Financial benefits of sourcing minerals from food waste
The use of food waste on soilless farms continues to emerge as a critical avenue for controlling and managing hydroponics costs. It also promises to provide greater resource efficiency and a high waste / value ratio compared to mineral salts. And while this hasn’t always been the case, soilless farms now have the technology and science that can cause them to consider sourcing minerals at the macro and micro levels from vegetative waste streams. sterile and verified for financial benefits as well.
Past considerations on using vegetative food waste as a mineral source for soilless farms have been affected by many obstacles. These included:
Infrastructure: Logistics, transportation, enforcement, and other factors meant there was no traditional infrastructure in place to mine to recover minerals and reuse them for food growth in a more circular system.
Science: In addition to infrastructure challenges, the science for developing precise and measurable mineral inputs for aboveground farms varied wildly, a problem no farm without soil could risk.
Treatment: Soilless farms were also limited on the space and equipment available to extract the desired minerals. It was not feasible from an investment point of view, and it was beyond their competence, requiring excess space and access to waste streams.
Previously, these risks were considered too high for vertical operations which required a delicate balance that could easily be upset by any of the above obstacles.
The danger to current input costs represents an opportunity
As soilless farms continue to grow, the supply of essential minerals is becoming increasingly expensive on a global scale. In addition to direct competition from traditional farms, soilless farms also compete with other industries outside of food production for many of the same minerals.
Recent data from mineral-rich regions such as Chile indicate that critical minerals such as molybdenum and nitrates, as well as salts, are growing with no indication of loss. Many of these minerals are used in many industries, such as new alternative energy products and traditional and aboveground farms.
To achieve greater profitability, hydroponics and other soilless farms already face higher energy and operational costs than traditional farms. They are also faced with an increasingly sophisticated and sophisticated consumer base seeking new products to entice them to “embrace” a new model. And they must also use science and technology to propel yields and optimize space to enable them to create an economy of scale.
An innovative way to do this would be to source minerals from products created in a closed-loop system that extracts minerals from food waste. The financial impact of being able to do so is a game-changer for the industry. This would withdraw from global basic mineral competition and allow a direct and sustainable source of minerals and nutrients that work at least at the same level as the current use of mineral salt.
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