Volume 22, Issue 4 (December 1999)
Fast and Accurate Techniques for Determination of Water Content in Soils
This paper describes expeditious and reliable procedures for determining the water content of soils that are alternative to the traditional convection oven technique. There exist linear relationships between the results of the conventional procedure and those obtained by the use of the microwave oven, direct heating of soils on a stove, distilling toluene, or burning alcohol to induce the evaporation of water; proportionality coefficients linking these results vary between 0.96 and 1.02. Microwave ovens are a much faster and cheaper means than convection ovens and are as reliable; for this technique, the mass of water that must be removed and the output power of the oven play the most important roles in defining the drying time for a soil.