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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 456: II Modelling Plant Growth, Environmental Control and Farm Management in Protected Cultivation

ELECTROCHEMICAL PH CONTROL IN HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS

Authors:   V.C. Spinu, R.W. Langhans, L.D. Albright
Keywords:   electrolytic unit, water decomposition, pH, alkalinity, nutrient solution, hydroponic
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1998.456.32
Abstract:
This paper reports an innovative method based on electrochemistry to adjust the pH in nutrient solutions used in hydroponics. The required quantity of H+ or OH- ions is produced in-situ through electrolytic water decomposition. Because the direction and rate of electrochemical reactions can be easily manipulated by controlling the polarity and voltage applied between electrodes, the most important advantage of this method in comparison to traditional pH control using chemicals is the possibility to accomplish accurate and reliable pH control to within a narrow, preset pH range. Moreover, additional positive effects of improving the quality of added raw water such as alkalinity control, reducing the concentration of sodium, and water disinfection can be accomplished in the same electrolytic unit. Electrochemical technology offers possibilities to eliminate the risk of pH control failures due to overdoses and excludes the necessity of having reagent (acid and base) storage tanks and of handling these hazardous materials. Important savings of reagents, dosage and mixing equipment, storage tanks and improved environment and safety objectives can be realized. Available greenhouse space can be used more efficiently.

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