Vertical farming brings exciting new possibilities to provide tasty and nutritious food while tackling sustainability challenges around energy, water, and nutrients. Lucas van der Zee is investigating the role of vertical farming in an urban context. One of the biggest challenges is to bring down electricity used for artificial lighting. Current systems use this light to power photosynthesis. Photosynthesis produces carbohydrates which are used by the plant for growth. At the same time all over the world large quantities of carbohydrate-rich food waste are thrown away every day. What if we can feed these residual streams directly to crops to fuel their growth? If successful, this would radically lower the energy demand of vertical farms while upcycling valuable waste streams in Amsterdam.

“At AMS Institute I get to explore the future of food production”

Lucas van der Zee

Research Fellow