Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saltwater Solution To Save Crops

Date:
September 15, 2008
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
Technology under development could offer new hope to farmers in drought-affected and marginal areas by enabling crops to grow using salty groundwater.

Technology under development at the University of New South Wales could offer new hope to farmers in drought-affected and marginal areas by enabling crops to grow using salty groundwater.

Related Articles


Associate Professor Greg Leslie, a chemical engineer at UNSW's UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology, is working with the University of Sydney on technology which uses reverse-osmosis membranes to turn previously useless, brackish groundwater into a valuable agricultural resource.

"We are looking at ways to grow plants on very salty water without damaging soil," Professor Leslie said.

"We're incorporating a reverse osmosis membrane into a sub-surface drip irrigation system."

The irrigation system relies on the roots of the plant drawing salty groundwater through the membrane – in doing so removing the salt which would otherwise degrade the soil and make continued cropping unsustainable.

Desalination such as this requires a pressure gradient to draw clean water through the membrane. Professor Leslie has demonstrated that, by running irrigation lines under the ground beneath the plants, the root systems of the plants provide enough of a pressure gradient to draw up water without the high energy consumption usually required for desalination.

"We're going to provide agriculture with a tool to grow crops in drought years when there is limited access to run-off and surface water," he said.

The membrane technology, developed by Professor Leslie and the University of Sydney's Professor Bruce Sutton, has been patented by UNSW's commercial arm, NewSouth Innovations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Saltwater Solution To Save Crops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911103910.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2008, September 15). Saltwater Solution To Save Crops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911103910.htm
University of New South Wales. "Saltwater Solution To Save Crops." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911103910.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: New Eruptions at Colima Volcano in Mexico

Raw: New Eruptions at Colima Volcano in Mexico

AP (Mar. 28, 2015) The Colima Volcano in western Mexico sent large columns of ash up into the air on Saturday. (March 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A new study of nearly two decades of satellite data shows Antarctic ice shelves are losing more mass faster every year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins