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PNAT builds jellyfish barge for sustainable crop cultivation

responding to predictions that the world’s population will grow to almost 10 billion within the next 40 years, italian thinktank PNAT has developed a module for crop cultivation that does not reply on either soil, fresh water or chemical energy consumption. dubbed the ‘jellyfish barge’, the project is envisioned as a floating agricultural greenhouse, able to purify salt, brackish or polluted water using solar energy.

built using low-cost technologies and simple materials, the design consists of a 70 square meter wooden base that floats on recycled plastic drums and supports a glass greenhouse for crop cultivation. inside the structure, a high-efficiency hydroponic harvesting method provides up to 70% of water savings compared to traditional systems, while required water is supplied by seven solar desalination units. arranged around the perimeter of the greenhouse, these devices are able to produce up to 150 liters of clean fresh water each day.

the modular nature of the design also means that while a single element is completely autonomous, a combination or cluster of barges is able to create a stronger and more resilient organism.

a wooden base floats on recycled plastic drums and supports a glass greenhouse


  • Italy
  • PNAT