A nutrient spray is being used by Airponix to deliver a growing system that makes agricultural sustainable in extreme conditions.
Michael Ruggier is speaking at “CEA is Growing Up” he is the CEO of Airponix which has a smart, sustainable and soilless system that is designed to support the growth of a broad range of food and niche crops.
He explains: “Our solution mimics nature, like an orchid growing in air, absorbing light, oxygen, humidity and nutrients from its surroundings. Roots are exposed to a nutrient rich fog which is more effective way of delivering the nutrients than any other systems such as current aeroponics which sprays the roots, or hydroponics which submerges them.
“It does not require an expensive pumping system or for the water to be changed, so in comparison to hydroponics we use a fraction of the water and can provide double the yield.”
”It is a simple, low-maintenance, smart, soil-less system.”
Airponix is currently trialing the technology in Kenya to provide seed potatoes, and has an agreement with major potato house in the UK.
Try before buying
The plan is to lease small units to potential customers for a season so they can test the technology before making a commitment.
Michael explains: Adopting a new technology is hard enough, especially if it is a new radical change. We are going allow customers to try-before-buying with some clearly defined key performance indicators. When they see how good it is, they’re going to want as many as they can get!
“This is already underway but currently looking for partners in geographies where there is low food-security but high-income, for example the Middle East) as they will be more comfortable trialing new technology. Once the technology has been proven multiple times we will expand further.”
Nutrient spray offers benefits over other technologies
Michael explains that the system has benefits when compared to hydroponics and aeroponics.
“Hydroponics uses a lot of water and pumps, and so requires lots of energy to pump the water. Airponix uses a much more fundamental force, entropy, to deliver the nutrients.
“Aeroponics also uses a spray but this results in the roots becoming long, drooping, and stuck together. Airponix’s much smaller droplet size allows for the roots to grow out in a much more efficient way making it much easier for the plant to absorb the nutrients as it penetrates deep into all the root hairs.
”In addition, we are developing a new technology (IP secured) that will drastically reduce the running and maintenance cost of the system to keep us ahead of the competition.”