In-soil potassium sensor system

Sherlan G. Lemos, Ana Rita A. Nogueira, André Torre-Neto, Aleix Parra, Judit Artigas, Julian Alonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A potentiometric sensor system based on potassium ion-selective electrodes was developed for agricultural purposes. Sensors were built using PVC ion-selective membranes over an inner solid contact prepared with graphite-epoxy composites. A copper plate was used as a reference electrode. A two-stage electronic circuit composed of current and voltage amplifiers was designed to interface the sensors to a distributed data acquisition system. Three ion-selective sensors and three off-the-shelf temperature sensors and their associated circuits were mounted in a PVC tube to set up a soil probe. The electronic controls were placed in an airtight box fixed at the upper part of the probe. The system was evaluated in the field, where the sensors presented sensibility within the range of 69-71 mV dec-1. Extracts of soil samples were analyzed by a current flame photometry approach, and the results, compared with the probe measurements, showed a linear relationship (r 2 = 0.992 and 0.995, respectively, to 5 and 20 cm depths), which implies viability and instrumentation reliability for agricultural applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5810-5815
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2004


  • In-situ
  • Potassium
  • Potentiometric sensor
  • Soil analysis
  • Soil fertility


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