Team:Sharon MA Aquila/Safety



There are no current technologies that assist growing plants that require a low pH. Farmers grow these particular plants, such as tomatoes and blueberries, in an artificially acidic environment. Adding acids to the soil can be detrimental to the environment in many aspects. The primary concern is what the consequences would be if the chemicals leaked out of the system and into surrounding areas. It could contaminate other plants that need a high pH to grow, thus killing crops that supply entire towns with food. There are also uncontrollable factors, such as acid rain or water runoff that can change the pH. Because of this, this method requires a lot of manpower to constantly maintain the correct pH for the plants to grow in.

Our solution is better than directly adding chemicals to the environment because it takes all of these issues into consideration. Using a bacteria that would be able to change the pH on its own is clearly the best method to growing plants in acidic conditions. Because the bacteria releases protons on the basis of the surrounding pH, we would not need to worry about uncontrollable environmental factors changing the pH because the bacteria does not take into consideration what is changing the pH, simply the quantitative data. We would not need to maintain the soil so regularly because bacteria reproduces in the soil by natural causes. Lastly, we can control the bacteria in case of leakage outside the system by programming cell death with a separately manufactured bacteria, protein, or chemical.