ASTM D2974 - 13

    Standard Test Methods for Moisture, Ash, and Organic Matter of Peat and Other Organic Soils

    Active Standard ASTM D2974 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.22

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This test method can be used to determine the moisture content, ash content, and percent organic matter in soil.

    5.2 The percent organic matter is important in the following: (1) classifying peat or other organic soil, (2) geotechnical and general classification purposes, and (3) when peats are being evaluated as a fuel.

    Note 1The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etc. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover the measurement of moisture content, ash content, and organic matter in peats and other organic soils, such as organic clays, silts, and mucks. Test Method D2216 provides an alternative method for determining moisture content in mineral soils and rock.

    1.1.1 Test Method A—Moisture is determined by drying peat or organic sample at 110 ± 5°C.

    1.1.2 Test Method B—Alternative moisture method which removes the total moisture in two steps: (1) evaporation of moisture at room temperature, (2) subsequent oven drying of air dried sample at 110 ± 5°C. This method is used when the peat is to be used as fuel.

    1.1.3 Test Method C—Ash content of a peat or organic soil sample, for general purposes, is determined by igniting oven dried sample from moisture content determination in a furnace at 440 ± 40°C.

    1.1.4 Test Method D—Ash content of a peat or organic soil sample, for materials used for fuel, is determined by igniting oven dried sample from moisture content determination in a furnace at 750 ± 38°C.

    1.2 Test Method A should be used for general classification, except for use of the peat as a fuel. Test Method B should be used when peats are being evaluated for use as a fuel

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. Use Practice D6026 for determining significant digits to report.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.5 This test method offers a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this test method may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project’s many unique aspects. The word “Standard” in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved though the ASTM consensus process.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    E145 Specification for Gravity-Convection and Forced-Ventilation Ovens


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 65.080 (Fertilizers)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101603(Peat); 11111800(Clays)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D2974

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D2974-13, Standard Test Methods for Moisture, Ash, and Organic Matter of Peat and Other Organic Soils, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.org

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