Pathogen Filtration for Greenhouse Irrigation with Nano-Engineered Porous Filter Media

Period of Performance: 07/07/2015 - 12/31/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

MetaMateria Technologies LLC
870 Kaderly Array
Columbus, OH 43228
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Worldwide, 60 to 90% of available water is used for agricultural purposes and competes with industrial and drinking water for high quality sources. Irrigation water can be source of wide range biological problems such like plant pathogens especially when surface water or recirculated water is used. For example, the water mold plant pathogens,.cause seedling damping-off, stunting, and stem, crown, and root rot in floriculture crops as well as foliar blighting, damping-off, wilting, and root, stem, and fruit rots in vegetable crops which limit production of floriculture and vegetable crops and can result in devastating losses. Successful completion of this project will lead to manufacturing of media and equipment that will be used for cost effective filtration of pathogens for irrigation water. This proposal is related to NIFA social challenge area of Global Food Security and Hunger through developing new technologies to boost food production by developing improved sustainable production systems and developing better ways to protect agricultural production systems from diseases and pests. This project also responds to the topic area of Plant Production and Protection - Engineering. By improving plant protection by capturing and inactivating plant pathogens carried by recycled irrigation in horticulture greenhousesIn Phase I ,a dual functionality porous nanostructured media will be developed for effectively capturing and inactivating plant pathogens. The media will be developed and MetaMateria and will be evaluated at Michigan State University. The feasibility of the approach will be demonstrated by testing the media with two different plant pathogens and two type of plants, i.e., one vegetable crop (squash), and one floriculture crop (poinsettia plants). Successful completion of the Phase I will pave the way for the phase II where the media will be field-tested in larger pilot-scale filtration systems in commercial production greenhouses. In Phase II we may engage an equipment manufacturer that is interested in designing and marketing filtration system for green house. This new media will likely not only find uses not only in green house but in general treatment of irrigation water either recycling or using surface water.This proposed project addresses one of the USDA's goal to increase promote agricultural production and biotechnology exports. The irrigation water can also be recycled thereby protecting and enhancing America's water resources. These expected outcomes will significantly benefit agricultural communities.