Electrospray Approach for the Targeted Nourishment of Plants

Schematic representation of holder for growth media of the plant with and without nylon liner

Invention Summary:

Advancement of technologies to supply water and nutrients for plants where resources are limited and expensive is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed. While electrostatic spray is an ideal solution and has been used to apply pesticides to plants for decades, the issue is that it has too high an electric current to directly water plants.

The invention describes a process of providing plant nutrients and water through electrospray deposition addressing this concern. Rutgers researchers have developed a one-plant-one-sprayer approach to water plants using electrospray deposition. The key invention is a holder for the growth media of the plants that isolate the plants from the current and electric field of the electrospray while allowing for the water and nutrients to transport. This is achieved by placing the plant media in a holder that redirects current, blocks field, and prevents root penetration. These innovations are integrated into several plant holder designs tuned to different high-efficiency plant growth scenarios.

Market Applications:

  • Vertical farming.
  • Production of high value commodity crops in green houses and farms.
  • Plant growth in space stations, long range space missions, or extraterrestrial habitats.


  • Reduction of overwatering and fouling.
  • Better resource usage compared to aero/hydroponics.
  • Capability for individualized plant care that can be integrated with AI approaches.
  • Ideal where energy and computation are cheap while mass and recourses are expensive and cleaning is challenging (e.g., space).

Intellectual Property & Development Status: Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or search collaboration. For any business development and other collaborative partnerships contact :  marketingbd@research.rutgers.edu

Patent Information:
Lisa Lyu
Assistant Director
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey