NOMINEES

Film Farming with Hydrogel
Community category

About

Farming system that does not need soil and use 90% less water due to the usage of Hydrogel

Detailed Description:
Aims to create nutritious food using fractional amounts of water and commercial production of high yielding food within the existing farming paradigm

Known drawbacks of design:
Unknown

Website:
http://www.mebiol.co.jp

Designed in:
2009

Status of realization:
In production

Challenge(s):
Energy, Environment, Food, Water

Region of use:
Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America

Form/Impact/Context

Form
Film farming is a technology in which plants are cultivated on a hydromembrane composed of water-soluble polymer and hydrogel. This hydromembrane absorbs water and nutrients from the culture medium, and does not release any to the plant side. Accordingly, the plant develops a lot of fine and dense roots closely attached to the hydromembrane surface to absorb water and nutrients. Additionally, the plant regulates the production of sugars, amino acids, etc. in high quantities to promote absorption of water and nutrients by inducing osmotic shift. As a result, the IMEC produce becomes highly nutritious.

Impact
In hydroponics, the plant roots come in direct contact with medium culture, as a result plants suck excessive water from the medium culture. Further, a huge amount of medium culture is discarded in hydroponics after every production cycle. In Film Farming, roots do not come in direct contact with medium culture, instead they take water and nutrients from the film absorbed by the hydrogel contained in the film by osmotic shift producing sugars and amino acids. Also, the water does not move across the film. Thus plants grow a thin flat sheet of roots on the film. This not only prevents evaporation but prevents sucking of excessive water by plants from the culture medium.

Context
Watering is absolutely needed for plant growth, but over 95% of the supplied water such as tap water, rain water, etc. escapes before uptake by the plant. What a waste! We are facing an urgent water crisis by global warming. The requirement of safety, security and nutritiousness for crops is intensifying more and more all over the world.

Business

Is the design protected by patent or ip registration?
Patent

How has the development of the design been financed hereunto?
Company development costs

Is there a plan for future investments?
Yes

Is there in-house competencies to secure market roll out of the design, with regards to investment, distribution, sales, etc.?
Yes

Credits

Designed by:
Mebiol Inc

Title/Role:
Team

Professional status of designer:
Working

Nationality:
Japan

City/Country of residence:
Japan