Ejlskov is measuring redoxpotentials

As partner in Future Cropping Ejlskov is developing a probe for measuring redox potential. The measurements document areas prone to nitrogen leaching.

Billedtekst: Bjørn Hjortshøj Andersen and Palle Ejlskov are developing a probe for recording redox potential in the soil matrix. Bjørn Hjortshøj Andersen and Palle Ejlskov are developing a probe for recording redox potential in the soil matrix.
Why participate in Future Cropping?

We were asked if we would participate in the development of a probe technology for measuring redox potential in soil. This challenge caught our interest. Our area of expertise lies in developing probes for measuring and detecting contaminants, e.g. oil, arsenic and heavy metals. We have little experience in within the field of agriculture; however we see a business potential.

We will be working in cooperation with scientists at Aarhus University and GEUS, this we also find attractive.

Ejlskov is developing a probe for measuring redox potential in soil as part of work package 9.

Area of focus

Ejlskov is responsible for the mapping of redox zones via measurements in the soil matrix. Knowledge on Redox conditions are important when predicting leaching of N. The upper soil layers are typically aerobic and the dominant N-form will be nitrate. However, in the deeper anaerobic soil layers nitrate will be reduced to atmospheric nitrogen and thus leave the system as nitrogen gas not posing a potential threat to aquatic systems. The depth of the anaerobic conditions is depends on local geology.

The Ejlskov method is characterized by the practice where measuring equipment is placed in the soil matrix. The probe developed by Ejlskov is designed as following:

  • Equipped with electronic sensors, measuring pH, redox and soil type
  • The probe is measuring every 1-3 cm, down to 15-25 meters depth
  • The probe is placed in the soil using a drilling rig from Geoprobe Systems.
  • Data can be collected from 10-20 locations per day depending on measuring depth
  • The measurements will continuously be uploaded to a 3D-visualising software (Ejlskov Studio®) developed by Ejlskov.
  • Water samples of 0,5-1 dl can be collected for further analysisThe variation in local soil properties depicts the necessary amount of samples.Ejlskov has been part of the development of a new probe and is currently applying for patent. The probe will be tested in the Future Cropping demonstration fields in 2016.
Our vision for participating in Future Cropping  

For us this is a lottery and we still don’t know whether this is a potential business area. We are not used to working in the upper soil layers where water is transported to streams. Normally we work in deeper soil layers detecting contaminants. Working in agriculture is likewise a new area for us.

However, we see a business potential and the timing is right in regard to targeted regulation being implemented over the coming years. Data plays a key role in the targeted regulation and thus farmers as well as authorities might find our services interesting.

Ejlskov in short

Ejlskov was founded in 1999 and today 22 people are employed. Ejlskov is expert in soil- and groundwater pollution and assist with pollution investigations, risk assessments and remediation. In 2015 the company turnover equaled 40 million DKK with 75 % coming from business abroad.

Project participants
  • Director Palle Ejlskov
  • Leading chemist Bjørn Hjortshøj Andersen
  • Head of department Lars Nebel