Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Soil gives clues for harnessing CO2

Dr. James Barefield demonstrates the backpack mounted LIBS for nuclear safeguard monitoring

Dr. James Barefield demonstrates the backpack mounted LIBS for nuclear safeguard monitoring

A team of scientists and engineers including Dr. James E. Barefield II of Chemistry Division featured on KRWG (Public Television for Southwest New Mexico) recently deployed a backpack Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) system (developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) by a team led by Barefield II) at an experimental agricultural test site operated by New Mexico State University (NMSU). The team used the backpack LIBS to measure soil nutrients (carbon, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus) which are important to an agricultural sustainability program pioneered by Dr. David Johnson and Dr. Joe Ellington of NMSU. Result from this program also indicated that approximately 47 tons of CO2 emissions can be sequestered in the soil’s biomass per acre, required less water, and contamination from trace elements from fertilizers can be eliminated. The agricultural sustainability program includes researchers from Sandia NL (Brian Dwyer), LANL (Elizabeth J. Judge, Loan A. Le, and Leon N. Lopez), and NMSU. The LANL part of the effort was supported through a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant managed by Becky Coel-Roback.

2/20/2013


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