Laboratory of Soil Science and Geoecology

The Laboratory of Soil Science and Geoecology under the direction of Dr. Peter Kühn has been significantly expanded and modernized since 2006. Today, the laboratory has state-of-the-art equipment for sample preparation (e.g. microwave MLS Start 1500, ball mill Pulverisette 5 (Fritsch), freeze-drying unit Alpha 1-4 LSCplus (Christ), Miele washer-disinfector G 7883 AE, several hoods and drying cabinets) and for numerous basic analyses such as pH value, EC, carbonate content, ...


The elemental analyzer Vario EL III (Elementar), purchased in 2007, allows the determination of the total C, N and S contents. In 2010, we developed a density fractionation method for organic matter in soils using a refrigerated centrifuge Rotanta 460 RS and a Hielscher UP200S ultrasonic processor. A Seal AA3 Continuous Flow Analyzer (CFA, 2012) allows the determination of dissolved total nitrogen, ammonium, nitrate/nitrite and phosphate. Since 2014 we have been equipped with an UVVIS (Specord 200 Plus, Analytik Jena) for the measurement of smaller sample quantities or other substances.  Since 2013 we have been able to carry out continuous measurements for particle sizes <63 µm in addition to the combined sieve-pipette method (according to Köhn) with a SediGraph III 5120 (Micromeritics) + Autosampler MasterTech MT 052. After reconstruction in the western part of the laboratory, an IRMS (Isoprime VisION) coupled with an elemental analyzer (Isotope Cube) and a Pyro Cube (all machines from Elementar) were installed in 2020. Now we are also able to measure the stable isotopes of CHONS. In 2022, we replaced our ICP OES from 2009 with the ICP OES PlasmaQuant 9100 Elite (analytikjena). This allows us to measure a wide range of elements in liquids at a high resolution of e.g. 0.002 nm at 200 nm.


In addition to our own research projects and laboratory courses for students, we offer a range of analyses and measurements for faculty members and external partners. There is sufficient work space to carry out all kinds of geomorphological, pedological and geoecological analyses as well as geoarchaeological and micromorphological studies.

Our micromorphological equipment covers all steps including sampling, sample preparation and analysis. Using an encapsulated diamond saw Uniprec Woco Top 250 A1 and an encapsulated precision grinding machine (LDQ 6100, Huayid). We routinely produce high precision thin sections 60 x 90 mm. A Zeiss Axio Imager.A2m polarizing microscope acquired in 2009 with additional functions for circular polarized light is used for the routine analysis of thin sections. Since 2012, the Colibri.2 system has also enabled coupled fluorescence microscopy.

Before working in the laboratory, it is recommended to read the latest version of “Working Safely in Laboratories

Field equipment for drilling and sampling in all types of climate zones and environments is available and can be rented on request.


Dr. Peter Kühn

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Fachbereich Geowissenschaften

Labor für Bodenkunde und Geoökologie

Rümelinstraße 19-23

72070 Tübingen

Tel.: +49 (0)7071-29-74896

Fax: +49-(0)7071-29-5391

Email: peter.kuehn(at)