Sahara Forest Project Launches
(Sahara Forest Project)…A one hectare site outside Doha, Qatar, will soon host the SFP Pilot Plant. It will contain a unique combination of promising environmental technologies carefully integrated in a system to maximize beneficial synergies. A wide specter of leading experts and technology developers are taking part in the effort to realize the project. A cornerstone of the pilot is greenhouses utilizing seawater to provide cool and humid growing conditions for vegetables. The greenhouses will also produce freshwater themselves. The greenhouses will be coupled with a state of the art parabolic trough solar collector with a thermal desalination unit supported by PV-technology. The pilot will also allow for cultivation of algae in a system of photobioreactors and open pond cultivation systems.
An important part of the pilot is to demonstrate the potential for cultivating desert land and making it green. Outdoor vertical evaporators will create sheltered and humid environments for cultivation of plants. Additionally, the pilot will contain outdoor hydroponic raceways for cultivation of halophytes – plants tolerant of irrigation with salty water. The facilities in the pilot plant will be supported by on-site laboratories, scientists and professional growers.
…A state-of-the-art 50 m3algae test facility – the only of its kind in Qatar and the larger region – will enable commercial-scale research on the cultivation of marine algae species native to the Gulf and Red Sea for use as nutriceuticals, biofuels, and as animal and fish fodder. New synergies with the SFP saltwater-greenhouse infrastructure, mariculture operations, and soil remediation methods will be optimized, while cutting-edge research in cultivation and harvesting methods is carried by SFP staff and its team of international collaborators. READ MORE