Study on the Use of Manganese-Containing Materials as a Micro Fertilizer Based on the Local Mineral Resources and Industrial Wastes in Hydroponic Systems

Hydroponic greenhouses systems (production of the artificial substrate without soil) are becoming popular in the world. Mostly the system is used to grow vegetables and berries. Different countries are taking action to participate in the development of hydroponic technology and solutions such as EU members, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc. Many vegetables and berries are grown by hydroponics in Europe. As a result of our research, we have obtained material containing manganese and nitrogen. It became possible to produce this fertilizer by means of one-stage thermal processing, using industrial waste containing manganese (ores and sludges) and mineral substance (ammonium nitrate) that exist in Georgia. The received material is usable as a micro-fertilizer with economic efficiency. It became possible to turn practically water-insoluble manganese dioxide substance into the soluble condition from industrial waste in an indirect way. The ability to use the material as a fertilizer is predetermined by its chemical and phase composition, as the amount of the active component of the material in relation to manganese is 30%. At the same time, the active component elements presented non-ballast sustained action compounds. The studies implemented in Poland and in Georgia by us have shown that the manganese-containing micro-fertilizer- Mn(NO3)2 can provide the plant with nitrate nitrogen, which is a form that can be used for plants, providing the economy and simplicity of the application of fertilizers. Given the fact that the application of the manganese-containing micro-fertilizers significantly increases the productivity and improves the quality of the big number of agricultural products, it is necessary to mention that it is recommended to introduce the manganese containing fertilizers into the following cultures: sugar beet, corn, potato, vegetables, vine grape, fruit, berries, and other cultures. Also, as a result of the study, it was established that the material obtained is the predominant fertilizer for vegetable cultures in the soil. Based on the positive results of the research, we consider it expedient to conduct research in hydroponic systems, which will enable us to provide plants the required amount of manganese; we also introduce nitrogen in solution and regulate the solution of pH, which is one of the main problems in hydroponic production. The findings of our research will be used in hydroponic greenhouse farms to increase the fertility of vegetable crops and, consequently, to get bountiful and high-quality harvests, which will promote the development of hydroponic greenhouses in Georgia as well as abroad.

Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment

Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.

Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms

This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.

Sustainable Cities: Viability of a Hybrid Aeroponic/Nutrient Film Technique System for Cultivation of Tomatoes

Growing environmental and sustainability concerns have driven continual modernization of horticultural practices, especially for urban farming. Controlled environment and soilless production methods are increasing in popularity because of their efficient resource use and intensive cropping capabilities. However, some popular substrates used for hydroponic cultivation, particularly rock wool, represent a large environmental burden in regard to their manufacture and disposal. Substrate-less hydroponic systems are effective in producing short cropping cycle plants such as lettuce or herbs, but less information is available for the production of plants with larger root-systems and longer cropping times. Here, we investigated the viability of a hybrid aeroponic/nutrient film technique (AP/NFT) system for the cultivation of greenhouse tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Panovy’). The plants grown in the AP/NFT system had a more compact phenotype, accumulated more Na+ and less P and S than the rock wool grown counterparts. Due to forced irrigation interruptions, we propose that the differences observed were cofounded by the differing severity of water-stress for plants with and without substrate. They may also be caused by a higher root zone temperature predominant in plants exposed to AP/NFT. However, leaf area, stem diameter, and number of trusses did not differ significantly. The same was found for leaf pigments and plant photosynthetic efficiency. Overall, the AP/NFT system appears to be viable for the production of greenhouse tomato, enabling the environment to be relieved by way of lessening rock wool usage.

Sky Farming: The Alternative Concept of Green Building Using Vertical Landscape Model in Urban Area as an Effort to Achieve Sustainable Development

This paper is a literature review presented descriptively to review the concept of green building to face the challenge of sustainable development and food in urban areas. In this paper, researchers initiated the concept of green building with sky farming method. Sky farming use vertical landscape system in order to realizing food self-sufficient green city. Sky farming relying on plantings and irrigation system efficiency in the building which is adopted the principles of green building. Planting system is done by applying hydroponic plants with Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) using energy source of solar cell and grey water from the processing of waste treatment plant. The application of sky farming in urban areas can be a recommendation for the design of environmental-friendly construction. In order to keep the land and distance efficiency, this system is a futuristic idea that would be the connector of human civilization in the future.

Study of Salinity Stress and Calcium Interaction on Morphological and Physiological Traits of Vicia villosa under Hydroponic Condition

For the study of salinity stress on Vicia villosa and calcium effect for modulation of that, an experiment was conducted under hydroponic condition, and some important morphological and physiological characteristics were evaluated. This experiment was conducted as a factorial based on randomized complete design with three replications. The treatments include salinity stress in three levels (0, 50, and 100 mM NaCl) and calcium in two levels (content in Hoagland solution and double content). The results showed that all morphological and physiological traits include root and shoot length, root and shoot wet and dry weight, leaf area, leaf chlorophyll content, RWC, CMS, and biological yield was significantly different from the control and is affected by the salinity stress severely. But, calcium effect on them was not significant despite of decreasing salinity effect.

Toxicity Depletion Rates of Water Lettuce (Pistia stratoites) in an Aquaculture Effluent Hydroponic System

The control of ammonia build-up and its by-product is a limiting factor for a successful commercial aquaculture in a developing country like Nigeria. The technology for an advanced treatment of fish tank effluent is uneconomical to local fish farmers which have led to indiscriminate disposal of aquaculture wastewater, thereby increasing the concentrations of these nitrogenous compound and other contaminants in surface and groundwater above the permissible level. Phytoremediation using water lettuce could offer cheaper and sustainable alternative. On the first day of experimentation, approximately 100 g of water lettuce were replicated in four hydroponic units containing aquaculture effluents. The water quality parameters measured were concentration of ammonium–nitrogen (NH4+-N), nitrite-nitrogen (NO2--N), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3--N), and phosphate–phosphorus (PO43--P). Others were total suspended solids (TSS), pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and biomass value. At phytoremediation intervals of 7, 14, 21 and 28 days, the biomass recorded were 361.2 g, 498.7 g, 561.2 g, and 623.7 g. Water lettuce was able to reduce the pollutant concentration of all the selected parameter. The percentage reduction of pH ranged from 3.9% to 14.4%, EC from 49.8% to 96.2%, TDS from 50.4% to 96.2%, TSS from 38.3% to 81.7%, NH4+-N from 38.9% to 90.7%, NO2--N from 0% to 74.9%, NO3--N from 63.2% to 95.9% and PO43--P from 0% to 76.3%. At 95% confidence level, the analysis of variance shows that F(critical) is less than F(cal) and p < 0.05; therefore, it can be concluded statistically that the inequality between the pre-treatment and post-treatment values are significant. This suggests the potency of water lettuce for remediation of aquaculture effluent.

Consumer Behavior and Knowledge on Organic Products in Thailand

The objective of this study was to investigate the awareness, knowledge and consumer behavior towards organic products in Thailand. For this study, a purposive sampling technique was used to identify a sample group of 2,575 consumers over the age of 20 years who intended or made purchases from 1) green shops; 2) supermarkets with branches; and, 3) green markets. A questionnaire was used for data collection across the country. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. The results showed that more than 92% of consumers were aware of organic agriculture, but had less knowledge about it. More than 60% of consumers knew that organic agriculture production and processing did not allow the use of chemicals. And about 40% of consumers were confused between the food safety logo and the certified organic logo, and whether GMO was allowed in organic agriculture practice or not. In addition, most consumers perceived that organic agricultural products, good agricultural practice (GAP) products, agricultural chemicals free products, and hydroponic vegetable products had the same standard. In the view of organic consumers, the organic Thailand label was the most seen and reliable among various organic labels. Less than 3% of consumers thought that the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Global Organic Mark (GOM) was the most seen and reliable. For the behaviors of organic consumers, they purchased organic products mainly at the supermarket and green shop (55.4%), one to two times per month, and with a total expenditure of about 200 to 400 baht each time. The main reason for buying organic products was safety and free from agricultural chemicals. The considered factors in organic product selection were price (29.5%), convenience (22.4%), and a reliable certification system (21.3%). The demands for organic products were mainly rice, vegetables and fruits. Processed organic products were relatively small in quantity.

Phytoremediation Rates of Water Hyacinth in an Aquaculture Effluent Hydroponic System

Conventional wastewater treatment plants of activated carbon, electrodialysis, ion exchange, reverse osmosis etc. are expensive to install, operate and maintain especially in developing countries; therefore, the use of aquatic macrophytes for wastewater purification is a viable alternative. On the first day of experimentation, approximately 100g of water hyacinth was introduced into the hydroponic units in four replicates. The water quality parameters measured were total suspended solids (TSS), pH and electrical conductivity (EC). Others were concentration of ammonium–nitrogen (NH4+-N), nitrite-nitrogen (NO2--N), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3--N), phosphate–phosphorus (PO43--P), and biomass value. At phytoremediation intervals of 7, 14, 21 and 28 days, the biomass recorded were 438.2 g, 600.7 g, 688.2 g and 725.7 g. Water hyacinth was able to reduce the pollutant concentration of all the selected parameter. The percentage reduction of pH ranged from 1.9% to 14.7%, EC from 49.8% to 97.0%, TDS from 50.4% to 97.6%, TSS from 34.0% to 78.3%, NH4+-N from 38.9% to 85.2%, NO2--N from 0% to 84.6%, NO3--N from 63.2% to 98.8% and PO43--P from 10% to 88.0%. Paired sample t-test shows that at 95% confidence level, it can be concluded statistically that the inequality between the pre-treatment and post-treatment values are significant. This suggests that the use of water hyacinth is valuable in the design and operation of aquaculture effluent treatment and should therefore be adopted by environmental and wastewater managers.

Modelling Phytoremediation Rates of Aquatic Macrophytes in Aquaculture Effluent

Pollutants from aquacultural practices constitute environmental problems and phytoremediation could offer cheaper environmentally sustainable alternative since equipment using advanced treatment for fish tank effluent is expensive to import, install, operate and maintain, especially in developing countries. The main objective of this research was, therefore, to develop a mathematical model for phytoremediation by aquatic plants in aquaculture wastewater. Other objectives were to evaluate the retention times on phytoremediation rates using the model and to measure the nutrient level of the aquaculture effluent and phytoremediation rates of three aquatic macrophytes, namely; water hyacinth (Eichornia crassippes), water lettuce (Pistial stratoites) and morning glory (Ipomea asarifolia). A completely randomized experimental design was used in the study. Approximately 100 g of each macrophyte were introduced into the hydroponic units and phytoremediation indices monitored at 8 different intervals from the first to the 28th day. The water quality parameters measured were pH and electrical conductivity (EC). Others were concentration of ammonium–nitrogen (NH4+ -N), nitrite- nitrogen (NO2- -N), nitrate- nitrogen (NO3- -N), phosphate –phosphorus (PO43- -P), and biomass value. The biomass produced by water hyacinth was 438.2 g, 600.7 g, 688.2 g and 725.7 g at four 7–day intervals. The corresponding values for water lettuce were 361.2 g, 498.7 g, 561.2 g and 623.7 g and for morning glory were 417.0 g, 567.0 g, 642.0 g and 679.5g. Coefficient of determination was greater than 80% for EC, TDS, NO2- -N, NO3- -N and 70% for NH4+ -N using any of the macrophytes and the predicted values were within the 95% confidence interval of measured values. Therefore, the model is valuable in the design and operation of phytoremediation systems for aquaculture effluent.

Ecoliteracy and Pedagogical Praxis in the Multidisciplinary University Greenhouse toward the Food Security Strengthening

One of the challenges that higher education faces is to find how to approach the sustainability in an inclusive way to the student within all the different academic areas, how to move the sustainable development from the abstract field to the operational field. This research comes from the ecoliteracy and the pedagogical praxis as tools for rebuilding the teaching processes inside of universities. The purpose is to determine and describe which are the factors involved in the process of learning particularly in the Greenhouse-School Siembra UV. In the Greenhouse-School Siembra UV, of the University of Veracruz, are cultivated vegetables, medicinal plants and small cornfields under the usage of eco-technologies such as hydroponics, Wickingbed and Hugelkultur, which main purpose is the saving of space, labor and natural resources, as well as function as agricultural production alternatives in the urban and periurban zones. The sample was formed with students from different academic areas and who are actively involved in the greenhouse, as well as institutes from the University of Veracruz and governmental and nongovernmental departments. This project comes from a pedagogic praxis approach, from filling the needs that the different professional profiles of the university students have. All this with the purpose of generate a pragmatic dialogue with the sustainability. It also comes from the necessity to understand the factors that intervene in the students’ praxis. In this manner is how the students are the fundamental unit in the sphere of sustainability. As a result, it is observed that those University of Veracruz students who are involved in the Greenhouse-school, Siembra UV, have enriched in different levels the sense of urban and periurban agriculture because of the diverse academic approaches they have and the interaction between them. It is concluded that the ecotechnologies act as fundamental tools for ecoliteracy in society, where it is strengthen the nutritional and food security from a sustainable development approach.

Interactive of Calcium, Potassium and Dynamic Unequal Salt Distribution on the Growth of Tomato in Hydroponic System

Due to water shortage, application of saline water for irrigation is an urgent in agriculture. In this study the effect of calcium and potassium application as additive in saline root media for reduce salinity adverse effects was investigated on tomato growth in a hydroponic system with unequal distribution of salts in the root media, which was divided in to two equal parts containing full Johnson nutrient solution and 40 mMNaCl solution, alone or in combination with KCl (6 mM), CaCl2 (4 mM), K+Ca (3+2 mM) or half-strength Johnson nutrient solution. The root splits were exchanged every 7 days. Results showed that addition of calcium, calcium-potassium and nutrition elements equivalent to half the concentration of Johnson formula to the saline-half of culture media minimized the reduction in plant growth caused by NaCl, although addition of potassium to culture media wasn’t effective. The greatest concentration of sodium was observed at the shoot of treatments which had smallest growth. According to the results of this study, in case of dynamic and non-uniform distribution of salts in the root media, by addition of additive to the saline solution, it would be possible to use of saline water with no significant growth reduction.

Effects of Molybdenum on Phosphorus Concentration in Rice (Oryza sativa L.)

A hydroponic trial was carried out to investigate the effect of molybdenum (Mo) on uptake of phosphorus (P) in different rice cultivars. The experiment was conducted using a randomized complete-block design, with a split-plot arrangement of treatments and three replications. Four rates of Mo (0, 0.01, 0.1 and 1 mg L−1) and five cultivars (MR219, HASHEMI, MR232, FAJRE and MR253) provided the main and sub-plots, respectively. Interaction of molybdenum×variety was significant on shoot phosphorus uptake (p≤0.01). Highest and lowest shoot phosphorus uptake were seen in Mo3V3 (0.6% plant-1) and Mo0V3 (0.14% plant-1) treatments, respectively. Molybdenum did not have a significant effect on root phosphorus content. According to results, application of molybdenum has a synergistic effect on uptake of phosphorus by rice plants.

Higher Plants Ability to Assimilate Explosives

The ability of agricultural and decorative plants to absorb and detoxify TNT and RDX has been studied. All tested 8 plants, grown hydroponically, were able to absorb these explosives from water solutions: Alfalfa > Soybean > Chickpea> Chikling vetch >Ryegrass > Mung bean> China bean > Maize. Differently from TNT, RDX did not exhibit negative influence on seed germination and plant growth. Moreover, some plants, exposed to RDX containing solution were increased in their biomass by 20%. Study of the fate of absorbed [1-14ðí]-TNT revealed the label distribution in low and high-molecular mass compounds, both in roots and above ground parts of plants, prevailing in the later. Content of 14ðí in lowmolecular compounds in plant roots are much higher than in above ground parts. On the contrary, high-molecular compounds are more intensively labeled in aboveground parts of soybean. Most part (up to 70%) of metabolites of TNT, formed either by enzymatic reduction or oxidation, is found in high molecular insoluble conjugates. Activation of enzymes, responsible for reduction, oxidation and conjugation of TNT, such as nitroreductase, peroxidase, phenoloxidase and glutathione S-transferase has been demonstrated. Among these enzymes, only nitroreductase was shown to be induced in alfalfa, exposed to RDX. The increase in malate dehydrogenase activities in plants, exposed to both explosives, indicates intensification of Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle, that generates reduced equivalents of NAD(P)H, necessary for functioning of the nitroreductase. The hypothetic scheme of TNT metabolism in plants is proposed.

Fungal Disinfection by Nanofiltration in Tomato Soilless Culture

Principally, plants grown in soilless culture may be attacked by the same pests and diseases as cultivated traditionally in soil. The most destructive phytopathogens are fungi, such as Phythium, Phytophthora and Fusarium, followed by viruses, bacteria and nematodes. We investigated effect of carbon nanotube filters on disease management of soilless culture. Tomato seedlings transplant in plastic pots filled with a soilless media of vermiculite. The crop irrigated and fertilized using a hydroponic nutrient solution. We used carbon nanotube filters for nutrient solution disinfection. Our results show that carbon nanotube filtration significantly reduces pathogens on tomato plants. Fungal elimination (Fusarium oxysporum and Pythium spp.) was usually successful at about 96 to 99.9% all over the cultural season. It is seem that in tomato soilless culture, nanofiltration constitutes a reliable method that allows control of the development of diseases caused by pathogenic fungi

Cultivation of Thymus by In Vitro And Hydroponics Combined Method

Our results showed that for the growth of qualitative seedling and vegetative raw material of ðó. marschallianus Willd. and T. serphyllum L. it is more profitable to use the in vitro and hydroponics combined method. In in vitro culture it is possible to do micro-propagation whole year with 98-99% rhizogenesis. 30000 micro-plants were obtained from one explant during 9 months. Hydroponic conditions provide the necessary microclimate for microplants where the survival rate without acclimatization was 93.3%. The essential oil content in hydroponic dry herb of both species in vegetative and blossom phase was 1.3% whereas in wild plants it was 1.2%, the content of extractive substances and vitamin C also exceeded wild plants. Our biochemical and radiochemical investigations indicated that the medicinal raw materials obtained from hydroponic and wild plants of Thymus species correspond to the demands of SPh XI, and the content of artificial radionuclides does not exceed the MACL.

Investigation on Yield and Fruit Quality of Some Cultivated Strawberry in Iran

fifteen cultivars of Strawberries (Queen Eliza, Sequia, Paros, Mcdonance, Selva, Chandler, Mrak, Ten beauty, Aliso, Pajero, Kordestan, Camarosa, Blackmore, Gaviota and Fresno) were investigated in 2011, under hydroponic system condition. Yield and fruit Firmness was determinate. Chemical analyses of soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), ascorbic acid (AA) and pH were done. 4 cultivars (Aliso, Selva, Paros and Gaviota) yielded more than 250 g/plant, while cultivar Black more, Fresno and Kordestan produced less than 100g/plant. The amounts of fruit firmness indicated that 'Camarosa' fruit was firmer than others cultivars. Cultivar 'Fresno' had the highest pH (3.27). Ttitratable acidity varied from 1.03g/l00g for cultivar 'Sequia' and 'Gaviota' to 1.48g/l00g for cultivar 'Chandler'. Fresno, Kordestan, Aliso and Chandler showed the highest soluble solid concentration. Ascorbic acid averaged for most cultivars between 30.26 and 79.73 mg/100gf.w. Present results showed that different cultivars of strawberry contain highly variable in fruit quality.

Potential Role of Halophytic Macrophytes in Saline Effluent Treatment

The growth of the aquaculture industry has been associated with negative environmental impacts through the discharge of raw effluents into the adjacent receiving water bodies. Macrophytes from natural saline lakes, which have adaptability to the high salinity, can be suitable for saline effluent treatment. Eight emergent species from natural saline area were planted in an experimental gravel bed hydroponic mesocosm (GBH) which was treated with effluent water from an intensive fish farm using geothermal water. In order to examine the applicability of the halophytes in treatment processes, we tested the relative efficacy of total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), potassium (K), sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) removal for the saline wastewater treatment. Four of the eight species, which were Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia, Glyceria maxima, Scirpus lacustris spp. tabernaemontani could survive and contribute the experimental treatment.