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Stuart Rotator Keeps Statutory Fertilizer Analysis Work Turning Over

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Kent Scientific Services, a Public Analyst Laboratory, selected a Stuart STR4 rotator to meet the requirements of its fertilizer enforcement analysis work. The prescribed analysis methods for checking the nitrogen and phosphorus content in fertilizer samples require flasks to be mixed end-over-end at 35–40rpm.

Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) are the three primary nutrients needed in large quantities by plants. Manufactured fertilizers, used to supply crops with nutrients the soil lacks, have to be labelled with three figures indicating their NPK content.

The Fertilizers (Sampling and Analysis) Regulations 1996 require the figures to be checked by standardized analysis techniques. Kent Scientific Services, one of 18 Public Analyst Laboratories in England, provides scientific and calibration services for local authority enforcement agencies, including analysis of fertilizer samples collected by local Trading Standards officers from manufacturers’ premises or at the point of sale.

The Stuart STR4 drive unit is highly versatile, accepting a choice of five drums designed to take test-tube holders, plates, racks of microcentrifuge tubes, conical flasks, reagent bottles, or jars and paint tins up to 200mm in length and 120mm diameter. The rotation speed is variable from 6 to 60rpm for a range of mixing applications, and the unit can be run in continuous operation mode or with the analogue timer set for 10 to 60 minutes.