Thursday, April 12, 2012
Artificial Plant Environment
A coalition of studies between biologists and marijuana junkies have given me something that several of my previous posts have relied upon -- a way to grow plants without the sun. Biologists have the same interests that I do, growing more food and in more places to feed an ever growing population. The marijuana people are mostly trying to conceal the fact that they have any, as it is highly illegal. Either way, the light needs of plants have been discovered, allowing some previously impossible biology feats to occur, and increasing the potential efficiency of farming. Plants need mostly red light, with a small amount of blue. The studies showed that the best ratio is 90% red, 8% blue, and 2% ultraviolet and other colors. Without the blue light, growth becomes misshapen, and seed production also malfunctions. Without red light, the plant starves. Since LEDs can be made to efficiency manufacture light of a certain color, if somewhat dimly, plants can be grown in a box that has a ceiling covered in LEDs, which are mostly red, with an occasional blue or ultraviolet LED. The total electricity use for a square meter is about the same as running an incandescent bulb, but the plant functions so much better. The only way this could get more efficient is if some sort of artificial plant that can directly knit together a nutritious nectar from air and electrical energy could be invented, and I'm pretty sure that if I ever invented that, people would refuse to eat the nectar and constantly protest it as an unnatural abomination.