Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Growing greenhouse produce on a polymer film.
In Japan ,a scientist has shown how to grow fruits and vegetables on a polymer film.Film farming is the brainchild of Yuichi Mori, the chemical physicist who founded Mebiol in 1995. Mori spent the majority of his career developing polymer technologies for the medical industry. However, he had long been fascinated by plant biology and found inspiration in the adaptability of the vegetable kingdom. He began by growing a small patch of grass on hydrogel film under LED lights. After more than a decade of experimentation, Mori and his colleagues developed a soil-free farming system that could be used to cultivate crops in greenhouses on a large scale. The polymer film is the key to a cutting-edge farming method that makes it possible to grow fruits and vegetables on practically any flat exterior. Made of hydrogel – a super absorbent material typically used in household products such as disposable diapers – the film works by soaking up water and nutrients through a multitude of nano-sized pores measuring one millionth of a millimetre in diameter. Plants grow on top of the film, but instead of digging into the ground, the roots spread across the surface of the membrane in wispy, fan-like formations. more