Soil Lab

Soil Unit

Laboratorio de SuelosIMDEA-Water has a laboratory dedicated to analysis of soils, sediments and similar solid matrices, such as humus or reactive materials. 

Applications

  • Texture
  • Moisture, pH and electrical conductivity
  • Organic Matter
  • Total nitrogen, assimilable phosphorus, nitrates
  • Total calcium carbonate
  • Soil LabCation exchange capacity and exchangeable bases (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+)
  • Exchangeable aluminium
  • Metals
  • Phosphates retention
  • Assimilable boron
  • Calcium carbonate equivalent content
  • Amorphous content (Si, Al, Fe)
  • Total organic carbon content
  • Moisture retention curve

Equipment

Laboratorio de suelos para pretratamiento de muestras

Area for pre-treatment of samples

Placas de Richard

Richards plates to calculate moisture retention

Horno/Microondas

Microwave/Oven for digestion and extraction

 

Intelligent greenhouse with climate control system

Description

IMDEA Water's top-of-the-range smart greenhouse is specially designed to withstand the demanding conditions of the research environment. It is a Reylux R9 model with a wide wing and gable roof, with a surface area of 100 m2, a total height to the zenith of 5 m, and a roof and walls made of colourless cellular polycarbonate with protection against UV radiation. It is characterised by its airtightness, insulation and resistance to humidity, which translates into high energy savings.

Greenhouse

Applications

The greenhouse equipment allows various types of tests to be carried out, both in hydroponics and in soil and/or amendment:

  • Crop productivity: assessment of the impact of irrigation with water of different qualities, which has been subjected to different treatments, on crop yields in terms of quantity of crop per area of land.
    Plant selection: evaluation of ecophysiological parameters for the selection of plant species, including large plant species (e.g. Populus spp., Salix spp., Typha spp., etc.), for use in Nature-Based Solutions, such as vegetation filters or wetlands.
  • Nature-based solutions: small-scale trials of attenuation of chemical (e.g. nutrients, pharmaceuticals, metals, etc.) and biological (e.g. viruses, parasites, antibiotic-resistant bacteria) contaminants, using selected plant species, for water purification and soil phytoremediation.
  • Public health risk: tests to assess the risk to food safety arising from the transfer of contaminants into the food chain via edible tissues of horticultural plants (e.g. Lactuca sativa, etc.).
  • Environmental impact: tests to assess the ecotoxicological impact of pollutants on the soil-plant system, such as soil microbiological activity (e.g. enzymatic activity, microbial biomass, etc.) and different morphological and physiological parameters of plants (e.g. leaf area, etc.).
  • Runoff and infiltration: tests using devices that simulate water movement by runoff and/or infiltration processes, with or without vegetation, to assess the mobility of pollutants present in soil or water, such as micronanoplastics.

Equipment

The greenhouse is designed to carry out independent experiments simultaneously with crops of plant species with different lighting needs depending on the growth stage under study. For this purpose, it includes computerised environmental control, cultivation tables with independent LED lighting and drip irrigation systems of different classes depending on the requests of researchers and clients. It is also equipped with devices for monitoring pollutants in the water-soil-plant system.

The greenhouse is equipped with:

Equipment Characteristics
Computerised environmental control     It allows fully automatic regulation of the greenhouse climate by means of software with multi-user access from any web browser.
Zenithal ventilation Double longitudinal continuous zenithal ventilation with opening on each side of the ridge
Thermal shading screen 100m2 horizontally trailed screen to help control temperature, humidity, brightness and heating energy costs
Weather station Station with sensors for outdoor temperature, outdoor humidity, wind speed, wind direction, rain detection and solar radiation
Artificial lighting Artificial lighting with LED photoperiod control (315 W and 1000 µmoles/s) of the latest generation specially designed for growth and flowering
Heating Electric fan heater with 12 kW power, 10368 kcal/h, voltage 400 V and flow rate 900 m3/h.
Cooling Evaporative cooler with 4 panels, 1.5 HP motor and a flow rate of 16,000 m3/h, which humidifies the air and introduces it into the greenhouse by overpressure
Air humidifier Special humidifier for greenhouses with mechanical water misting by high-speed centrifugal system with VMD 20 µm micronisation and adjustable flow rates of 10/44 L/h
Monitoring systems Moisture probes and sampling devices for interstitial water and soil infiltration, such as rhizon samplers, metal and ceramic suction capsules
Runoff/infiltration systems Structures designed to simulate on a small scale the movement of water in the ground in the form of surface and subsurface runoff and infiltration

Action funded through the agreement between the Community of Madrid (Regional Board of Education, Universities, Science and Spokesperson´s Office) and the IMDEA Water Foundation for the direct granting of a grant of 1,135,000.00 euros to finance the performance of actions in the field of research on SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 disease financed with REACT-EU resources from the European Regional Development Fund.

 

Oferta científico-tecnológica: Laboratorio de aguas y suelos

Servicios analíticos @LIMS