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UK: Vertical farm trials water-purification technology

"Producing more food with less resources is central to our philosophy, no more so than when it comes to our water use. We're already making great strides to conserve this precious resource at Pepperness, but we're striving to get even better. We're delighted to be working with Salinity Solutions on this trial, which we hope will make a big difference in improving our positive impact," says Gillon Dobie, Impact Director at GrowUp Farms.

GrowUp Farms, owner of the Kent-based vertical farm Pepperness, will this month start the first trial of a new technology in the food sector, which, according to the company, reduces the environmental footprint of water treatment.

Salinity Solutions' batch reverse osmosis technology could impact reducing wastewater. The trial with Salinity Solutions aims to demonstrate how efficiently wastewater can be captured, purified to food standards, and reused at Pepperness. With the trial, GrowUp aims to use even less water and reduce its impact on the environment further. On top of that, Salinity Solutions' technology uses half the energy of existing systems while recovering up to 98% of clean water, while it is compact and easily transportable.

Trial grant
Funding for the trial at Pepperness in Kent (coincidentally one of the driest UK counties) has been secured through a £29,000 sustainability grant from Growing Kent and Medway's‘ Business Sustainability Challenge' grant, which addresses key sustainability issues and opportunities.

GrowUp Farms was one of 13 beneficiaries of a grant pot worth more than £1.6 million to fund regional projects that will sustainably transform the horticultural and plant-based food and drink supply chain.

"We're very grateful to demonstrate our technology in the food sector and hope this trial marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration with them. Our shared goal is to reduce the consumption of energy and water, so the results of this trial could have a significant impact on how the food industry manages its resources," says Liam Burlace, Co-founder of Salinity Solutions.

Reducing energy- and water use
"We are investing in real-world business innovation and research projects that demonstrate how science-led, sustainable innovation can be deployed throughout the supply chain. This not only benefits the environment by helping Kent businesses become more sustainable but also stimulates economic growth. Fresh thinking can help create new revenue streams and markets from waste by-products and processes," says Dr. Nikki Harrison, Program Director for Growing Kent & Medway.

"While these projects demonstrate the exciting innovation happening in Kent and Medway, we expect the knowledge that is gained to help transform our food systems throughout the sector."

For more information:
Salinity Solutions