Smart Materials for crop production II

Projecttitel: Smart Materials for crop production II
Projectnummer: LWV20.174
Missie: Klimaatneutrale landbouw en voedselproductie
MMIP:  B6 – Productie en gebruik van biomassa

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.