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Seawater greenhouses to bring life to the desert

Phys.org/news (JULY 14, 2015)

Titre : Seawater greenhouses to bring life to the desert

Greenhouses that will use seawater to grow crops in one of the hottest and driest places on earth will be designed by researchers at Aston University working with industry partners as part of an international project.

Phys.org/news (JULY 14, 2015)

Présentation
The installations are to be erected in specially selected sites across the Horn of Africa, a region where temperatures regularly breach 40°C, water is scarce and food insecurity is very high. Due to the climate, conventional agriculture has been severely marginalised and the situation is worsening.

The project aims to overcome the region’s inhospitable conditions to help farmers drastically increase their crop yields, providing them with a consistent, sustainable income. Currently in Somalia, only 1.5% of the country’s land is cultivated and average annual crop yields per hectare are just 0.5 tons – compared to 700 tons per hectare in commercial greenhouses.

The productivity and quality of crops cultivated in greenhouses is typically much improved upon traditional open field cultivation and the use of water and nutrients is much more economical. Once installed, the innovative greenhouses will pump seawater from the sea using solar energy and convert it into freshwater for irrigation via the desalination process. The remaining seawater will be brought into contact with the air inside the low-cost net structures of the greenhouses, creating a cool and humid breeze to reduce plant transpiration. Salt extracted from the seawater will be utilised in cooking and preserving food.

Source  : Aston University

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

Page publiée le 29 juin 2021