Soil Health Sensor

 Unmet Need: Fast and accurate measurement of soil health

Soil health is a complex phenomenon that reflects the ability of soil to support both plant growth and other ecosystem functions. Research on electron transfer processes in soil environments is limited and can provide novel knowledge and new ways of monitoring soil health. Electrochemical activities in the soil can be studied by inserting inert electrodes, and in turn these measurements can be used to determine soil health rapidly and requiring less expertise compared to current technologies.

The Technology: Soil reactor to better understand soil health

The inventors have developed a soil reactor and a method thereof that demonstrates a possible use of electrical current as a proxy for microbial metabolic activity to distinguish healthy and unhealthy soil. Measuring soil health through microbial metabolic activity requires the incubation of dehydrogenases under controlled conditions, long heating times, and multiple other resource and time restrictive elements. Utilizing the current technology, researchers were able to observe the difference between healthy and unhealthy soil in one day without heating, the use of solvents or reagents, or enzymes.


  • Agriculture planning
  • In the field testing
  • Understanding soil systems
  • Analytical chemistry


  • Low cost soil sensor
  • Easy to use, in the field applications
  • No external reagents required
  • Faster results

Patent Information:

Provisional patent application has been filed.

Learn More

Rabindra Nanda
Technology Licensing Associate Senior
Washington State University
(509) 335-8608
Reference No: TECH-21/3423


Haluk Beyenal
Abdelrhman Mohamed
Maren Friesen

Key Words

Agriculture and Plant Sciences
Electrochemical sensor