Tropical peatland is endowed by two ecosystems, rainforest and peatland, that represent above and below ground ecosystem, respectively. The differences of the aboveground and belowground characteristics highly influence the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of tropical peatland as a whole. The Chemistry Research Division is responsible for the generation and dissemination of knowledge and information on tropical peatlands for the responsible and sustainable development of tropical peatlands. The Division conducts research under three programmes: Soil & Water Chemistry; Greenhouse Gases; and Plant & Fertilizer.

  1. Soil & Water Chemistry
  2. The Soil & Water research programme aims to generate data on peat soil and water chemistry to inventory tropical peatlands and develop effective strategies for their development and management. The research investigates peat physico-chemical properties (bulk density, organic matter, acidity) and peat water chemistry.

  3. Greenhouse Gases
  4. The Greenhouse Gases programme aims to measure Greenhouse Gases (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and oxygen (O2)) to generate data to inventory peatlands and develop strategies to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gas emissions in tropical peatland ecosystems. The programme is conducted in different tropical peatland ecosystems, namely primary forest, secondary forest, and oil palm plantation. The processes and mechanisms behind peat decomposition are also researched to enhance our understanding of the different peatland ecosystems and how to manage them.

  5. Plant & Fertilizer
  6. The Plant & Fertilizer research programme aims to generate plant science and fertilizer data to develop approaches to increase plant growth and yield in tropical peatlands. The research evaluates soil fertility, plant nutrition and the effect of pesticides on water quality in tropical peatland ecosystems.

The Division’s laboratory is equipped with various analytical instruments and has the technical expertise to conduct various types of analyses such as Automated Gas Chromatography, Inductive Coupled Plasma Spectrometry, Ion Chromatography Spectrometry, Total Organic Carbon Analysis, Thermogravimetric Analysis, Carbon and Nitrogen Analysis, and UV-Visible Spectrometry. Our goal is to develop and provide sound solutions to manage peat resources as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.