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International Conference on Mechanical and Electrical Technology, 3rd, (ICMET-China 2011), Volumes 1–3

Yi Xie
Yi Xie
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Pontian has the largest tropical peat deposit in Johor state of Malaysia. The characteristics of the peat soil were found to be uniquely site specific. Traditionally, peat soil is categorized based on its loss of ignition at 440°C and its fibrous content regardless the types of humus content, namely humic acid, fulvic acid and humin. Infrared spectroscopy was used in this study to determine the molecular characteristics of the peat soil as well as the organic soil underneath it with the aim to characterize the types of the organic matter. The peat soil and organic soil was retrieved with a peat auger, a sampler which has been specifically designed for sampling very soft materials especially, peat, to minimize the disturbance on the soil samples. Representative samples were tested for its molecular characteristics by using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. A commercial grade water soluble humic acid imported from China was utilized as the standard. Physical and chemical properties of humic acid were determined to ensure the quality of commercial grade humic acid. Quantitatively, low correlation was found between peat soil/organic soil samples when compared with the humic acid which indicated that the humic acid in the Pontian peat soil/organic soil is not present.

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