A Solid-Phase Buffer Technique To Maintain Low Concentrations Of Phosphate In Nutrient Solutions

George C. Elliott, Carl J. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


An inexpensive and mechanically simple technique has been developed to maintain realistically low P concentrations in nutrient solutions using a solid-phase buffer. Phosphate is adsorbed on alumina in a PVC column, and the resulting alumina-P is desorbed against nutrient solution circulated through the column. Kinetics of P adsorption and desorption indicate that the solid-phase-P has rapidly and slowly desorbing components and that buffering capacity is limited by desorption from the solid phase. The technique has been used to maintain P concentrations as low as 0.4 mmolm -3for 26 days in experiments with maize (Zea mays L.), and in solution cultures with prune (Prunus domestics L.) trees. Effects of P supply on P accumulation and P transport are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1058
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1983

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. D.N. Munns for helpful discussions, Dr. J. Hohenberg for preliminary data on P adsorption by alumina, and Mr. J. Bold for X-ray spectographic data. Funds were provided by a grant from Allied Chemical Company to A.L. and from the California Prune Board to R.C. A preliminary account of part of this work has been presented elsewhere (Elliott and Lauchli, 1982).

Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Solution culture
  • accumulation
  • alumina
  • maize
  • prune
  • transport


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