The method generally adopted for the determination of potassa in manures, i. e., the direct incineration of the sample, may in certain cases occasion considerable errors in consequence of the volatilization of a portion of the potassium products.

To avoid this inconvenience, the author proposes a preliminary treatment of the manure with sulphuric acid at 1.845 sp. gr., to convert potassium nitrate and chloride into the fixed sulphate. The sulphuric acid attacks the manure energetically, and much facilitates the incineration, which may be effected at a dark red heat. The ignited portion (10 grms.) is exhausted with boiling distilled water acidulated with hydrochloric acid, and the filtrate, when cold, is made up to 500 c. c. Of this solution 50 c c., representing 1 grm. of the sample, are taken, and, after being heated until close upon ebullition, baryta-water is added until a strong alkaline reaction is obtained. The sulphuric and phosphoric acids, alumina, magnesia, etc, are thus precipitated. The filtrate is heated to a boil, and mixed with ammonia and ammonium carbonate, to precipitate the excess of baryta in solution. The last traces of lime are eliminated by means of a few drops of ammonium oxalate. The filtrate is evaporated down on the water-bath, and the ammoniacal salts are expelled by carefully raising the temperature to dull redness. After having taken up the residue in distilled water it is treated with platinum chloride, and the potassium chloro-platinate obtained is reduced with oxalic acid.

The quantity of potassa present in the manure can be calculated from the weight of platinum obtained.--Bull. de la Soc. Chim. de Paris.