Soil-less farming scheme
e-Newtrients: recycling nutrients for future food
October 2019 / October 2020
Sustainable agriculture and efficient greenhouse management
Soil-less farming is one of the most promising solutions to increase food production, while limiting arable land and agriculture’s impacts on climate and biodiversity. However, today’s soil-less farming technologies (e.g. photosynthetic microorganisms cultivation or hydroponic farming) still fully rely on the use of mineral fertilizers derived from primary non-renewable resources. Natural soils, instead, are the most efficient circular-economy actors: communities of microorganisms ‘regenerate’ organic residues by oxidizing organic compounds and releasing mineral forms of nutrients, turning them available for plants growth. A biomimetic approach to reproduce this function in soil-less farming would limit their reliance on primary sources of mineral fertilizers.
This project proposes an innovative concept of artificial soil, based on stimulating microbial oxidation towards the mineralization of organic compounds, using bio-electrochemically active materials.
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