Smart Materials for crop production II

Smart Materials for crop production II

Organisatie-onderdeel

TKI TU

Projectcode

LWV20174

MMIP

Landbouw, Water, Voedsel>B. Klimaatneutrale landbouw en voedselproductie>B5. Energiebesparing, -productie en -gebruik (incl. Kas als Energiebron)

Startdatum

01/01/21

Einddatum

31/12/24

Samenvatting

The background of this project is that the area of protected cultivation in the world is increasing, driven by the increased demand for fresh, high-quality fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants and cut flowers, free of chemical residues and with low carbon and water footprint. In the first project of “PPS Smart Materials for greenhouses (2017-2020)” it has been shown that there is an enormous potential for the development and application of “smart” materials for horticulture. The goal of this follow-up program is to continue to develop smart materials that allow the control of quantity, spectral composition and geometrical distribution of sunlight entering the greenhouse. Next to light, the smart control of other growth factors such as temperature and humidity is very important for crop production to save energy and water and will get more focus in this follow-up project by developing hydrophilic and water absorbent or selectively permeable surfaces and by developing low emission coatings and highly insulating materials. The decreasing use of fossil fuels will lead to a reduction in the availability of carbon dioxide for greenhouse atmosphere enrichment. The development of smart materials capable of adsorbing CO2 directly from the atmosphere and desorbing it to the greenhouse at a low energy cost will also have attention in this follow up. The thereby higher level of climate control in the greenhouse and indoor farming systems and new features such as anti-septic and self-healing/cleaning surfaces might contribute to even lower chemical residues The expected results are a selection of materials from other industries, improvements of existing materials and development of new materials on the field of energy saving, maximum use of sunlight, humidity control and integral sustainable features, whose application contributes to the integral sustainability of the greenhouse crop production system. In this project these materials will be targeted to selected crops and markets. Participating partners have multi-disciplinary background combining chemistry, material science, biology, plant physiology, but also physics and knowledge of greenhouse production systems. Partners will co-develop new materials, knowledge transfer between high-tech industry and horticulture will facilitate a sustainable, climate neutral horticulture with less waste and high value products for consumers in the future. Communication and dissemination of results will be done via FME and Glastuinbouw Nederland with end-users and with supply industry. An advisory group will be involved monitoring experiments with new materials. Relevant stakeholders will be invited to regular workshops to show new developments and discuss implementation in practice.

Doel van het project

The target of this project is to develop smart materials that allow the control of quantity, spectral composition and geometrical distribution of sunlight entering the greenhouse. Next to light, the smart control of other growth factors such as temperature and humidity is very important for crop production to save energy and save water and will focus by developing hydrophilic and water absorbent or selectively permeable surfaces and by developing low emission coatings and highly insulating materials. The project therefore directly contributes to the goals of climate neutral fossil- and emission free greenhouses. The decreasing use of fossil fuels will lead to a reduction in the availability of carbon dioxide for greenhouse atmosphere enrichment. The development of smart materials capable of adsorbing CO2 directly from the atmosphere and desorbing it to the greenhouse at a low energy cost will also have attention in this follow up project. The thereby higher level of climate control in the greenhouse and indoor farming systems and the new feature such as anti-septic surfaces might contribute to even lower chemical residues. Nanotechnology contributes to stronger and even self-healing/cleaning materials with longer lifetime and thus less waste.

Relatie met missie (Motivatie)

The project fits in MMIP B5E12A Energy saving, production and use, specifically in the sub-programme Kas als Energiebron, which has the long-term ambition of a sustainable and profitable greenhouse horticulture sector, which is climate neutral, with sustainable use of water and resilient and robust cultivation systems but also economically feasible. This project develops new sustainable technologies to make maximum use of natural sunlight, new greenhouse roof and screen materials are developed for high light transmission, light spectrum selection, light distribution. Due to their properties, materials with a high insulation value make a direct contribution to the energy saving objectives of the mission and to the development of climate neutral horticultural production systems. Furthermore, materials with “smart” properties with regard to moisture absorption/permeability in the greenhouse roof or in screen materials are being developed, which can drastically reduce the ventilation requirement and thus the heating requirement. This also gives concrete solutions to the subject of energy saving. However, integral sustainability of the greenhouse ‘system’ is only guaranteed if the additional CO2 shortage is solved sustainably, such as e.g. by new materials, but subject of this project. The prevention or reduction of diseases is promoted by antiseptic surfaces which prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria and thus reduce the conservation or spread of diseases. The moisture-regulating materials also make an important contribution to maintaining optimal conditions for the crop.

This project contributes to the development of key technologies for High Tech Systems and Materials. A next generation of high-tech materials and (nano) coatings and (nano) structured materials, functional additives, membranes or coatings and materials with responsive properties are being developed. The new materials strengthen the position of the high-tech industry in the Netherlands, contribute to sustainable and profitable international greenhouse horticulture and to the health and well-being of consumers in Europe and beyond.
The material development in this project is the result of a collaboration between high-tech companies that are strong in material development or have even developed materials for other applications which, after adaptations, also offer added value for companies active in horticulture that meet the needs of greenhouse growers well. Through these projects, both sectors are connected, get to know their needs and create co-innovations together. This project is a good example in the field of material development for horticulture.

Geplande acties

The expected results are a selection of materials from other industries, improvements of existing materials and development of new materials on the field of energy saving, maximum use of sunlight, humidity control and integral sustainable features (WP2). These materials will be targeted to selected crops and markets (WP1). Participating partners have multi-disciplinary background combining chemistry, material science, biology, plant physiology, but also physics and greenhouse production systems. Partners will co-develop new materials (WP3), knowledge transfer between high-tech industry and horticulture will facilitate a sustainable, climate neutral horticulture with less waste and high value products for consumers in the future. Results are disseminated towards different target groups (WP4).

The following deliverables are planned throughout the different workpackages:
WP1 Global market assessment (2022)
• Report on detailed market size and technological requirements for high-end greenhouses in the world;
• Report on key regions for indoor farming and expected future developments;
• Simple business cases per selected material for further development by the diverse partners
WP2 Material selection, development and testing (2021-24)
For different analysed materials a report will detail:
• The results of the measurements/tests/simulations performed related to relevant properties;
• The possible role towards integral sustainability of the greenhouse system;
• The potential outlook for application in greenhouses, with particular attention to possible synergies with materials from other partners.
WP3 Synergies towards integral sustainable systems (2024)
• Report detailing integral experiments, its results and an analysis of potential advance towards integral sustainability is delivered.
WP4 Networking, communication and dissemination (2021-24)
• 2 project consortium meetings every year to discuss progress and results, these will be held at different locations at project partners combined with field visits to laboratories, production or experimental sites
• Workshops on chosen topics, these will be a combination of physical gatherings combined with excursions to end-users (growers) or online meetings
• Scientific presentation of results, such as scientific conferences (e.g. ISHS Greensys, AgEng) and scientific journals (e.g. Biosystems Engineering, Advanced Energy Materials)
• Installation of an advisory group, 1 advisory group meeting per year
• Communication plan will we worked out including participation in national or international public events on which results are presented, such as EnergiekEvent, Greentech, AgroFoodTech, FruitLogistica; newsletters, growers’ magazines and website articles (e.g. Kas als Energiebron, WUR); network events for a broader public such as visits of experiments; project website.

Naam projectleider

Silke Hemming