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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 72 No. 4, p. 640-645
     
    Received: July 30, 1979
    Published: July, 1980


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doi:10.2134/agronj1980.00021962007200040017x

A Computational Approach for Water Culture1

  1. J. Ben Asher,
  2. J. M. Gordon,
  3. J. Gale and
  4. R. Kopel2

Abstract

Abstract

Water culture methods for commercial crop production are now under research and development. Experiments have been performed primarily to investigate methods for preparing nutrient solutions. The objective of this study, however, was to develop a physical model for a water culture system. A study of nutrient uptake by egg plant (Solanum melunogenn L. var. esculentum) as a function of both the solution and the root system properties in a soilem culture system is presented. The soiless culture system. is mathematically modelled with a onedimensional continuity equation for mass flow. The kinetics of nutrient uptake in the root system are treated in analogy with the kinetics of enzyme catalyzed processes. The system parameters are determined from experimental data for the two limiting cases of negligible and near-total nutrient depletion from the solution. An experimental procedure which is intended both to test the validity of the mathematical model and to investigate betta techniques for water culture systems is described. Both experimental an1 theoretical results showed a rapid depletion in the system of the nutrient 0, and a more moderate depletion of other nutrients such as nitrate and K ions. The theoretical results can also be used to predict possible combinations of nutrient concentration, length of rows, and rate of water flow which afford optimal operation of the system.

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