Project Addis Ababa

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Unlike animals, plants lack a metabolically active pump like the heart to move fluid in their vascular system. Instead, water movement is passively driven by pressure and chemical potential gradients. The bulk of water absorbed and transported through plants is moved by negative pressure generated by the evaporation of water from the leaves (i.e., transpiration) — this process is commonly referred to as the Cohesion-Tension (C-T) mechanism. This system is able to function because water is "cohesive" — it sticks to itself through forces generated by hydrogen bonding. These hydrogen bonds allow water columns in the plant to sustain substantial tension (up to 30 MPa when water is contained in the minute capillaries found in plants), and helps explain how water can be transported to tree canopies 100 m above the soil surface.

Water flows more efficiently through some parts of the plant than others. For example, water absorbed by roots must cross several cell layers before entering the specialized water transport tissue (referred to as xylem). These cell layers act as a filtration system in the root and have a much greater resistance to water flow than the xylem, where transport occurs in open tubes. Imagine the difference between pushing water through numerous coffee filters versus a garden hose. The relative ease with which water moves through a part of the plant is expressed quantitatively using the following equation:

Flow = Δψ / R, which is analogous to electron flow in an electrical circuit described by Ohm's law equation:
i = V / R, where R is the resistance, i is the current or flow of electrons, and V is the voltage. In the plant system, V is equivalent to the water potential difference driving flow (Δψ) and i is equivalent to the flow of water through/across a plant segment. Using these plant equivalents, the Ohm's law analogy can be used to quantify the hydraulic conductance (i.e., the inverse of hydraulic R) of individual segments (i.e., roots, stems, leaves) or the whole plant (from soil to atmosphere). Because of this resistance and transpiration, plants retain less than 5% of the water absorbed by roots for cell expansion and plant growth.

This project is about inverting the plants so that water flow from higher level to lower level so that the resistance of water movement from the roots to leaves will become zero speeding up the growth and development of the plants. Meaning the main reason there is high water movement resistance in plants is because water is travelling from low level to higher level which have high gravitational resistance in opposite of movement and the xylem are forced to overcome the opposite force. But in this method gravitational force will be converted from being obstacle for water transport to assistance because the main reason water flows from higher level to lower level is gravity. Theoretically this method works and has solid logic and it can be verified with an experiment given below


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  • Name:
    Anteneh Gashaw
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  • Patent status: