How to increase the germination of seeds that “fell asleep” during the winter of cold storage and how are they in suspended animation? Chelyabinsk scientists have found a way out: it turns out that ozonation of seed material brings it back to life, gives growth energy.
But this is not the only plus. As it turned out, ozone, which has a much greater oxidizing power than its oxygen counterpart, also “cures” plant diseases. And no chemistry, only due to nature-friendly safe processes!
The know-how, recently presented at the Ural Field Day held in Chebarkul district, aroused great interest. What can this give our agricultural sector, what opportunities does it open to increase crop yields? And how will affect the quality of products, people's health? About this - our conversation with one of the creators of ozone technology, Doctor of Technical Sciences Andrei Bogdanov, head of the department "Processing of agricultural products and life safety" SUSU.
Growth Energy - How is your method different from traditional seed treatment technology?
- Plant diseases, such as smut smut, rust, potato rot, often cause serious damage to the crop. Severe diseases and pests can cause large losses. For the treatment of seeds, in order to disinfect them from bacteria, harmful insects, pesticides are usually used. But this can harm the soil, the crops themselves, in which these substances unsafe for health, although in small quantities, are preserved.
In addition to the chemical method of seed treatment, the agricultural industry also uses biological ones: pests are destroyed by entomophagous insects. But they have to be bought abroad, and it is very expensive. Our ozone technology is quite affordable, safe and environmentally friendly. Ozone does not harm nature, quickly decomposes into oxygen molecules. Moreover, the process takes place in a sealed chamber, with a small concentration of ozone - up to 10 mg per cubic meter.
- Is it true that ozone also stimulates the germination of crops?
- This is evidenced by the results of our tests. Germination rises to 35%! The fact is that seeds are sometimes stored for a long time in the grain store and, as it were, “hibernate”. How to invigorate them, awaken vitality? For this, as it turned out, ozone is very suitable.
He is better than any chemistry, artificial growth stimulants, triggers the mechanism of awakening! We studied a variety of seed treatment methods - treatment with ultraviolet, laser, electromagnetic radiation - and settled on ozone.
These studies are carried out by the associate professor of our department, Svetlana Popova, and graduate student Victoria Evchenko prepared a Ph.D.
We have already filed an application for a patent and are planning to replicate this technology on a regional and national scale.
Ozone "in iron"
“But this requires a prototype ozone machine ...”
“He's already at work.” According to our drawings, Vadim Kolyagin made a laboratory setup, on which we conduct experiments, ozonizing seeds in Petri dishes.
We developed a mathematical model, using the programs Excel, MathCad and Compass, we performed computer simulations and derived the formula for “awakening the life” of plants.
And it turned out that the germination of seeds depends on the concentration of ozone and the time of their processing.
If the ozone content exceeds the optimal "dose", there is a danger of "burning" the seeds, causing them irreparable harm. After testing various modes of ozonation, we derived “extremum points” at which seed germination is highest. Moreover, for each culture you need to choose your own regime.
- Did your problems arise during the break-in of technology?
- In our installation, ozone is produced from the atmosphere using an electric discharge (it is too expensive to obtain it chemically). During the tests, we made our own corrections to its design. For example, at first there was not enough fan traction, and I had to put another, more powerful one. Also, a device for measuring ozone concentration, which showed only maximum MPCs, was replaced with a Signal-4 gas analyzer, which monitors the entire gas situation.
- And when will you reach the production scale?
- So far we have made a laboratory sample, but in order to put ozone technology on stream, we need to build an industrial installation. And for its development it is necessary to find huge funds, and we really hope to receive a federal grant. But today state subsidies for research, as a rule, are allocated as part of public-private co-financing, and we are looking for an industrial partner. We hope that he will take on some of the costs, then to compensate them by introducing development on an industrial scale.
- In what crops have you already experienced the “ozone bath”?
- So far, it has been tested only in zucchini. But ozonation of seeds can be used for beets, carrots, and other vegetables. According to our forecasts, ozone will give a large increase in yield, increase germination and cereals. There is an idea to try it in greenhouse floriculture. Using this innovative technology, we are preparing articles for scientific journals included in the international Scopus database.
- But will ozonized squash be harmful to health?
- Not at all! They are no different from ordinary ones - no dangerous chemistry, no genetic engineering.
- Today, the seed problem is one of the most painful in the agricultural sector ...
- During the post-Soviet years of underfunding of science, our selection almost sunk into oblivion and is only now beginning to revive. And yet, we thoroughly got hooked on the seed needle of the West: potatoes and vegetables, especially greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers - this is all a "cordon" product! Moreover, hybrids are being sold to us for a lot of money, which will exhaust their genetic resources in 2-3 seasons, and again we have to buy the material abroad. And if they impose sanctions on him? In my opinion, the solution lies in the development of domestic selection. It is possible that ozonation of seeds will help to accelerate the creation of new varieties, while germination, growth energy are increased, and, therefore, the ripening time of agricultural crops is reduced.
A source: https://www.nsss-russia.ru/