Last week, a call for help from the Netherlands reached B+H Solutions in Swabia's Remshalden, Germany: numerous tomato and cucumber growers can no longer operate greenhouses in Holland because lighting and heating have become unaffordable. B+H Solutions Managing Director Elmar Buder: "The Dutch are complaining about energy costs of up to €70 per m2; an incredible €700,000 per season and hectare. No one can afford this!"
Some Dutch greenhouse operators have sold their energy contracts (with lower gas costs) to other farms without producing vegetables themselves. A logical consequence of that: the supply of vegetables decreases, and prices for German consumers also increase.
Tyndall effect can provide a solution
The solution B+H Solutions brings to the problem are super-tiny silver spheres. It's part of their assortment: the German company develops metal-based nanofertilizers which possess trace elements, such as copper (Cu), silver (Ag), iron (Fe), boron (B), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) with nanotechnology. Their product with elemental, colloidal silver reaches the plants in greenhouses via the irrigation water. What sounds like something out of a science fiction novel actually works in real life: the supersmall silver spheres change the wavelength of the incoming light on the plant, causing more chloroplasts (so-called "plant power plants") to be active at the same time and subsequently boosting and accelerating the plant's photosynthesis performance.
"Our product contains silver nanoparticles that keep the plant with an active metabolism," says Prof. Dr. Martin Heinisch, partner of Elmar Buder at B+H Solutions. He explains how they have made use of the over 100-year-old 'Tyndall Effect', from British natural scientist John Tyndall, who discovered light scattering by particles in a colloid or in a very fine suspension, and have patented the process to use this effect in plants.
"Thanks to the optimized photosynthesis plants respond with faster growth despite less light (whether artificial or natural). Greenhouse operators can therefore reduce the luminosity and make significant saves on energy. This still makes growing profitable, even with higher energy prices, and makes vegetable prices affordable again for consumers. It boosts the growth and development of the plant: more flowering and more harvest. "