Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 297, Issue 2, pp 303–307 | Cite as

Tracking soil transport to sugarcane industry using neutron activation analysis

  • E. A. De Nadai Fernandes
  • M. A. Bacchi
  • G. A. Sarriés
  • J. C. Marson
  • C. Sbrana
  • E. S. B. Ferraz


Soil as mineral impurity in sugarcane loads impacts the Brazilian sugar-ethanol industry with rising production and maintenance costs as well as decreased productivity. The mechanical harvesting of sugarcane was conceived as a technology with potential to increase the raw material quality thereby has been gradually replacing manual harvesting throughout the country. Instrumental neutron activation analysis was applied for determination of soil tracers in order to compare the performance of both harvesting systems in terms of mineral impurities. There were no significant differences in the amount of soil transported to sugarcane industry despite the technological progress aggregated to mechanical harvesting. However, for both harvesting systems there were significant differences on the amount of such mineral impurity between clay and sandy soils.


INAA Sugarcane quality Harvesting system Mineral impurity 



Authors are very grateful to technicians and operators of the Usina Iracema, Grupo São Martinho, for their invaluable collaboration in sampling and technological analysis.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. A. De Nadai Fernandes
    • 1
  • M. A. Bacchi
    • 1
  • G. A. Sarriés
    • 2
  • J. C. Marson
    • 1
  • C. Sbrana
    • 1
  • E. S. B. Ferraz
    • 1
  1. 1.Nuclear Energy Center for Agriculture, University of São PauloPiracicabaBrazil
  2. 2.Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São PauloPiracicabaBrazil

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