BLH AquaTech Aqutonix Water Conditioning System

Water used for irrigation tends to clump at the molecular level, making plants expend more energy to uptake water and grow. BLH AquaTech is a company from Korea that is using electric fields to separate water molecules and increase the efficiency of agricultural irrigation, changing the conversation about water efficiency from “how much water do I have” to “how much can my water do?” This technology has been demonstrated on a number of crops and has been shown to drastically improve water uptake, growth rate, yield, and disease resistance in plants. They have been commercial since 2015, and are expanding to the US market. They are currently rolling out their third generation of technology.


How Does It Work

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    Aqutonix attaches to an irrigation pipe, passing water through a small electric field. The electric field breaks up hydrogen bonds holding water molecules together, separating them into individual molecules.

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    Plant cells use proteins called aquaporins to move water into their cells. When water is clumped, these aquaporins must separate water molecules themselves, expending energy to do so.

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    Conditioned water increases the efficiency with which plants uptake water, allowing agricultural users to grow more food with less water. Passing water through the electric field sterilizes the water, removing 70% of bacteria and breaks up other contaminants. 

Benefits for Tulare

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    Drought Resilience

    Aqutonix-treated water has been demonstrated to increase the water absorption rate in plants and membrane filters by 20%. In addition, some plants treated with the same amount of water have seen an average increase in germination rates of 30%, growth rates of 32%, and total yield of 43%, with the average yield increase among 21 plants tested being 20%. Not only is this a drastic increase in water efficiency, but the technology achieves this increase without the use of chemical fertilizers that have the potential to degrade downstream groundwater resources. One blueberry farmer in Korea reported he uses 30-40% less water than he did before adopting Aqutonix.

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    Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    There have been no studies that show Aqutonix’s carbon footprint, but use of conditioned water has been demonstrated to increase photosynthetic efficiency of plants by 10%. Increasing plant and soil microbe biomass allows more carbon to be stored in soil and plant matter, drawing CO2 from the atmosphere.

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    Reduces Ratepayer Costs

    By increasing the yield of plants, and improving their disease and pest resistance, Aqutonix users can minimize chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and total water usage by a significant amount. While they may pay up to 20% more in increased energy costs for irrigation, the increased yield and quality of produce, as well as reduced input costs can easily offset these additional costs.

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    Reduces Regulatory and Environmental Risks

    Aqutonix was certified by ISO, CE, and UA to be in compliance with US and EU standards for water quality. It boosts the growth rate of plants with chemical-free technology, making it a clean alternative to fertilizers. It also boosts soil biodiversity, creating ecological benefits for the soil and surrounding ecosystems in addition to the targeted crop species.

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    Supports Electric Reliability

    Aqutonix’s electric field requires 500W for their third generation of technology, which will condition 72,000 gallons of water per day. This represents an estimated 20% increase to irrigation energy usage, but is economically efficient when taking into account the 43% increase in agricultural yield.

Related Case Studies

The BLH Aquatech Aqutonix system has a proven track-record of water savings, germination, growth, and yield increases. By the end of 2016, units had been installed in 80 facilities and the company is rapidly expanding. In the US, they are in the process of contracting distribution to Ag West Marketing, have signed an MOU with True Humboldt, which has access to 200 farmers, and intend to sell 300 units by the end of 2018. They are also expanding to Brazil, Taiwan, Singapore, the Middle East, and North Africa, and possibly China, leaving European and Southern African markets until they are more established in other regions.

Tomato Farm – South Korea

Seedling Nursery – South Korea

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