Main content area

Precision of Peat Moss Water Contents Measured by Microwave-Oven Drying

Balascio, C. C.
Applied engineering in agriculture 1990 v.6 no.5 pp. 592-596
Sphagnum, agricultural engineering, convection, microwave drying, temperature, water content
Water contents of peat moss samples measured by using a standard air-oven drying method were compared to water contents determined by using several microwave-oven drying procedures, some of which combined microwave and convection drying. The standard method required drying of the peat moss for a 24-h period at a temperature of 103° C. All microwave methods required 20 minutes or less to complete. Peat moss water contents ranged from approximately 52% to 65% wet basis. Bartlett’s test was used to show that water content variances were not significantly different for the various moisture level and drying method combinations (p > 0.70). Microwave-determined water contents were comparable in precision to those determined by the conventional air-oven technique. With precision of microwave drying methods established, a calibrated microwave-oven method could be a rapid, accurate alternative to the air-oven procedure for determining water content of peat moss.