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VitalFluid’s reactor feeds greenhouse crops literally at lightning speed

Ever thought about why lightning happens? It’s one of the ways Mother Nature nourishes plants, trees and forests. The Eindhoven-based company VitalFluid has mimicked that process. By simulating the effect of one of these lightning bolts, it is now possible to fertilize greenhouse crops in a sustainable way. The method could also be used for crop protection in the near future. An application for treating burns and skin diseases is still in a test phase.

CEO Paul Leenders founded the company VitalFluid in 2014 out of his previous company in response to a project with TU/e, Wageningen University & Research, Radboudumc, and several companies from Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Disinfectant properties
The theory behind VitalFluid’s application is not overly complicated. Using electricity, the machine brings ambient air into a plasma phase, the 4th state of aggregation (solid, liquid, gas, plasma). Ambient air is composed of 20 percent oxygen and 80 percent nitrogen. Those portions of oxygen and nitrogen become reactive and then dissolve into the water. As a result, this water temporarily acquires disinfectant properties. This effect disappears after about 20 minutes. What remains is water that contains nitrate, which is the most important nutrient for plants and crops to grow.

“That process is taken step-by-step from nature,” Leenders emphasizes its cradle to cradle design. “A real ‘nature-based process’; a ‘mimicry’ of a thunderstorm. Because exactly the same thing happens in a thunderstorm. When lightning strikes -and it does so about 8 million times a day – the air around that lightning bolt also enters a plasma phase. It is one of nature’s methods of fixating nitrogen. Ten percent of all fixated nitrogen on earth takes place through lightning. So, that represents a significant contribution. This is how nature feeds plants, crops, and forests with nitrogen. It’s a really important natural fertilizer. We have managed to capture that process in a reactor.”

Bundling of processes
The process can be precisely controlled in the VitalFluid reactor which means that more or less oxygen or nitrogen can be added to the water as needed. However, a great deal of research was required in order to succeed. This is because the whole concept is a combination of various electrophysical and chemical processes. One of the main research efforts was to find the right kind of control equipment. “It was quite a challenge to get that process right. That’s also where our know-how is at the moment.”

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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