“Self-irrigating soil” for the agriculture of the future

Vegetables watered on their own? Perhaps be possible, thanks to a material that absorbs moisture from the air and transfers it to plant roots when chreiazontai.To “aftopotizomeno soil” developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin containing super-absorbent gel that absorbs moisture air at night and release it when the temperature rises during the imeras.To new hydrogel substrate would reduce the consumption of water for irrigation “and potentially expanded the map of arable land in locations deemed inhospitable to date,” appreciate the creators of .Each gram of substrate, the researchers in the journal ACS Materials Letters, absorbing 3-4 grams water. Depending on the requirements of the plants, just 100 grams to 1 kg of new material would be enough to irrigate one square meter of land, calculations showed. Radishes on the roof Fei Zao, member of the research team. “In fact the main limiting factor is water, which is why we developed a substrate that can collect water from atmosfaira.Oi researchers experimented on the roof of a building in the university complex, comparing the new substrate with sandy soils usually respond to dry areas. During an experiment that lasted four weeks, the new substrate retained about 40% of the water with which it had initially been wetted. By comparison, sandy soil lost 80% of its original amount of water in a week. In a second experiment, researchers planted radishes, either on the new substrate or in natural sandy soil, in mini-greenhouses left on the roof. All radishes were watered regularly until they were established and then left to stand for comparison. Radishes grown on the hydrogel substrate survived for 14 days, while none of the radishes planted in natural soil survived for more than two days. It remains unknown whether the hydrogel solution would be economically viable in practice, or whether it causes hitherto unknown side effects in the environment. Also remains unknown whether the temperature fluctuations in the course of 24 hours is sufficient for powering the retention-release water cycle in arid perioches.Oi investigators however already envision and other applications, such as cooling of photovoltaic systems and data centers, or even Drink water from the air. Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest News from Greece and the World, at

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