Poster in Dec 28, 2023 13:25:42

E-soil is being developed for agriculture

E-soil is being developed for agriculture

Photo: Collected

From electric cars to electric kettles, many things are now 'electric'. E-Mati or Electric Soil is going to be added to this list. Meanwhile, researchers at Sweden's Linköping University have created artificial soil using an electrical conductor for soilless farming. They made artificial soil by mixing cellulose biopolymer with a conductor called PEDOT.

They changed the traditional form of soil by connecting e-soil with a low-power electrical source through a method known as hydroponics. About 50 percent of the seedlings grew after experimental planting of barley seedlings in laboratory-made e-soil. Plant growth is believed to be improved as the soil is electrically stimulated. A paper on e-soil has already been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Eleni Stavrinido, a scientist at Linköping University's bioelectronics laboratory, said the world's population is growing and the climate is changing. It is not possible to meet the world's food needs using existing agricultural methods. With hydroponics we can grow food in cities. In this type of cultivation, rice husk, sand, sandstone, etc. are used as hydroponic layers. Plant roots develop in these layers as an alternative to soil. The e-soil system has created a unique opportunity for hydroponics cultivation through electrical conduction. The researchers experimented with growing barley seedlings in e-soil. It was found that within 15 days the growth of barley was 50% faster.

Plants grow without soil through hydroponics. In this case, water and necessary nutrients and an artificial medium are required for root development. For this, in a closed system, each plant is supplied with essential nutrients through very little water. Hydroponics can be grown vertically or horizontally. Lettuce, various medicinal plants and various types of vegetables are usually cultivated in this method. New research opens up new opportunities to grow barley seedlings using hydroponics.

Scientist Eleni Stavrinido also said that this method is very effective for rapid seedling development. We still don't know what biological process is causing the plant to grow faster. Electrical stimulation causes plant roots to process nitrogen more efficiently. However, we do not yet understand how electrical stimulation affects the entire process. We cannot say that hydroponics will solve all food security problems. But this new method can help a lot. Where there is little arable land, this method can be said to be quite effective.

Source: Online/GFMM

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