Hydroponics of Salicornia spp. in large scale

Use of a deep-water culture system (DWC) for year-round controlled production of Salicornia.

The hydroponic system consists of a vertical (2-storey) DWC with a total growing area of 16 m2 supplied with artificial LED lighting providing 260-270 µmol/m2/S (light particles hitting m2 in one second). Water input is a mixture of treated seawater from the North Sea (35 ppt salinity) and freshwater for maintaining 10-15 ppt salinity, and water parameters (pH-, oxygen-, salinity- and temperature) are continuously monitored 24/7. Plants are provided a nutrient solution of 5-1-4 (NPK) and total nutrient input is compared with nutrient content in harvested biomass for information on optimal fertilization and harvest periods. This set-up allows a year-round production of Salicornia with 3-5 harvests of fresh greens and dry stems for biorefinery purposes. Overall, the present set-up aims to investigate details like Fresh Green Tips Yield (kg per m2), Dry Forage Biomass (kg per m2), optimal harvest periods per plant season, optimal plant spacing, optimal fertilization, and overall water usage. For the economic part, a contribution margin sheet is under construction, containing Turn Over (sales), Variable Costs (fertilizer, electricity, seed, etc.), Fixed Costs (investment in a production system), and expected profit.

2-storey DWS
Density trial



Ramon Perez
Alpha Aqua A/S, Denmark


Jiwan Kumar Chettri
Alpha Aqua A/S, Denmark



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 862834. Any results of this project reflects only this consortium’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.