10 October 2023 | Int. Greenhouse Guide | MOLEAER INC.

For years, researchers have been conducting trials on a wide variety of crops to analyze the benefits of oxygen nanobubble-enriched irrigation water.

Nanobubble technology has the highest gas transfer efficiency compared to traditional aeration technologies, delivering over 85% oxygen transfer efficiency versus 1% – 3% per foot of water for aeration. What’s unique about oxygenation with nanobubble technology is that nanobubbles produce stable dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations that last for weeks to even months. This allows growers to achieve optimal and economical DO concentrations, which supports plant health and crop production in several ways:

•  Enhanced Root Growth: Oxygen is essential for plant respiration and energy production, and optimal DO concentrations can promote more efficient root respiration, leading to stronger and more extensive root systems. This enables plants to absorb nutrients more effectively, resulting in increased growth and yield.
•  Improved Nutrient Uptake: Dissolved oxygen in soil or water facilitates the uptake of essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium by the plant roots. This results in better nutrient utilization and can promote faster growth and better crop yields.
•  Reduced Pathogens: Higher DO concentrations can also reduce the prevalence of soil-borne pathogens, such as harmful bacteria and fungi.
This is because many plant pathogens are anaerobic, meaning they thrive in low-oxygen conditions. Increasing oxygen levels creates a less favorable environment for pathogens, reducing the risk of crop disease.
•  Water conservation: Nanobubbles can improve the water-holding capacity of soil and soil substrates and improve water uptake efficiency, reducing the amount of water needed for irrigation. This can help farmers conserve water and reduce their environmental impact.
•  Reduce the surface tension of water, aiding in soil infiltration and the mobility of nutrients to get water and nutrients to the root zone more effectively.

Moleaer’s patented nanobubble technology delivers efficient, stable dissolved oxygen (DO) and high concentrations of electrochemically charged nanobubbles that alter the properties of water to deliver multiple benefits. The technology produces elevated levels of DO economically and with the most stability of any oxygenation technology to create optimal water conditions for developing healthy roots, promoting a healthy microbiome in the soil, and improving crop resilience to environmental stressors like drought and heat.

Certified Results
Several case studies conducted by research institutions have certified these results in different conditions.  Biosabor, a distributor of Moleaer’s nanobubble technology in Spain, together with Agrocolor SL, a leading organization in agri-food audits and certifications with its own department for research, development, and testing, studied the effects of nanobubble-enriched irrigation water on greenhouse tomatoes grown in native soil. To test these benefits in the greenhouse, Biosabor and Agrocolor compared tomato crops grown with nanobubble enriched irrigation water to crops grown with untreated irrigation water. On average the nanobubble-enriched irrigation water had a higher, more stable DO concentration than the control, with an average of 20.77 ppm and 6.30 ppm respectively, measured with an oximeter at the drippers. The tomato crops irrigated with nanobubble-enriched water had increased production by 9.7% compared to the control. The fruit was also larger in diameter by 3.8% and had a heavier average fruit weight by 8.4%.

NovaCropControl, an industry-leading research and test center, conducted a side-by-side study, irrigating plants with nanobubble technology provided by Moleaer and compared with a control. Tomato plants irrigated with Moleaer’s nanobubbles had:

•  More efficient nutrient uptake and water usage
•  Improved capillary root development
•  Increased resilience to high heat
•  Reduced Pythium levels of up to 80%

Koen van Kempen, Consultant, NovaCropControl Research Centerstated “We know that improving water quality through increasing sufficient oxygen levels are important for plant health and crop resilience. Our trial confirmed that Moleaer’s oxygen-filled nanobubbles are a very efficient method of delivery.”

Gebroeders Koot, a member of the Prominent Group, is a tomato grower located in the Netherlands known for the Brioso variety, also conducted a pilot to test the impact of nanobubble technology. Before the pilot, the DO levels in the water varied anywhere between 20 and 75% saturation. With Moleaer’s nanobubble generators, the DO always exceeded 200% saturation.

Owner Geert Koot said: “Good oxygen levels in the substrate leads to healthy roots which leads to healthy plants and strong yields. When Moleaer explained to me the unique properties of oxygen nanobubbles and showed me what they had achieved in many different crops, I was very enthusiastic to start a pilot.” Geert adds, “My EC values have been very stable throughout the entire summer which hasn’t always been possible. Stability and consistency are very important. Peaks and valleys in your EC can lead to growth losses which can reduce your yield by a few percentage points. For the last couple of years, I have also been adding beneficial bacteria and fungi to improve the biology inside the substrate and treat against bad root development. However, since adding the Moleaer systems, I have also stopped applying the bacteria and fungi since the higher oxygen levels inside the substrate are naturally promoting that biology by itself.” Geert’s crop has stayed healthy through the summer and is thrilled with the results so far.

To learn more about how nanobubbles can help improve water quality, control pathogens, and improve root development and plant vigor sustainably, You can also download the case studies referenced above and many others from the website.

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