Plant Factory
eBook - ePub

Plant Factory

An Indoor Vertical Farming System for Efficient Quality Food Production

Toyoki Kozai, Genhua Niu, Michiko Takagaki, Toyoki Kozai, Genhua Niu, Michiko Takagaki

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  1. 516 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Plant Factory

An Indoor Vertical Farming System for Efficient Quality Food Production

Toyoki Kozai, Genhua Niu, Michiko Takagaki, Toyoki Kozai, Genhua Niu, Michiko Takagaki

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About This Book

Plant Factory: An Indoor Vertical Farming System for Efficient Quality Food Production, Second Edition presents a comprehensive look at the implementation of plant factory (PF) practices to yield food crops for both improved food security and environmental sustainability. Edited and authored by leading experts in PF and controlled environment agriculture (CEA), the book is divided into five sections, including an Overview and the Concept of Closed Plant Production Systems (CPPS), the Basics of Physics and Physiology – Environments and Their Effects, System Design, Construction, Cultivation and Management and Plant Factories in Operation.

In addition to new coverage on the rapid advancement of LED technology and its application in indoor vertical farming, other revisions to the new edition include updated information on the status of business R&D and selected commercial PFALs (plant factory with artificial lighting). Additional updates include those focused on micro and mini-PFALs for improving the quality of life in urban areas, the physics and physiology of light, the impact of PFAL on the medicinal components of plants, and the system design, construction, cultivation and management issues related to transplant production within closed systems, photoautotrophic micro-propagation and education, training and intensive business forums on PFs.

  • Includes coverage of LED technology
  • Presents case-studies for real-world insights and application
  • Addresses PF from economics and planning, to operation and lifecycle assessment

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Part 1
Overview and concept of closed plant production system (CPPS)
Chapter 1


Toyoki Kozai 1 , and Genhua Niu 2 1 Japan Plant Factory Association, c/o Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan 2 Texas AgriLife Research at Dallas, Texas A&M University, Dallas, TX, United States


This chapter briefly states the background information on why a new form of plant production system—“indoor vertical farming system—plant factory with artificial lighting (PFAL)”—is needed for efficient production of food crops to solve global issues. The definition, characteristics, basic units, and types of PFAL are introduced. It is emphasized that PFALs are not a replacement for conventional greenhouses or open-field production but rather the creation of new markets and business opportunities. While stating the limitations of conventional agricultural systems, potential advantages, disadvantages, and a number of challenges of PFALs are addressed also. An organizational chart of the book is provided.


Closed plant production system; Controlled environment agriculture; Indoor vertical farming; Plant factory with artificial lighting
Crop production is increasingly threatened by unusual weather, water shortages, and insufficient available land. The world's population is expected to grow from 7.6 billion in 2018 to 9.3 billion in 2050, and the urban population from 4.1 billion to 6.3 billion. Due to limited natural resources, 90% of the growth in global crop production is expected to be from higher yields and increased cropping intensity, with the remaining 10% from expansion of productive land (FAO, 2009). Almost all of the land expansion in developing countries will take place in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The availability of freshwater resources follows a similar trend, i.e., globally more than sufficient but unevenly distributed. In order to feed the world, protect the environment, improve health, and achieve economic growth, a new form of agricultural cultivation is required: indoor vertical farming using a plant factory system with artificial lighting for efficient production of food crops.
The term “plant factory with artificial lighting” (PFAL) refers to a plant production facility with a thermally insulated and nearly airtight warehouse-like structure (Kozai, 2013). Multiple culture shelves with electric lamps on each shelf are vertically stacked inside. Other necessary equipment and devices for a PFAL are air conditioners, air circulation fans, CO2 and nutrient solution supply units, and an environmental control unit. Stacking more culture shelves vertically increases the efficiency of land use. Fluorescent lamps (FLs) have been mainly used in PFALs due to their compact size, but light-emitting diode (LED) lamps are now attracting great attention in industry and among researchers. LEDs are increasingly being used in recently built PFALs owing to their compact size, low lamp surface temperature, high light use efficiency, and broad light spectra. More information on the light sources and advantages of LEDs is given in Chapter 8.
PFALs are not a replacement for conventional greenhouses or open-field production. Rather, the rapid development of PFALs has created new markets and business opportunities. PFALs are being used in Japan and other Asian countries for commercial production of leafy greens, herbs, and transplants. Indoor vertical farms, which is another term used in North America for concepts similar to PFALs, are also being built in Europe, the United States and Canada.
When growing plants in an open field, yield and quality are subject to weather conditions, and so a stable and reliable supply of plant-derived food is always in danger. Greenhouse production is not energy efficient because incident light is not regulated. Solar light intensity is often too low at dawn, sunset, and night, on cloudy and rainy days, and throughout the winter season, while it can be too high around noon on sunny days. The temperature and relative humidity inside a greenhouse are considerably affected by solar light intensity, and thus it is difficult to optimize the environment. In order to lower the temperature, greenhouses are often ventilated, but this allows insects and diseases inside the greenhouse. In addition, CO2 in a greenhouse with ventilators open cannot be kept higher than outside. Furthermore, light quality and lighting direction are not controllable. Excessive agrochemicals are often used in greenhouse and open-field production and fossil fuels are needed for heating and cooling of greenhouses and for transportation of produce ...

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