(Hydropneumatic Elutriation System)

Separates roots from soil materials.

Knowledge of plant root responses to both favorable and unfavorable soil conditions is fundamental to our understanding of the complex root soil interface. One of the greatest hindrances to the responses of plant roots to soil environmental conditions has been the absence of an inexpensive method for quantitatively separating the soil from roots and other biological materials.
Our system, which separates roots from soil materials, combines the kinetic energy of pressurized spray jets and low energy of air flotation. Washing times range from 3 to 10 minutes and is a function of soil texture, plant species, concentration of the dispersing agent and soaking time.
Recent advances in the application of computer technology for the rapid measurement of root systems washed free of soil and the greater need for more quantitative root data for whole plant systems, clearly indicate a greater need for the development of a precise and more inexpensive method for the rapid separation of roots from soil materials. Gillison’s Variety Fabrication, Inc. has constructed a quantitative system that efficiently separates roots from compacted soils without destroying small lateral roots, nodules, and other fragile root structures. This machine quantitatively separates roots and other biological materials from soils ranging in texture from sand to clay using the principle of hydropneumatic elutriation.