Project

Technical procedures for closed crop production systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change-induced abiotic stress (MinTHG)

Goal: One of the major challenges of the 21st century is the mitigation of global climate change, which is mainly caused by greenhouse gas emissions. One contribution to this could be made by advanced and intelligently controlled greenhouse systems. Therefore, the main objective of the forthcoming project, with four project partners, is to develop and optimize innovative technical procedures for the greenhouse system as a whole. This will be done not only to achieve a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but also to reduce the consumption of freshwater and fertilizer recourses. This goal is in the context with the optimization of microclimatic conditions, such as temperature, relative humidity, light intensity and quality as well as CO2 concentration, in the closed plant production system to ensure the high-quality food supply to the population regardless of the climatic changes. The research is especially focussed on the finding of an optimal cooling process, the development of new outdoor climate-adapted CO2, light and nutrient solution control strategies, as well as new substrates and substrate-less culture systems for closed greenhouse system, taking into account the reduction of abiotic stress factors in times of increasing variability of climatic conditions. Within the frame of investigations on the changes of the phenotype caused by the technical procedures, online measured phytosignals (photosynthesis, transpiration, leaf temperature, stomata conductance, chlorophyll fluorescence etc.) and laboratory analyses are parts of this project to detect changes in the primary and secondary metabolism of plants and associated changes in product quality and quantity.

Project duration: 1. September 2018 – 31. August 2021
Funding code: 28-1-B2.035-16
Project coordinator: Dr. Dennis Dannehl
Project partner: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, RAM GmbH Mess- und Regeltechnik, DH Licht GmbH, Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH

The project is supported by funds of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture(BMEL) based on a decision of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany via the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) under the innovation support programme.

Date: 1 September 2018 - 31 August 2021

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Project log

Dennis Dannehl
added 2 research items
Replacement of rock wool by organic substrates is considered to reduce the environmental impact, e.g., through energy savings during production and waste prevention, caused by hydroponically produced crops. A suitable substrate for plant production is characterized by an optimal composition of air- and water-filled pores. In our study, we used hemp fibers as an organic alternative to rock wool in order to cultivate tomato plants in hydroponics for 36 weeks. The leaf area, plant length, and yields, as well as the quality of fruits including soluble solid contents, dry weight content, mineral composition, and contents of phenolic compounds caused by both substrates, were similar. Carotenoids were significantly increased in fruits from plants grown in hemp at some measuring dates. Nevertheless, higher emission rates of greenhouse gases such as N2O, CO2, and CH4 caused by hemp fiber compared to those emitted by rock wool during use are rather disadvantageous for the environment. While hemp proved to be a suitable substrate in terms of some physical properties (total pore volume, bulk density), a lower volume of air and easily available water as well as very rapid microbial decomposition and the associated high nitrogen immobilization must be considered as disadvantages.
Dennis Dannehl
added a research item
Concepts of semi-closed greenhouses can be used to save energy, whereas their technical equipment often causes a decrease in the light received by the plants. Nevertheless, higher yields are achieved, which are presumably triggered by a higher CO2 concentration in the greenhouse and associated higher photosynthesis because of the technical cooling and the longer period of closed ventilation. Therefore, we examined the effects of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and CO2 concentration on plant photosynthesis and transpiration in tomato using a multiple cuvette gas exchange system. In a growth chamber experiment, we demonstrated that a light-mediated reduction in photosynthesis can be compensated or even overcompensated for by rising CO2 concentration. Increasing the CO2 concentration from 400 to 1000 µmol mol−1 within the PPFD range from 303 to 653 µmol m−2 s−1 resulted in an increase in net photosynthesis of 51%, a decrease in transpiration of 5 to 8%, and an increase in photosynthetic water use efficiency of 60%. Estimations showed that light reductions of 10% can be compensated for via increasing the CO2 concentration by about 100 µmol mol−1 and overcompensated for by about 40% if CO2 concentration is kept at 1000 instead of 400 µmol mol−1.
Dennis Dannehl
added a research item
In agriculture, the increasing scarcity of arable land and the increase in extreme weather conditions has led to a large proportion of crops, especially vegetables, being cultivated in protected soilless cultivation methods to provide people with sufficient and high-quality food. Rockwool has been used for decades as a soil substitute in soilless cultivation. Since rockwool is not biodegradable, it is disposed in landfills after its use, which nowadays leads to ecological concerns and drives the search for alternative substrates, especially organic materials. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of organic materials (wood chips, sphagnum moss, and hemp fibers) in relation to rockwool substrate on plant growth and quality of lettuce as a result of physical and chemical properties of the mentioned substrates. We were able to show that sphagnum moss is a suitable substitute substrate for lettuce cultivation, contrary to hemp. All investigated substrates presented good physical properties, but differed in their decomposition stability. Within 8 weeks, 30% of the hemp and about 10% of both sphagnum and wood materials were degraded. It was concluded that the increased microbiological activity immobilized nitrogen and led to oxygen deficiency in the rhizosphere and resulted in increased phenolic acid contents in lettuce but poor yield on hemp. Sphagnum caused a pH decrease and accumulation of ammonium in the nutrient solution and allowed the highest yield for lettuce at moderate phenolic acid contents. Low yields were obtained on wood, which could possibly be increased by optimized nutrient solution, so that wood as an alternative to rockwool was not excluded. By applying used organic substrates as soil additives on arable land, the nutrients accumulated in it might fertilize the open field crops, thus saving mineral fertilizers. This, together with the avoidance of waste, would contribute to a greater sustainability.
Ingo Schuch
added 2 research items
Zu den großen Herausforderungen des 21. Jahrhunderts gehört die Folgeneindämmung des durch Treibhausgasemissionen (THG-Emissionen) verursachten Klimawandels. Hierbei ist der Agrarsektor ein beachtlicher Emittent, darunter die wachsende Gewächshausbranche mit CO2-Emissionen. Daher erforscht und entwickelt das MinTHG-Konsortium, bestehend aus mehreren Firmen (RAM, DH Licht, Klasmann-Deilmann) und der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin innovative Technologien und Verfahren zur substantiellen Reduzierung von THG-Emissionen im Gewächshausanbau. o soll eine Erprobung der Kühlung/Entfeuchtung durch lichtverlustarme Wasservorhänge (<Taupunkt) im Gewächshaus dazu beitragen, den Unterglasanabau an die globale Erwärmung anzupassen, wobei Pflanzenstress vermieden und thermische Solarenergie zur späteren Verwendung gespeichert wird. In solchen semi-geschlossenen Gewächshäusern lassen sich Kohlendioxid und Wasser (bzw. Wasserdampf) einsparen, die sonst durch die Dachlüftung entweichen. Damit einher geht ein erhebliches Potential zur Düngereinsparung bzw. zur Minderung von THG-Emissionen durch die Düngerherstellung. Ferner soll eine Verwendung von Energieschirmen, gesteuert nach Photosynthese, den Wärmeverbrauch (bzw. Brennstoffverbrauch) von Gewächshäusern reduzieren. Einem weiteren Beitrag zur THG-Einsparung sollen Steinwollersatzsubstrate leisten. Dafür werden organische Substrate für den hydroponischen Intensivanbau getestet.Erwartungsgemäß können neue Technologien und Verfahren die Wachstumsbedingungen der Pflanzen beeinflussen. Hierzu werden die Auswirkungen der Interaktionen verschiedener Klimaparameter (wie Temperatur, Feuchte, CO2, Licht) in Ganzpflanzenküvetten untersucht und anhand kontinuierlicher biologischer Messdaten zur Photosynthese und Transpiration bewertet. Ergänzend dazu werden chemische Analysen zu qualitätsgebenden Inhaltsstoffen (4) (PDF) "MinTHG" - Technische Verfahren für geschlossene Pflanzenproduktionssysteme zur Minderung von THG-Emissionen und klimawandelbedingtem abiotischen Stress. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331639403_MinTHG_-_Technische_Verfahren_fur_geschlossene_Pflanzenproduktionssysteme_zur_Minderung_von_THG-Emissionen_und_klimawandelbedingtem_abiotischen_Stress [accessed Mar 18 2019].
Zu den großen Herausforderungen des 21. Jahrhunderts gehört die Folgeneindämmung des durch Treibhausgasemissionen (THG-Emissionen) verursachten Klimawandels. Hierbei ist der Agrarsektor ein beachtlicher Emittent, darunter die wachsende Gewächshausbranche mit CO2-Emissionen. Daher erforscht und entwickelt das MinTHG-Konsortium, bestehend aus mehreren Firmen (RAM, DH Licht, Klasmann-Deilmann) und der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin innovative Technologien und Verfahren zur substantiellen Reduzierung von THG-Emissionen im Gewächshausanbau.
Dennis Dannehl
added a project goal
One of the major challenges of the 21st century is the mitigation of global climate change, which is mainly caused by greenhouse gas emissions. One contribution to this could be made by advanced and intelligently controlled greenhouse systems. Therefore, the main objective of the forthcoming project, with four project partners, is to develop and optimize innovative technical procedures for the greenhouse system as a whole. This will be done not only to achieve a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but also to reduce the consumption of freshwater and fertilizer recourses. This goal is in the context with the optimization of microclimatic conditions, such as temperature, relative humidity, light intensity and quality as well as CO2 concentration, in the closed plant production system to ensure the high-quality food supply to the population regardless of the climatic changes. The research is especially focussed on the finding of an optimal cooling process, the development of new outdoor climate-adapted CO2, light and nutrient solution control strategies, as well as new substrates and substrate-less culture systems for closed greenhouse system, taking into account the reduction of abiotic stress factors in times of increasing variability of climatic conditions. Within the frame of investigations on the changes of the phenotype caused by the technical procedures, online measured phytosignals (photosynthesis, transpiration, leaf temperature, stomata conductance, chlorophyll fluorescence etc.) and laboratory analyses are parts of this project to detect changes in the primary and secondary metabolism of plants and associated changes in product quality and quantity.
Project duration: 1. September 2018 – 31. August 2021
Funding code: 28-1-B2.035-16
Project coordinator: Dr. Dennis Dannehl
Project partner: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, RAM GmbH Mess- und Regeltechnik, DH Licht GmbH, Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH
The project is supported by funds of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture(BMEL) based on a decision of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany via the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) under the innovation support programme.