Innovaciones hidropónicas

Green Lab is being developed as a social eco-innovation to improve food systems sustainability, with a focus on increasing resource efficiency and reducing waste.
Green Lab leading a “Green Revolution” shifting the thinking around how our food
systems need to be a more circular system. Spain is one of the largest growers
using hydroponics in Europe with a dependency on resource attentive production
of nutrients from natural and synthetic sources. Fertiliser is a core part of food
systems, depletes mineral resources, is energy-intensive, and is used linearly;
changing the way we develop future nutrient and fertiliser production is critical to
maintaining an ecological balance of nature and protecting the planet’s scarce
resources. The project aims to create synergy between the innovations developed
by Green Lab using urine digestate and the need for European (Spanish) farmers
to adopt and develop new ways of growing crops using naturally occurring
minerals and new innovative ways of recovering and developing fertilisers. Urine,
digestate(compost), and is an excellent source for fertiliser, if mined could create a
closed-loop approach to fertiliser, making the food system more sustainable,
resilient, and circular. The activities undertaken will demonstrate the benefits,
processes, methods and physical results of using HUNS as methods to replace
fertiliser in the farming of value crops.

Green Lab is developing a new agricultural hub in Andalusia to provide access to
innovations, resources and training for the farming community in the region. One
aspect of our research is focused on nutrient recovery and using food waste via
vermiculture as a way of developing new sources of digestate. The innovation we
have developed uses human urine as a fertiliser for hydroponic grow systems,
extracting nutrients from a naturally occurring process to grow a variety of crops
leafy green and fruiting (peppers, tomato etc)
The innovation we have developed permits small-hold farmers to leverage
hydroponics and urineponic innovation to reduce their dependence on traditional
drip irrigation systems and move towards a more circular method of producing
crops with hydroponics.
Current reuse of urine and digestate consists of energy-intensive methods of
converting the urine into a fertiliser; one of the barriers to the direct use of urine
and digestate is the risk of pathogens and the time for urea to be broken down into
fertiliser, and the absence of certain micronutrients; however our innovation uses
biochar media to increase the availability of urease and micronutrients and

9/3/2021 Print Application – Innovation Funding Service 6/12
mitigate pathogen risk, reduce the retention time of urine, but also enhance the
growth of the food crop.
The Hydroponic Urban Nutrient Recovery System (HUNS) is a new circular food
system that mines nutrients from bio-waste streams using Green Lab’s novel
hydroponic methods. HUNS utilises nutrient mining (urine, digestate waste
streams)or using aquaponics (nutrient mining from fish farming effluent), being a
more efficient method to grow crops, but also mitigates the need for
energy/ecological/fiscally costly fertilizer.