Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Indonesia
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Jamaica
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lichtenstein
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Madagascar
  Malaysia
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Mozambique
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  New Zealand
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Panama
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Senegal
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Sri Lanka
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tanzania
  Thailand
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Uganda
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States
  Vietnam


   Infocentre

Last Update: 03-07-2014  
Related category(ies):
Agriculture & food  |  International cooperation  |  Environment

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
Denmark  |  France  |  Norway  |  Portugal  |  Spain
Add to PDF "basket"

A new biodegradable product for environmentally friendly crops

The European Union (EU)-funded project AGROBIOFILM has developed a biodegradable film that is environmentally friendly, regulates soil temperature, controls weed growth and prevents water loss.

photo of farmlands

© Ruud Morijn - Fotolia.com

Mulching is a process that typically involves covering the soil with a plastic, non-biodegradable film, which can be harmful to the environment both during and after the crop cycle as it often contains pesticides as well as soil and crop residues. The Agrobiofilm® protective biodegradable film is different as it helps eradicate these environmental problems.

“Our biodegradable mulch films are a credible alternative to conventional fossil non-compostable plastic films,” says AGROBIOFILM project coordinator, Paulo Azevedo of Silvex, Indústria de Plásticos e Papéis, in Portugal. “One of the immediate advantages of using these biodegradable films is that they can be buried directly into the soil, which means that no plastic film removal from the field is required at the end of the crop cycle,” he adds.

The project team developed and tested mulch films that had to be environmentally friendly; compliant with common farming methods; as well as match and, in some cases, even improve crop yield over conventional plastic films.

Specifically, the team devised the so-called “Mater-Bi® formula”, which contains renewable feedstocks and involves biodegradable materials being decomposed into the soil by microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and algae.

The project findings show that Agrobiofilm® may be a viable substitute for conventional mulch. The protective covering maintains and even increases the crop yield compared to traditional mulches and is an effective weed deterrent. At the end of the crop cycle, the film can be buried into the soil, avoiding additional costs to remove it from the field – typically an expensive operation due to high labour costs. In addition, results show that after being buried into the soil, over 70% of the mulch decomposes within 160 days.

The marketing effort has already begun in Portugal, Spain and France and the next step for the project team is to launch Agrobiofilm® on the global market. “Our mulch is helping tackle key challenges faced by the EU rural development and environmental policies such as soil contamination, residue management and energy savings,” concludes Azevedo.

 

Project details

  • Project acronym: AGROBIOFILM
  • Participants: Portugal (Coordinator), France, Spain, Norway, Denmark
  • Project FP7 262257
  • Total costs: € 1 365 441
  • EU contribution: € 1 011 652
  • Duration: April 2010 - March 2013

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also
Project web site
Project information on CORDIS






  Top   Research Information Center