential for the cultivation and processing of a variety of crops, issues such as productivity and profitability hamper the growth of the sector. At SLINTEC Analytical Services, we can provide a quantitative analysis of the elements present in the agricultural products, fertilizers and soils. We are also capable of the characterization of agricultural crops, soils and fertilizers. Some agricultural applications that are possible to be carried out at the SLINTEC premises using the equipment available for analysis are given below.

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

• To study agricultural products in the nanoscale level
• To study the ultrastructure of microorganisms that affect important crops 

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

• To observe the pollen morphology and stomatal structure of different plants
• To study the ultrastructure of fungi and bacteria that affect important crops
• Examination of natural plant fibres such as cotton and banana fibres
• To study the plant, fungal and bacterial interactions that affect commercial crops
• Elemental mapping and analysis of interested regions of specimens of agricultural samples using EDX

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

• To analyse surface properties and visualization of nanostructured sensors, nanostructured packaging materials, bacteria surfaces, protein thin films etc. associated with agriculture at atomic level

Optical Microscopy

• Analysis of agricultural products to determine quality (seeds/fibres etc.)
• Study of structural components of agricultural materials, microorganisms that affect agricultural practices, soil samples etc.

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)

• Determination of the amount of weight change of agricultural residues, products, wastes and biomasses as a function of controlled temperature, in an atmosphere of high purity nitrogen or compressed air

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

• Thermal evaluation of agricultural residues, products, wastes and biomasses to yield information on glass transition temperature, protein denaturation etc.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

• Identification of varieties of commercially valuable seeds such as wheat based on the FTIR signals obtained relating to the protein, fat, carbohydrate and moisture content 
• Analysis of agricultural soil samples

Raman spectroscopy

• Structural analysis, safety control and classification of crops, fruits and vegetables
• Detection of adulteration

UV/Visible Spectroscopy

• Determination of phosphorous content in soils, crops, fertilisers etc.

X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRD)

• Analysis of fertilizers and soils

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR)

• Non-destructive analysis of chemical structures of extracts
• Fatty acid composition of oils
• H-NMR characterization of concentrated fruit juices
• Estimation of the age of spirits or dating of alcoholic beverages etc.
• Protein analysis using solid state NMR
• Characterization of soil humic and fulvic substances and aromaticity of organic matter in soil using solid state NMR

Inductively Coupled Plasma- Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

• Analysis of soil samples, fertilizers, agricultural products etc. to detect trace elements (below ppb levels)
• Heavy metal analysis in water samples

Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS)

• Analysis of soil samples, water samples, fertilizers, agricultural products etc. to detect trace elements (in ppm levels)

X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF)

•Non-destructive and qualitative elemental composition analysis of soil, seed and fertilizers etc.

CHNS Analysis

• Determination of C, H, N and S content

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDX)

• Elemental mapping and analysis of interested regions of specimens of agricultural samples

Particle Size Analysis

• Particle size analysis of fertilizers and soils

Kjeldahl Analysis

• Analysis of Nitrogen content in agricultural samples

XPS

• Surface chemical composition analysis of agricultural samples