Two researchers in Florida, US are working to develop a method of hydroponically growing hemp that can not only provide a viable crop but also clean up the state’s algae-filled waterways.
Algae blooms, some of which are toxic, have become a recurring threat to the state’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Okeechobee, which passes the deadly toxins on to connecting waterways and even the Atlantic coast.
In this experiment, the hemp plants’ roots hang down into the water, sucking up naturally occuring nitrogen and phosphorus, the two primary substances causing the toxicity in the lake.
The research will show just how much of those two nutrients each plant removes from the water. Researchers then will calculate how much can be cleaned up by larger plantings.