Figure 1. The field demonstration of the PNT’s nanobubble generator installation at Edible garden (See some more details at https://purenanotec.com/purenanotechs-nanobubble-demo-shows-promising-results-in-agriculture/).

The major mechanisms of enhancing plant growth are generally attributed to the following:

  1. Nanobubble could increase local oxygen levels in the water/soil systems and promote aerobic respiration near the roots, leading to increased energy production and enhanced metabolic activity. 1, 2
  2. Nanobubble could absorb nutrients on their surface, mobilize soil nutrient and facilitate the accessibility of nutrients to plant roots. This improved nutrient delivery can lead to better absorption by plant roots, promoting healthier and more vigorous growth.3, 4
  3. Nanobubble could produce ROS, such as •OH, that may directly regulate the expression of genes for peroxidase and promote cell proliferation and plant growth.5, 6
  4. Nanobubbles could support the growth and activity of beneficial microorganisms in the root zone and improved beneficial microbial activity such as organic matter decomposition, nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling.7, 8

Figure 3. PNT’s 15GPM nanobubble generator (https://purenanotec.com/product/pnt-heavyduty-generator/)

References

1.         Baram, S.; Evans, J. F.; Berezkin, A.; Ben-Hur, M., Irrigation with treated wastewater containing nanobubbles to aerate soils and reduce nitrous oxide emissions. Journal of Cleaner Production 2021, 280, 124509.

2.         Liu, Y.; Zhou, Y.; Wang, T.; Pan, J.; Zhou, B.; Muhammad, T.; Zhou, C.; Li, Y., Micro-nano bubble water oxygation: Synergistically improving irrigation water use efficiency, crop yield and quality. Journal of Cleaner Production 2019, 222, 835-843.

3.         Xue, S.; Marhaba, T.; Zhang, W., Nanobubble watering affects nutrient release and soil characteristics. ACS Agricultural Science & Technology 2022, 2, 453-461.

4.         Wang, Y.; Wang, S.; Sun, J.; Dai, H.; Zhang, B.; Xiang, W.; Hu, Z.; Li, P.; Yang, J.; Zhang, W., Nanobubbles promote nutrient utilization and plant growth in rice by upregulating nutrient uptake genes and stimulating growth hormone production. Science of the Total Environment 2021, 800, 149627.

5.         Xue, S.; Gao, J.; Liu, C.; Marhaba, T.; Zhang, W., Unveiling the potential of nanobubbles in water: Impacts on tomato's early growth and soil properties. Science of The Total Environment 2023, 903, 166499.

6.         Wu, Y.; Lyu, T.; Yue, B.; Tonoli, E.; Verderio, E. A.; Ma, Y.; Pan, G., Enhancement of tomato plant growth and productivity in organic farming by agri-nanotechnology using nanobubble oxygation. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2019, 67, 10823-10831.

7.         Chen, W.; Bastida, F.; Liu, Y.; Zhou, Y.; He, J.; Song, P.; Kuang, N.; Li, Y., Nanobubble oxygenated increases crop production via soil structure improvement: The perspective of microbially mediated effects. Agricultural Water Management 2023, 282, 108263.

8.         Zhou, Y.; Bastida, F.; Zhou, B.; Sun, Y.; Gu, T.; Li, S.; Li, Y., Soil fertility and crop production are fostered by micro-nano bubble irrigation with associated changes in soil bacterial community. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 2020, 141, 107663.

Wen Zhang, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE

Principal Investigator
Professor

Phone: (973) 596-5520 
Fax: (973) 596-5790
Email: wen.zhang@njit.edu

Office Location: Colton Hall 211

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Figure 2. The photos of basil plants irrigated for 3 weeks by nanobubble and normal water

Nanobubble Technology Revolutionizes Indoor Farming in New Jersey

The EPA P2 project that Dr. Zhang’s team is leading at NJIT has enabled collaborations with local New Jersey farms and his commercial partners as well as a new spin-off company, PureNanoTech Inc. (PNT), which licensed the patented nanobubble generation technology from NJIT.  Supported by NJEDA, this collaborative team evaluated the PNT's nanobubble generator in the field at the Edible Garden, as depicted in Figure 1, which demonstrated the power of air nanobubbles in water irrigation to optimize the growth of staple vegetables such as Basil and Parsley. After a meticulous growth period from seed, both Basil and Parsley underwent a transformative irrigation process utilizing nanobubble-infused water for three consecutive weeks before reaching maturity. The results, as illustrated in Figure 2, are nothing short of extraordinary. Following the nanobubble irrigation regimen, Parsley exhibited a remarkable enhancement in stem diameter and height by over 22%, accompanied by a staggering increase of over 14% in the number of stems. Furthermore, the dry weight of Parsley experienced an unprecedented surge of over 68%. Similarly, Basil experienced a phenomenal growth spurt, with nanobubbles boosting stem diameter and height by over 26%, coupled with a remarkable increase of over 34% in the number of leaves. Notably, the dry weight of Basil witnessed an impressive escalation of over 58%.

These field data underscore the immense potential of nanobubble technology in revolutionizing agricultural productivity and sustainability. As we continue to delve deeper into its applications, we anticipate a paradigm shift in sustainable farming practices that will reduce water and chemical consumption and increase farm productivity

Explore the Nano World 

 Wen's Research Group​