Grow clean vegetables with fertilizer from… human hair

Growing clean vegetables with fertilizer from... human hair - Photo 1.

1 gram of hair can “feed” 3 medium-sized trees capable of growth – Photo: Science

Our hair contains a large amount of a protein called keratin, which is made up of amino acids. These acids themselves promote plant growth. In addition, they have the ability to bind with other nutrients.

For the above reasons, keratin can make an excellent hydroponic medium. However, it is not strong enough to form a physical support substrate for plants.

Recently, scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University took hair cut from salons, extracting keratin from those hairs. They then mixed the keratin with cellulose fibers derived from wood pulp.

This mixture, when dried, forms a porous material, which is highly effective in absorbing and retaining aqueous nutrient solutions. It also Biodegradable within 4-8 weeks and will become fertilizer in the process.

Research shows that cPlants grown in keratin media have longer roots than plants grown in traditional media because they absorb more water and nutrients.

Growing clean vegetables with fertilizer from... human hair - Photo 2.

Two scientists, Dr. Zhao Zhitong and Professor Ng Kee Woei, the author of the invention, the finished product – Photo: NANYANG University of Technology

The researchers say that if there is not enough hair to produce on a commercial scale, they can use other sources. “Besides hair, livestock also produces large amounts of keratin. It is found in abundance in horns, hooves and feathers.”The main science of the study, Professor Ng Kee Woei, said.

“Keratin is extracted from a variety of farm wastes. Therefore, the development of keratin-based hydroponic media could be an important strategy for recycling farm waste, as part of agriculture. sustainable,” added Mr. Woei.

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