The water content of the soil is defined as the ratio of the mass of water to the mass of solids. In this blog post, we are going to discuss the alcohol method for water content determination of soil.
The alcohol method is quite rapid for the determination of the water content of the soil but it is not very accurate as the oven drying method.
The alcohol method is not used for soil that contains a large proportion of clay, organic matter, gypsum, or any other calcareous material.
Apparatus & Material Required For Alcohol Method
Here is the list of apparatus and material which is required for the determination of the water content of soil by alcohol method-
- Palette Knife– Use for turning the soil sample
- Evaporating Dish– The soil sample is taken on the evaporating dish.
- Balance– Form measurement purposes
- Methylated Spirit– It is an alcohol that is mixed in the soil.
Procedure Of Alcohol Method
1. First we clean the evaporating dish and measure it as M1.
2. The soil sample is taken in the evaporating dish and the sample is broken and crumbled properly.
3. Now take the weight of the soil sample with the evaporation dish as M2.
4. After the weighting, it’s time to mix the methylated spirit which is basically alcohol in the soil sample.
5. Around one milliliter of methylated spirit is required for every gram of soil.
6. The methylated spirit and soil sample are mixed uniformly by turning the soil sample with the help of the Palette Knife.
7. Now it’s time to make a fire on the sample and the mixture is turning with the help of the knife when the fire is taking place.
8. After 10 minutes, the methylated spirit (alcohol) has completely burnt away, and the dish is allowed to be cooled.
9. When the dish is cooled down, the mass of the dry soil is obtained and the dry soil with the evaporation dish is weighted as M3.
|1||M2– the mass of evaporating dish with the the soil sample||–||–||–|
|2||M3– the mass of evaporating dish with dry soil||–||–||–|
|3||M3– mass of evaporating dish with dry soil||–||–||–|
The calculations of water content are done from the following equation-
The formula for the calculation of water content through the alcohol method is w= (M2-M3 / M3-M1).100.
Here- M1– is the mass of the empty evaporating dish.
M2– the mass of evaporating dish with a soil sample.
M3– the mass of evaporating dish with dry soil
|w= (M2-M3 / M3-M1).100||–||–||–|
Result- Average water content of the soil sample is —
The water content determination of the soil is done by various methods like Oven Drying Method, Sand Bath Method, Pycnometer Method, Alcohol Method, Radiation Method, Calcium Carbide Method, and Torsion Method.