Navigation Links
New information provides sustainable options for greenhouse operations
Date:4/4/2011

FAYETTEVILLE, ARContainers made from plastics are used in most traditional greenhouse operations. While plastic containers are practical, strong, and can be formed to any size, shape, or color, the extensive use of these petroleum-based containers creates significant waste disposal problems for the greenhouse industry and consumers. One example: a 2008 report found that a typical greenhouse operation in California discards over 3560 pounds of plastic trays, flats, and containers annually.

The amount of waste plastic generated by greenhouses has become an important issue as the industry focuses more on creating sustainable practices. Increasing the use of "biocontainers"containers that are not produced from petroleum and that degrade rapidly when planted in the field or in a composting operationis one way to reduce the amount of waste plastic generated by greenhouse operations.

In a new study that may provide greenhouse professionals with effective "green" alternatives, researchers report on a series of experiments in which they evaluated the physical properties of a range of commercially available biocontainers and compared them with traditional petroleum-based plastic containers. Scientists Michael R. Evans, Matt Taylor, and Jeff Kuehny compared seven commercially available biocontainers with plastic containers for physical attributes such as strength, water usage, and algal/fungal growth. The results of the study were published in HortTechnology.

According to Evans, corresponding author of the report, the results indicated that rice hull containers had the highest "vertical dry strength" of all containers tested. "Containers composed of 80% cedar fiber and 20% peat, composted dairy manure, and peat had lower vertical dry strengths than the aforementioned containers, but had higher vertical dry strengths than those composed of bioplastic, coconut fiber, and rice straw", Evans said.

"Plastic, OP47 (bioplastic), and rice hull containers had the lowest rates of water loss per unit of container surface area, while peat, Fertil, and rice straw containers had the highest rates of water loss per unit of container surface area", the researchers noted. They recommended that in locations where water use or availability is a major consideration, biocontainers such as OP47 or rice hulls may be preferred to other biocontainers that have a higher water usage requirement.

The researchers also tested "plantable" biocontainer decomposition under field conditions in greenhouses in Louisiana and Pennsylvania. Plants were grown for 5 weeks in Louisiana and 7 weeks in Pennsylvania; results showed that coconut fiber containers had the lowest level of decomposition at 4% and 1.5% in Pennsylvania and Louisiana, respectively.

The authors remarked that results related to container wet strength and water requirements were the most significant findings in their research. "Because the differences in physical properties of biocontainers compared with plastic containers were specific for each type of biocontainer, greenhouse managers will need to decide which of the physical properties are most important and select biocontainers with physical properties that best match their needs."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Can genetic information be controlled by light?
2. TGen spin-off MedTrust Online enables cancer doctors to quickly obtain best-available information
3. SAIC Awarded $37 Million Contract to Support U.S. Army Program Executive Office - Enterprise Information Systems
4. Loggerhead release to provide vital information to scientific community
5. Neuroinformatics special issue spotlights the Neuroscience Information Framework
6. CSHL scientists discover a new way in which epigenetic information is inherited
7. Stevens receives $25,000 grant from the Engineering Information Foundation
8. Sea bed provides information about present climatic change
9. Census of Marine Life and ocean in Google Earth bring ocean information to life
10. QSGI Integrates Fujitsu Mag EraSURE Data Degausser into its Suite of Information Technology Security Services
11. ID Analytics Appoints Chief Information Officer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... compared with the first quarter of 2015 The gross ... M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... , ,The global gait biometrics market is expected ... the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates ... be used to compute factors that are not ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: LEGX ... Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort to ... of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting and ... athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing proof ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By inserting ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to ... medical community, has closed its Series A funding round, ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis ... need to meet our current goals," stated Matthew ... runway to complete validation on the current projects in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from ... also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced a ... sciences incubator to accelerate the development of new therapies ... QB3@953 was created to help high-potential life science and ... stage organizations - access to laboratory infrastructure. ... "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each winner with one ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Research and ... Global Markets" report to their offering. ... billion in 2014 from $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is ... of 13.8% from 2015 to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in ... projected product forecasts during the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are ...
Breaking Biology Technology: