Characterization, Simulation, Analysis and Management of Hydraulic Properties of Greenhouse Plant Growth Substrates

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/205211
Title:
Characterization, Simulation, Analysis and Management of Hydraulic Properties of Greenhouse Plant Growth Substrates
Author:
Chen Lopez, Jose Choc
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Embargo: Release after 08/26/2013
Abstract:
The greenhouse industry is facing significant challenges such as the demand for more efficient use of energy and natural resources and prevention of detrimental environmental impacts. Reducing negative environmental impacts can be achieved by utilizing recycled and environmentally friendly products and by optimizing the use of water and root zone substrates. New and advanced root zone substrates are currently tested as substitute for natural soils in greenhouse agriculture. They can be inert non-organic materials such as rockwool and perlite. These are mined products from the earth, and are difficult to dispose after use. Natural substrates such as peat are being consumed faster than being regenerated. A new potential substrate that consists of recycled foamed glass aggregates is considered an alternative, as it is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and disposable. Experiments with foamed glass aggregates and with foamed glass aggregate/coconut coir mixtures indicated that the yield of greenhouse tomatoes was not statistically significant different (α=0.05) when compared to rockwool. To investigate the potential application of recycled glass as a root zone substrate, physical and hydraulic properties were measured. For comparison, the same measurements were completed for rockwool, coconut coir, perlite, and PET/PE fibers as well as for a mixture of coconut coir and recycled glass. The water characteristics (WC) determined for each substrate exhibited distinct air entry potentials, which provided information for irrigation scheduling, water storage and aeration for optimum plant growth conditions. Coconut coir and rockwool exhibited a unimodal shaped water retention curve, while foamed glass aggregates and perlite exhibited bimodal shaped curves. The obtained substrate properties were used as input paramaters for HYDRUS- 2D/3D model to simulate water mass balance and matric potential distributions within a typical growth container of foamed glass aggregates. The simulated matric potential and water content distributions were compared to tensiometer measurements of matric potential in the foamed glass aggregates. The simulations compared favorably with laboratory experiments measured under controlled environmental conditions.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Numerical Simulation; Physical Properties; Substrates; Tomatoes; Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering; Foamed glass; Greenhouse
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Giacomelli, Gene A.; Tuller, Markus

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleCharacterization, Simulation, Analysis and Management of Hydraulic Properties of Greenhouse Plant Growth Substratesen_US
dc.creatorChen Lopez, Jose Chocen_US
dc.contributor.authorChen Lopez, Jose Chocen_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseEmbargo: Release after 08/26/2013en_US
dc.description.abstractThe greenhouse industry is facing significant challenges such as the demand for more efficient use of energy and natural resources and prevention of detrimental environmental impacts. Reducing negative environmental impacts can be achieved by utilizing recycled and environmentally friendly products and by optimizing the use of water and root zone substrates. New and advanced root zone substrates are currently tested as substitute for natural soils in greenhouse agriculture. They can be inert non-organic materials such as rockwool and perlite. These are mined products from the earth, and are difficult to dispose after use. Natural substrates such as peat are being consumed faster than being regenerated. A new potential substrate that consists of recycled foamed glass aggregates is considered an alternative, as it is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and disposable. Experiments with foamed glass aggregates and with foamed glass aggregate/coconut coir mixtures indicated that the yield of greenhouse tomatoes was not statistically significant different (α=0.05) when compared to rockwool. To investigate the potential application of recycled glass as a root zone substrate, physical and hydraulic properties were measured. For comparison, the same measurements were completed for rockwool, coconut coir, perlite, and PET/PE fibers as well as for a mixture of coconut coir and recycled glass. The water characteristics (WC) determined for each substrate exhibited distinct air entry potentials, which provided information for irrigation scheduling, water storage and aeration for optimum plant growth conditions. Coconut coir and rockwool exhibited a unimodal shaped water retention curve, while foamed glass aggregates and perlite exhibited bimodal shaped curves. The obtained substrate properties were used as input paramaters for HYDRUS- 2D/3D model to simulate water mass balance and matric potential distributions within a typical growth container of foamed glass aggregates. The simulated matric potential and water content distributions were compared to tensiometer measurements of matric potential in the foamed glass aggregates. The simulations compared favorably with laboratory experiments measured under controlled environmental conditions.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectNumerical Simulationen_US
dc.subjectPhysical Propertiesen_US
dc.subjectSubstratesen_US
dc.subjectTomatoesen_US
dc.subjectAgricultural & Biosystems Engineeringen_US
dc.subjectFoamed glassen_US
dc.subjectGreenhouseen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAgricultural & Biosystems Engineeringen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorGiacomelli, Gene A.en_US
dc.contributor.advisorTuller, Markusen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWaller, Peter M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberJensen, Merle H.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGiacomelli, Gene A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTuller, Markusen_US
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