Work on the Nutrient Film Technique, or NFT for short, was pioneered by Allen Cooper at the Glasshouse Crops Research Institute in Littlehampton, England. Plants are placed atop an inverted 'V' shaped channel, sealed on all sides, through which a thin film of nutrient solution passes along the bottom. Roots grow down along the channel, receiving oxygen directly from the inside of the trough, while receiving water and nutrients from the thin film of nutrient below. The enclosed chamber maintains 100% humidity to protect against dehydration. Excellent results can be obtained with this system, however, maintaining the 'film' becomes difficult once the roots form large mats at the bottom of the trough. Puddling results in stagnation, depleting the roots of oxygen and fresh nutrient. Efficiency, on the other hand, is excellent because the closed trough prevents limits evaporation, while a pump/reservoir combination below collects and recycles excess nutrient.
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