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Tag: Carbon

The Packer: Going Dark | Square Roots Explores Indoor Vertical Farming Without Light

This Story By Aaron Gonzalez Ran In The Packer April 8, 2024 Edition

The PackerNew York-based controlled environment agriculture company Square Roots has unveiled a program that aims to remove lighting from commercial indoor vertical farming systems to reduce energy demands and costs.

Through partnerships and focused research, the company says it is exploring techniques like heterotrophic growing to operate indoor farms in the dark, with the goal of lower production costs and environmental impact while maintaining year-round fresh food production.

(Photo above courtesy of Square Roots) 

“Over the last 12 months Square Roots has created a platform to accelerate agricultural research, working with partners across both indoor and outdoor farming, alongside science-focused organizations and foundations,” Square Roots co-founder and CEO Tobias Peggs told The Packer.

The program seeks to demonstrate that light can be removed from a commercial indoor vertical farming system; the benefits of indoor farming remain, but the system can now operate with radically reduced energy needs. This translates directly to significantly lower production costs and associated carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e, he said.


To enable this new approach, Square Roots is working with gene-edited CRISPR plants that add biomass by uptaking carbon through their root systems rather than relying on photosynthesis under light. The underlying science was initially developed by Robert Jinkerson, a specialist in artificial photosynthesis at the University of California, Riverside, in conjunction with Feng Jiao, a chemist at the University of Delaware.

Read complete story at The Packer >>