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Recycling crop residues for use in recirculating hydroponic crop productionAs part of bioregenerative life support feasibility testing by NASA, crop residues are being used to resupply elemental nutrients to recirculating hydroponic crop production systems. Methods for recovering nutrients from crop residues have evolved from water soaking (leaching) to rapid aerobic bioreactor processing. Leaching residues recovered the majority of elements but it also recovered significant amounts of soluble organics. The high organic content of leachates was detrimental to plant growth. Aerobic bioreactor processing reduced the organic content ten-fold, which reduced or eliminated phytotoxic effects. Wheat and potato production studies were successful using effluents from reactors having with 8- to 1-day retention times. Aerobic bioreactor effluents supplied at least half of the crops elemental mass needs in these studies. Descriptions of leachate and effluent mineral content, biomass productivity, microbial activity, and nutrient budgets for potato and wheat are presented.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Mackowiak, C. L.
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach FL United States)
Garland, J. L.
Sager, J. C.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1996
Publication Information
Publication: Acta horticulturae
Volume: 440
ISSN: 0567-7572
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Life Support Systems

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