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Name: Charlene
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: PA
Country: USA
Date: N/A 


Question:
For my science experiment i am trying to prove that nitrogen based fertilizer deplete carbon in plants. the only method i could find when i researched how to measure carbon or CO2 is in a plant is with a fyrite device. my science teacher has never even heard of a fyrite device and i have no access to one. i simply need to find a not to complex way of figuring out the amount of carbon or concentration in a plant? also, is there any other way i could carry out this experiment?



Replies:
The simplest way of comparing the amount of carbon between plants is measuring the biomass ("weight" or mass of the plants), since the carbon is in the form of plant starches and sugars (hydrocarbons).

A fyrite is a gas analyzer but it would seem that you want to find out about relatively how much carbon is in the plants instead.

Anthony Brach
Missouri Botanical Garden
c/o Harvard University Herbaria


FYRITE is the trade name of a device for measuring carbon dioxide and/or oxygen. The manufacturer is

Bacharach, Inc.
621 Hunt Valley Circle, New Kensington, PA 15068
Phone: 724-334-5000 . Fax: 724-334-5001 . Toll Free: 800-736-4666
Web: www.mybacharach.com . E-mail: help@mybacharach.com


I found an instruction manual with a Google search, but I can't verify its appropriateness for your intended use, nor the price. Direct contact with the manufacturer is probably your best option. There are other methods and suppliers of carbon dioxide gas detection apparatus. For example:

http://www.bioworldusa.com/industrial/water-analysis-dissolved-carbon-dioxide-co2

However I can't tell you which method will meet your needs and pocket book. Your best bet is a Google search on "analysis of carbon dioxide gas". You will find a number of methods and suppliers.

Vince Calder


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