In the dynamic world of agriculture, vertical farming emerges as a beacon of sustainable growth, championing efficient use of space and resources.

However, maintaining the delicate balance between effective water disinfection and preserving essential minerals for crops has always been a challenge.

Enter Scotmas, a company that stands out from the crowd with our innovative approach to water disinfection, particularly in vertical farming.

Chlorine Dioxide – The Scotmas Difference

Unlike traditional water disinfection providers, Scotmas has carved a unique niche by employing Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) to revolutionise treatment. Chlorine Dioxide is a powerful disinfectant known for its efficacy in killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi, making it a popular choice in various industries.

However, its application in agriculture, especially in systems as sensitive as vertical farms, requires a nuanced approach to avoid the unintended consequences of over-treatment, such as removing vital minerals that crops depend on.

Scotmas’ pioneering method involves a carefully calibrated application of Chlorine Dioxide, ensuring that while the water is rid of harmful pathogens, the essential minerals necessary for crop growth remain untouched.

This delicate balance is crucial in vertical farming, where water usage efficiency is paramount, and every drop counts.

roots system of a healthy vertical farm plant.
vertical farming system

The Challenges in Vertical Farming

Vertical farming operations face water-related challenges, including water scarcity, water quality, biofilm, water recycling and reuse, nutrient management, disinfection by-products, energy costs for water systems, humidity control, scaling water systems, Legionella risk, and system leaks and failures. Addressing these issues is crucial for the sustainability and success of vertical farming operations.

Vertical Farming Brochure

Biofilm – An Avoidable Issue

Biofilm formation can significantly impact vertical farming operations, presenting a complex challenge that requires careful management.

Biofilms are communities of microorganisms that adhere to surfaces and are embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). In vertical farming systems, biofilms can develop on various surfaces, including the insides of water pipes, tanks, plant roots, and even on the plants’ surfaces. Here’s how biofilm affects vertical farming operations:

Water Flow Restriction

Biofilms can accumulate in irrigation systems, leading to clogs and reduced water flow. This can result in uneven water distribution, stressing plants and potentially leading to crop failure if not addressed promptly.

Reduced Water Quality

As biofilms develop, they can degrade water quality by releasing metabolic waste products into the water supply. This can alter the pH and oxygen levels, making the water less suitable for plant growth and potentially encouraging the development of harmful pathogens.

Increased Risk of Disease

Biofilms can harbour plant pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, protecting them from disinfection efforts. These pathogens can be released into the water system, leading to widespread plant disease outbreaks that are difficult to control.

Maintenance Challenges

Biofilms necessitate more frequent cleaning and maintenance of water systems, which can be labour-intensive and costly.

Nutrient Absorption Issues

Biofilms on plant roots can interfere with nutrient uptake by creating a physical barrier between the root surface and the nutrient solution. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies, impacting plant growth and yield.

Equipment Damage

Over time, biofilm accumulation can cause physical damage to farming equipment, including pumps, filters, and pipes. This can lead to costly repairs and replacements and operational downtime.

Reduced System Efficiency

Biofilms can impact the efficiency of cooling systems, heating elements, and other critical farm infrastructure by insulating surfaces and reducing heat transfer. This can lead to increased energy consumption and operational costs.

Impaired Sensor Functionality

Sensors used for monitoring water quality, pH, and nutrient levels can become coated with biofilms, leading to inaccurate readings and suboptimal growing conditions.

While biofilm formation presents a significant challenge to vertical farming operations, understanding its impacts and implementing effective management strategies can help mitigate risks and ensure the health and productivity of crops. Scotmas’ expertise in the removal and prevention of biofilm through the application of Chlorine Dioxide has made us leaders in the field.

vertical farming biofilm
Biofilm formation presents a significant challenge.
vertical farming pipes

Alpha R – The Beating Heart

The industry-proven Alpha R Chlorine Dioxide generator is at the heart of our pioneering vertical farm dosing solution. This advanced system is the linchpin in our approach, providing a reliable, efficient, and precise water disinfection method essential for the health and productivity of vertical farming operations.

The Alpha R generator is renowned for producing Chlorine Dioxide on-site and on-demand, eliminating the need for hazardous chemical storage and ensuring a fresh supply of this potent disinfectant whenever needed. This not only enhances the safety and efficiency of the disinfection process but also ensures that the vital minerals necessary for plant growth are preserved, optimising the health of the crops without compromising on the effectiveness of water treatment.

With the Alpha R Chlorine Dioxide generator at its core, our solution represents a significant leap forward in sustainable agriculture technology, embodying Scotmas’ commitment to innovation and excellence in the field. The Alpha R Chlorine Dioxide generator revolutionises water disinfection with its simple, cost-effective, and versatile solution, making it ideal for ensuring safe and clean water across agricultural applications.

Alpha R Chlorine Dioxide Dosing System

Here are the top five advantages that make the Alpha R an indispensable asset for any water disinfection application:

  1. Simplicity and Cost-Effectiveness:The Alpha R is designed to streamline the water disinfection process, eliminating the need for manual dosing with disinfectant tablets or handling hazardous pre-activated solutions. This simplifies operations and significantly reduces costs associated with traditional disinfection methods.
  2. Versatility for Remote or Off-Grid Locations:One of the standout features of the Alpha R is its adaptability to various power sources, including mains, solar, or battery. This versatility makes it particularly suitable for remote or off-grid locations where conventional power sources might not be readily available, ensuring that water disinfection processes remain uninterrupted and efficient, regardless of the area.
  3. Ease of Installation and Operation:The Alpha R’s installation process is designed to be quick and straightforward. This ease of installation, coupled with a simple menu-driven display for operation, ensures the system can be up and running with minimal hassle.
  4. Proportional Dosing and Low Maintenance: With its proportional dosing feature, the Alpha R can adjust the amount of chlorine dioxide dispensed based on the water volume, ensuring efficient chemical use, and reducing waste.
  5. Safety and Flexibility:The Alpha R offers a safe and user-friendly alternative to traditional chlorine dioxide generators. The reactor system’s safety features and ease of use make it a preferable choice for small-scale water disinfection applications. Its flexibility in configuration allows it to be tailored to specific needs.

A Leap Towards Energy Efficiency

Our solution stands out in the realm of vertical farming by fundamentally changing the equation of energy use. Traditional vertical farms, relying on artificial lighting and climate control systems, can be energy intensive. Our innovative approach significantly lowers energy demand, making the dream of eco-friendly vertical farming tangible.

The cornerstone of our solution is the integration of cutting-edge technologies and methodologies designed to minimise energy use. By utilising energy-efficient equipment and employing intelligent systems that adapt to the system’s needs, we ensure that every watt of power is used as effectively as possible.

future of farming

Contact Us To Learn More

If you’re interested in learning more about how Scotmas’ innovative approach to water disinfection can help improve the efficiency and sustainability of your vertical farming operation, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts is always on hand to answer any questions and provide tailored solutions to meet your specific needs. Let us help you revolutionise your vertical farming system today.

Purify | Protect | Perform

+44 (0)1573 226901