BioEnPro4TO: advanced indoor and vertical farm models in circular economy, innovative solutions for sustainable urban farming
BioEnPro4TO refers to a project funded under the system of circular economy. The concept is based on the cycle of municipal food waste (MSW) to be used for bioenergy, byproducts and biofuels. In turns, these outputs become new inputs for advanced agriculture. In particular, the project aims to obtain new substrates using organic wastes, to be applied in outdoor green wall farms for food and non-food plants, and biofertilizers to be used in indoor and outdoor farming. Inorganic fertilizers, such as struvite and ammonium sulfate, can be produced during the waste treatments, while organic fertilizers can then be upscaled and engineered to obtain a correct nitrogen to phosphorus ratio in line with plant demands. Water, CO2, energy and hot water, coming from the processes of municipal waste treatments, are valuable inputs to be used in indoor and in vertical farming. In the project, small advanced indoor and vertical unit farms are designed as 'Container Farms', provided of a complete indoor growing facility and a complete outdoor vertical growing surface. These modular units can provide food and an ecosystem service to small communities, inserted in the circularity of the food waste recovery. One prototype of the advanced indoor and vertical farm model, named SmartMIC (modular indoor cultivation), is being built and tested for growing microgreens, herbs, medicinal and aromatic plants and other high value species inside and for growing green walls outside. The prototype serves also to evaluate inputs and outputs cost efficiency of the system.
Nicola, S., Ertani, A., Celi, L., Padoan, E., Martin, M., Bulgari, R., Petrini, A., Lenzi, F., Scova, A. and Tumiatti, V. (2021). BioEnPro4TO: advanced indoor and vertical farm models in circular economy, innovative solutions for sustainable urban farming. Acta Hortic. 1321, 229-234
container farm, hydroponics, advanced culture systems, vertical farm, waste to energy, landscape horticulture, ecosystem services