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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 6 Issue 2 (2001) pp 86-90

Chemometric Analysis of Compositional Variation in Bison and Cow Patties: A Biogeochemistry– Environmental Chemistry Experiment

Alexander J. Moore and Nathan W. Bower*

Chemistry Department, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Received September 29, 2000. Accepted November 6, 2000

Published online: 9 February 2001

Abstract. Manure has been used as a fertilizer throughout recorded history; however, the high levels of nutrients in farm and feedlot runoff present many environmental problems. Analyses of nutrient cycling in manure and soil litter are important to issues such as global warming and land use. In this laboratory, chemical differences in aged manure patties from buffalo (Bison bison) and cow (Bos taurus) raised on ranches versus nature preserves are examined. These measurements offer a chance to introduce the basics of chemometrics such as factorial experimental design and multivariate analysis in an environmental context that captures student interest. These important methods are appropriate to instrumental analysis or environmental chemistry, but are rarely integrated into these courses.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; biochemistry; biogeochemistry; environmental chemistry; instrumental analysis; interdisciplinary

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: nbower@ColoradoCollege.edu)

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Issue date: April 6, 2001

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