Effects of Pressurization on Plant Growth
Brandon Wu, William Zhang
David Thompson Secondary
Floor Location : M 064 D
Our project was to find out if plants grew faster and had reduced germination time in a pressurized environment. Our research may one day help astronauts grow food sustainably and fast on other planets such as Mars. We realized that soda bottles are ideal for keeping the plants in, as they could withstand up to 95 psi, but they were also readily available and transparent. The plants were grown in bottles which were repressurized on a daily basis. The bottles were sealed tight with JB weld, and then compressed to 30, 45, 60, and 75 psi. Our control set of plants were unpressurized but the plants were still grown in a bottle to maintain the same conditions. Our results says that growing plants in pressurized climates has a 10% increase in height. The pressurized plants generally grew bigger leaves and were a brighter shade of green. The plants flourished in the 75 psi environment but suffered from decreased growth at 30 psi. The environment within the bottles is like a simulation of the environment during the Carboniferous period 358.9 million years ago where the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was double the current amount and oxygen concentration reached up to 35-40% of the atmosphere. Studies have shown that plants do grow better in high carbon dioxide environments, however, this is an alternative method of increasing total amount of carbon dioxide within the bottles without scrubbing it from the air and injecting it if you were on a long journey to another planet.