New research at Masdar Institute is working to create microbial soil conditions in the UAE to help boost domestic farming crops and slash water-intensive agricultural operations.
Masdar says its “novel innovation” will see UAE sand and soil enriched with microbes that would be slowly released from micro-biodegradable polymer spheres.
The spheres — measuring roughly a millimetre across — comprised mainly alginate, a compound that breaks down in the environment within six to 20 days, said Dr Hector Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Masdar.
“Biodegradable polymers derived from natural sources have been used on a worldwide scale and have also been approved for food and human use by many governmental bodies. Alginate is used in many food and pharmaceutical applications and is readily available for use,” Dr Hernandez told Gulf News.