Publications

Determination of Bio-Based Fertilizer Composition Using Combined NIR and MIR Spectroscopy: A Model Averaging Approach

Wali, Khan; Khan, Haris Ahmad; Farrell, Mark; Henten, Eldert J. van; Meers, Erik

Summary

Application of bio-based fertilizers is considered a practical solution to enhance soil fertility and maintain soil quality. However, the composition of bio-based fertilizers needs to be quantified before their application to the soil. Non-destructive techniques such as near-infrared (NIR) and mid-infrared (MIR) are generally used to quantify the composition of bio-based fertilizers in a speedy and cost-effective manner. However, the prediction performances of these techniques need to be quantified before deployment. With this motive, this study investigates the potential of these techniques to characterize a diverse set of bio-based fertilizers for 25 different properties including nutrients, minerals, heavy metals, pH, and EC. A partial least square model with wavelength selection is employed to estimate each property of interest. Then a model averaging, approach is tested to examine if combining model outcomes of NIR with MIR could improve the prediction performances of these sensors. In total, 17 of the 25 elements could be predicted to have a good performance status using individual spectral methods. Combining model outcomes of NIR with MIR resulted in an improvement, increasing the number of properties that could be predicted from 17 to 21. Most notably the improvement in prediction performance was observed for Cd, Cr, Zn, Al, Ca, Fe, S, Cu, Ec, and Na. It was concluded that the combined use of NIR and MIR spectral methods can be used to monitor the composition of a diverse set of bio-based fertilizers.