Maximisation of greenhouse horticulture production with low quality irrigation waters

Europeans consume more fruit and vegetables than they produce as climate limits the production of a range of fruit and vegetables, which are grown in more temperate locations. Intensive agriculture under plastic has allowed converting apparently unproductive lands with such mild climate conditions into modern agriculture exploitations that can source for the population food requirements. Worldwide there were 800,000 hectares covered by film greenhouses in 2009. Europe covers at present 20% of the global film greenhouse area, 160,000 Has.Unfortunately, expansion of land under intensive cultivation damages natural habitats and threatens biodiversity while increase water use is making it a fragile and scarce resource.

CARBGROWTH project aims to maximise European greenhouse horticulture production, optimising water resources by using low quality water from wells and aquaculture for irrigation purposes and ensure that final products commit with European quality standards. This project presents a multi-strategy approach to meet the following objectives:

• Increase net production and tolerance to salinity through CO2 injection.
• Recover CO2 by photo-catalysis from wastewater and exhaust gases for its injection in the greenhouse facility.
• Reusing wastewater from aquaculture for irrigation purposes and reducing the cost associated to water cleaning by photo-catalysis.
• Develop process control to optimise irrigation, CO2 injection and greenhouse climate control.

Inspiralia will study and develop the CO2 recovery system by photo-catalysis from wastewater and exhaust gases for its injection in the greenhouse facility. It will also develop the CO models and process control to optimise CO2 injection. By achieving the targeted objectives the CARBGROWTH project will offer to European agricultural producers the possibility to increase the total horticulture production (kg/m2) without major additional investments and operational costs.

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