So you may have been wondering, what real scientific research has been going on with respect to electroculture… right?  I had the same thoughts when I first set out on this journey, too.  In today’s picture post,  I’m going to share with you a couple pictures from a research article by Tsutomu Takamura.

Here is a picture of an experiment showing some dicot seedlings:

Electrified dicot seedlings

5 day old Vigna mungo (L.) seedlings. Top was electrified with 5 volts. Source: goo.gl/ceq7A2

 

And here is another one with monocot seedlings:

Fast-growing monocot seedling experiment

180 hour old Zea Mays seedlings. The one on the right is electrified with 3.5 volts. Source: http://goo.gl/ceq7A2

To learn more about fascinating experiments performed on plants to not only see the effects on growth rate, check out the article “Electrochemical Potential Around the Plant Root in Relation to Metabolism and Growth Acceleration” by Tsutomu Takamura.

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  • vickley

    What is the expected temperature range under which this method will be effective? Our greenhouse can get near freezing this time of year.

    What range of seedlings have been successfully tried?

    At 3.5 volts the system will make hydrogen and oxygen reducing the water level faster then evaporation alone. How are you dealing with this in a greenhouse with many plants?

    • electricfertilizer

      I would believe it’s most effective above freezing weather conditions.

      I’ve personally had success from lettuce, broccoli, sunflower, pea, and others. In the literature, other people have had success with wheat, rye, corn, radish, tomato, potatoes and others).

      Agreed, at this time I’m not running any large scale experiments in a greenhouse, so I don’t know for sure – that would be an issue. Also, since uptake & respiration/transpiration are increased, water consumption will also be increased there as well. Obviously the irrigation systems will have to be adjusted accordingly!

      Let me know if you decide to try it out in your greenhouse – would love to hear about your experiences!

    • Keith

      Trust me on this, very very very very, its hard for me to say enough, vary little water is decomposed to hydrogen and oxygen. Increased water consumption is from increased plant respiration.

      • I agree… the increased amount of transpiration loss from this method is primarily due to the increase in respiration (metabolism) rate.

        • Keith

          I have been rethinking this. Maybe an electric potential provides some of the energy needed for plants to separate hydrogen from water molecules for the plants own use in making hydrogen carbon molecules like fats and carbohydrates.

          One can rule out electrolysis in the soil as ions will not be able to travel the distance through the soil, effectively turning a soil electrolysis experiment into electrolysis experiment with an infinite number of voltage dividing neutral plates and not enough voltage potential between plates to drive electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

          • Not true…Ions are definitely able to travel over distances in soil. Look into electrokinetic transport / electro-migration. Their rate of travel is variable due to a number of factors ranging from soil moisture to soil composition and pore space size.

          • Keith

            If an ion travels the whole distance between electrodes, it can drive electrolysis of water. If it gives up electrons to other atoms, then together they create a voltage dividing network.
            Electrolysis of water requires a certain minimal voltage. Ive done lots of work on electrolysis. For example, i found that given 13.4v it would produce HHO gas with an efficency close to 1 liter per watt minute. Introducing a neutral plate creats a voltage dividing network with roughly 6.7v from anode to neutral plate and 6.7v from neutral plate to cathode. The resulting efficency increased to around 1.9 liters per watt minute. Though the efficency nearly doubled, the current was also roughly halfed, and resulted in also halfing the production given the same anode and cathode and electrolyte.

            In my experiments, ions would either give electrons to, or recieve electrons from any number of neutral plates, it stands to reason that if soil ions also give up electrons, they should also be treated as voltage dividing networks. Depending on the initial voltage, after a certain number of electron transfers, the voltage drop will be too small to participate directly in electrolysis. That is unless maybe some living metabolic process supplies the extra energy needed. Here is were im thinking soil currents might help nitrogen fixing bacteria. Or maybe atmospheric elecrostatic potentials help supply some of the energy in photosynthesis.

            Its interesting to note that many sceintist will say that photosynthesis happens with near 100% efficency. For those photens participating in photosynthesis. That fact is dificult for them to explain, but if plant help conduct small electric currents to the atmophere, i wonder if some of that energy is also aiding photosynthesis.

          • Hey Keith, I think I now understand what you mean. By the way, what do you mean by neutral plates? additional plates connected to the negative terminal? If possible, can you point me to a picture or schematic of what these experiments would look like? Also, what drove you to perform these experiments – what was the surrounding topic you were working on?

          • Keith

            1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDjyIvza6Yc this page gives a fairly decent description and visualization of neutral plates.

            2. Seeing as neutral plates are not connected to the anode or cathode, they will have different voltages than the anode or cathode. The best analogy a neutral plate is like the voltage between two resistors. The neutral plates prevent ions from either the anode or cathode getting to each other, causing them instead to exchange electrons with the neutral plate.

            3. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_94pK4ButAJA/SJAAB5rBWAI/AAAAAAAAAak/reXJHCULbYk/s320/Plate%2BConfiguration%2BPC-4.gif This image demonstrates 3 neutral plates between cathode and anode, making four cells t that divide the voltage by four.

            4. I was involved in the Research and development with a company that was trying to make HHO generators with a special kind of electrolyte (can not disclose). I proposed to them using neutral plates to make their generators more efficient. I ran many experiments taking measurements of temperature,HHO displacement test, atmospheric pressure, as well as electric current levels and voltages, with and without neutral plates.

            5. Surrounding topic was to improve gasoline and diesel engine fuel efficiency with HHO gas by using hydrogen’s faster flame speed and the extra oxygen to help burn the primary fuel more completely during an engine’s power stroke. We definitely seen 25 to 30% improvements in fuel economy, but plate degradation ultimately caused too much maintenance for the HHO generators to be useful.

          • Thanks for the links… I get it now – you’re totally right about the voltage dividing effect.

            So in the case of the soil, each of the adjacent soil particles in effect causes there to be almost an infinite number of plates between the anode & the cathode.

            One thing I’m trying to figure out is how to keep the field strong enough over longer distances. If the voltage is constantly being divided, I’m curious to figure out how much voltage or current would be actively needed to maintain a given net current between the electrodes over a given area. Any ideas?

          • Keith

            I would expect that ions do migrate through the soil, and ocasionally give up electrons to other particles so maybe near infinite number of voltage dividers is inaccurate. More likly there is a minimum voltage drop when an ion gives up or accepts an electron. Moist soil probably helps ions travle larger distances over shorter time compared to dry soil that barely conducts any current. Higher voltages would mean ions wouldn”t have to travel as far befor exchanging electrons, allowing for more electrons to flow, given a limited number of ions to travel on.

            Seeing as current density is so variable and seems to be an important factor, then it stands to reason that scientific studies might benifit by using constant current circuitry. They work by varying voltage based on the load resistance in order to maintain a constant current. Then for a given soil type and crop, you can try various current densities. current/cm^3 Because soil is three dimensional .

            I am guessing in a field, current density might be hard to regulate as moisture may vary by depth.

          • That’s what I’m coming to believe… that using constant current sources for research is best, especially in an outdoor / long distance setting. Indoors, in controlled environments, constant current isn’t needed and research should be fine with testing at different voltages.

          • Keith

            Seeing as it is current density that we suspect is at issue, then indoors were everything is controlled is the best place to start research ; else constant voltage depends on the right soil conductivity and probe distance to achieve the right current density. Lessons learned he can be used to extrapolate what you want to do in a field setting.

            Of interest is, per crop type, what current density is best.
            Charting growth as a percentage of controlled over various current densities is likely to result in bell growth curve.

            Next thing of interest is how does adding fertilizer along with soil currents effect growth. If we hypothesize that soil current help either nitrogen fixing bacteria fix nitrogen, or make nutrients in the soil more available to the plants, then we might expect, adding fertilizer will lower the current levels needed for maximum growth.

            I just though of another experiment. How does the root ball grow in the presence of soil currents. That is, does the root ball grow proportionate in all directions or does it make the roots grow in directions towards one or both electrodes. For this i propose that the soil be divided like an x at 45 degrees to the electrode like this – x – . When ready to test, cut a knife through the soil as previously describe, then dig and save soil from each of the four quadrants, remove soil keeping just the roots and weigh when done.

          • Hey Keith,

            Yes, the question of what current density is best is the big question… As such, I’m about to set up a current-controlled trial over a 200 foot length of outside land to see how well it works as I’ve seen about 15 feet of range from a regular voltage source and I suppose this will work better.

            I think adding fertilizer will help because it will definitely make the soil more conductive… certainly helping things along.

            And I have seen increases in root ball surface area with electricity and have seen reports that say that the roots tend to grow in the direction of the electrodes… Good idea on testing – sounds like a good idea to test out anyway.

          • Keith

            Adding fertilizer may help increase soil conductivity, but if electricity helps nitrogen fixing bacteria, then it could make it easier to add too much nitrogen and burn your crops rather help. Experiments in a controlled lab would help you determine what is really going on, or at least give you a direction into how to maximize productivity and or reduce cost.

            If cost are triple conventional means then, then electric fertilizer is little more than a lab curiosity. If knowledge gained from experiments in a small garden plot point to something close to profitable at larger scale, then it might be worth experimenting in a large field.

          • Keith

            Things that effect current: Voltage differnce and soil resistance that can vary by minerals and salts in the soil and level of hydration. Elecrode surface area and distance current has to travel through the soil, also effect resistance in your soil circuit. Doubling electrode surface area will half the resistance for a given soil type and moisture level, and doubling distance will double the resistance. When using plates, currents will largly only flow from the surfaces of the anode and cathodes facing each other, and when using stakes you’ll have uneven currents around the stake with the most current comming from the portion of the stakes facing each other.

            Its likely that currents deep in the soil will be wasted so plates or spikes probably shouldn’t be deeper than that which the roots will grow, even then, a portion of the current will still travel below the roots. Electricity likes to follow the path of least resistance so dry top soil and under ground moisture is likely to carry the currents deeper in the soil.

          • Yes… some of the current will be wasted.. as it will not only flow in a straight line, but also some distance away from the shortest path, akin to the way magnetic field lines look, but not only to the left and right, but also going deeper into the soil mass.

  • Adam Beatty

    Do you know if this can be applied to cloning; with root node growth stimuli?

    • Sorry for the very late reply… I believe it can be applied… Interested in giving it a try yourself?