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A Sustainable Approach of Growing Extra Long Staple Cotton: Vertical Hydroponic Cultivation (VHC)

HKRITA
Overview

Extra-long staple (ELS) cotton fibre is a longer and higher quality cotton fibre. Vertical hydroponic cultivation (VHC) allows farming of ELS cotton regardless of environment and climate

  • A Sustainable Approach of Growing Extra Long Staple Cotton: Vertical Hydroponic  Cultivation (VHC)
Technical name of innovation
A Sustainable Approach of Growing Extra Long Staple Cotton: Vertical Hydroponic Cultivation
Research completion
2023
Commercialisation opportunities
Technology licensing
Problem addressed

ELS cotton typically denotes a cotton fibre of extraordinary fibre length. Fabrics made of ELS cotton fibre are stronger, softer, and more durable and thus consider high-quality cotton products. However, because of environmental and climatic constrains, ELS can only be grown in specific areas; therefore, ELS and LS cotton account only for 3% of the global cotton production.

Innovation
  • Developing a vertical hydroponic cultivation method of ELS that overcomes environmental and climatic constrains of ELS farming
  • A vertical farming approach consists of a host of devices to control the airflow, water flow, temperature and humidity, as well as a nano-bubble generator to deliver more oxygen and accelerate growth for the ELS cotton
  • As the water used is recirculated and reused, this new farming method also reduces water consumption and saves around 90% of the water needed in soil-based farming
Key impact
  • With a significantly lower production cost at Euro 1 per pound of cotton while obtaining equivalent or better ELS cotton fibre qualities
  • Obtaining higher yield per unit area or shorter growth cycle time than conventional ELS cotton farming in soil; increasing overall supply of ELS in the market
  • Relieving soil erosion and water wastage in conventional cotton farming
Award
  • Silver Medal in the Special Edition 2022 Inventions Geneva Evaluation Days
Application
  • Extra-long staple cotton farming
The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA)

Established in 2006, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) is funded by the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR government, and hosted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

HKRITA has achieved research deliverables over the years around our research clusters targeting in sustainability, industry advancement and social benefits through our centre-owned research teams and laboratories as well as collaborations with industry partners and institutions. 

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