SUSTAINABLE SUBSTRATES FOR PLANTS, TREES AND SHRUBS ENABLED WITH BIOFOAM®
BioFoam® is a polylactic acid based particle foam developed by Synbra Tech¬nology. It is an alternative to current foam materials, but bio-based and compostable. BioFoam® is already used in packaging applications and in construction, but now also horticultural applications are considered. To study possible horticultural applications various experiments have been conducted. Water retention curves of BioFoam® mixtures with potting soil have been determined. Various types of BioFoam® have been used for this. It was found that the water retention of the foam is not as good as e.g., peat, but it can be improved by modifying. In a large greenhouse BioFoam® has been compared with Styromüll for insulation purposes and to improve light reflection during Chrysanthemums growth. Best growing results have been obtained when BioFoam® was used and besides it has better end of life options. A cultivation test in a hydro culture pot system with blackberry plants on BioFoam® and standard substrates showed that plant growth was comparable. Based on the above it is concluded that BioFoam® offers an alternative in various horticultural applications as (partial) replacement for existing substrates like peat or coconut.
Noordegraaf, J., de Jong, J., Matthijssen, P., de Bruijn, P. and Baltissen, T. (2014). SUSTAINABLE SUBSTRATES FOR PLANTS, TREES AND SHRUBS ENABLED WITH BIOFOAM®. Acta Hortic. 1034, 269-276
potting plants, bio-based substrate, hydro culture