The Substrate system solves the most pressing problems of commercial hydroponic growers using or planning to install a re-circulating nutrient solution system (RNS) to nourish their crops. An Israeli company has developed a new technology which eliminates the use of dangerous chemicals, pesticides and fungicides used in the popular form of agriculture known as hydroponics.

Hydroponics, also known as ‘controlled environmental agriculture’ is widely used to grow indoor plants and premium grade vegetables, fruits and herbs, without the use of real soil or natural sunlight. Hydroponic formulas allow for greater control over plant nutrition and light sources. The hydroponic farmer determines everything which is normally up to mother nature: light, temperature, water, CO2, oxygen, pH and nutrients.

Substrate Technologies, based in Kiryat Arba, specializes in the development of new environmental technologies for hydroponic plant production, advancing environmentally clean, commercial hydroponics production.

Substrate’s new system successfully eliminates all bacteria, viruses,fungi and nematodes from the RNS without using chemicals. It provides pH accuracy, which cannot be achieved by more conventional methods of adding chemicals to the solution, and eliminates the risk of pH control failures. The system is easy to install and operate.

“Our new system consumes very little energy and requires almost no maintenance,” said Chief Technical Officer, Mr Lev Gurevich. “The disinfection process is quick, safe and cost effective. This is a real breakthrough for commercial hydroponic growers who are looking for cost-effective, clean growing methods.”

The system, which is being targeted to the European and North American markets, solves the most pressing problems of commercial hydroponic growers using or planning to install a re-circulating nutrient solution system (RNS) to nourish their crops.

In addition to giving accurate and reliable pH control and eliminating bacteria and viruses from the RNS without using chemicals, the system replaces the dangerous use of chemicals and fumigants for sterilization of soil-less material that the plants are grown in.
The system is completely pollution-free, producing no dangerous chemicals or hazardous by-products.

By disinfecting the re-circulating nutrient solution there is no leaching of water to contaminate municipal sewage systems or underground aquifers, which helps to protect the environment.

“This is a valuable advancement. It enables hydroponic growth in a chemical free, environmentally friendly environment, and it’s very cost effective,” Substrate CEO Yinon Elroy told Israel21c.

The use of hydroponics has increased rapidly in recent years throughout the world, in responset to a major problem in growing plants in soil: soil-borne diseases (soil pathogens).

In hydroponics, plants are grown in a soil-less medium and fed with fertilizer nutrients dissolved in solution. The principle advantages of hydroponics, relative to conventional open-field agriculture, include high density maximum crop yield, crop production where no suitable soil exists, a virtual indifference to ambient temperature and seasonality, more efficient use of water and fertilizers, minimal use of land area, and suitability for mechanization and disease control.

Substrate’s technology ensures effective elimination of all bacteria, viruses, fungi and nematodes from both the drainage water and the substrate. It also warrants accurate and reliable pH control within a narrow (preset) pH range. Such accuracy cannot be achieved by adding chemicals to the solution, the method most often used by greenhouse growers.

Substrate Technologies’ comprehensive system is based on the company’s patented technology which uses the Electrochemical Activated Water (EAW) and electrodialysis of water to implement the functions above. The system can be easily integrated into existing greenhouse irrigation systems.