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Tottori Resource Recycling Inc.

Agriculture (irrigation): Porous System

Water-Saving Porous Alpha System Increases Crops


To improve food security, Tottori Resource Recycling Inc. wanted to utilize our technology that could make people independent. That’s where Porous Alpha comes in. This system provides water-saving cultivation in dry areas by allowing water to remain in the soil. In the trials carried out in a greenhouse in Morocco, the crop yield increased by 20% with 50% less water consumption.

The main raw material of Porous Alpha is used glass bottles. They are crushed into a powder, then calcium carbonate is added. Once heated, the material becomes amorphous and porous. This structure allows it to retain water. Porous Alpha provides water to plants when water is needed, which is the unique property to this technology.

Glass bottles are made of silica sand and calcium carbonate is a natural raw material. Consequently, Porous Alpha comprises only natural materials, and it doesn’t harm the environment.

This system has been implemented in many countries so far, to great acclaim.

Major Features

I. Uses Sustainable Economic Products
Because this porous system utilizes used glass bottles, a sustainable economic product is possible. In addition, the system uses sand and calcium carbonate, which are both natural and don’t harm the environment.

II. Versatility
Thanks to water-saving cultivation in arid areas, this system has been found to increase vegetable crops exponentially. This makes it ideal for areas that do not see a lot of rain fall. As a result, limited availability of water for irrigation won’t restrict growth and production in arid regions. Instead, this system can provide water to plants in virtually any conditions regardless of rainfall rate due to preservation of existing water.

III. Ease of Use
Because large equipment or machinery is not needed, anyone can use the system. It simply needs to be spread and plowed into the soil. In addition, once mixed in the soil, it can work for more than 10 years without any maintenance for the product.

The Tottori University Arid Research Center Japan is collaborating with Tottori Resource Recycling Inc. to evaluate the effect of porous layers for water preservation in soil. The system has seen successful implementation by the Institut Supérieur d’Enseignement Technologique (ISET) Mauritania and Office Régional de Mise en Valeur Agricole de Souss-Massa in Morocco.

Technology Data

Conceivable Applications
Water-saving cultivation in arid areas to increase vegetable crop. Limited availability of water for irrigation can restrict growth and production in many crop-irrigated areas, and particularly in semi or arid regions. Porous System gives conclusive solutions.

Competitive Advantage
We do create a good sustainable economic product from waste glass bottle and used rubber tire.

Porous tube is recycled piper from used tire.
Unlike other irrigation tube, this system has many pores through which water seeps directly out and very slowly supplies water to the plants by making water control very precisely and effectively. PorousAlpha made by used glass bottles obtains significant water availability in soil.

Further information can be found on the company’s website.

Technical maturity / Past record of introduction
The effect of porous layers for water preservation in soil has been evaluated by Tottori University Arid Research Center Japan. This system has already been implemented successfully by Institut Supérieur d’Enseignement Technologique (ISET) Mauritania.

Conceivable risk


Schematic illustration of the technology


Investment Seminar on the Kingdom of Morocco (Nagoya)
Japan-Morocco Association The 5th New Year Seminar ”Opportunities and Challenges of Afric…
Soil conditioner: A powerful biochar product for drought-vulnerable agriculture
Morocco Aerospace Seminar [Tokyo]

Company Data

Company Name
Tottori Resource Recycling Inc.
583, Higashisono, Hokuei-cho, Tohaku-gun, Tottori 689-2202, JAPAN
The Type of business
Water saving irrigation system
JPY 40,000,000
Number of enployee
9 (including one director assigned for international operation in Tokyo)
December 2001


Contact person
Ms. Maki Sawada

※This innovation seed information is reprinted with permission from UNIDO ITPO Tokyo’s STePP website.

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