Substrate developed from sawmill shavings

March 7, 2006

University of Navarre scientists in Spain have developed an organic substrate from sawmill wood shavings to use for intensive crop growth in containers.

The substrate that has already been patented and marketed also has the advantage of being recyclable and more economic than other, imported ones such as peat or coconut fiber.

The researchers jointly developed the material with scientists at the Aralur company in Navarre.

When plants are grown in small containers -- as in greenhouses -- the limiting factor is the oxygen that can reach their roots; thereby, a substrate more porous than earth is needed. Normal soil encloses some 50 percent of air in its interior, while the newly developed substrate encloses 90 percent air and 10 percent solid material. That's why the substrates accelerate the growth processes of plants and provide much better results.

The product developed has the commercial name of "FIBRALUR" and is made from pine wood shavings that have been defibred by means of an industrial process. The resulting material has proved to be efficacious in growing mushrooms and other hydroponic crops and, to a lesser extent, with vegetable and forest nurseries.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires

Related Stories

Short wavelength plasmons observed in nanotubes

July 28, 2015

The term "plasmons" might sound like something from the soon-to-be-released new Star Wars movie, but the effects of plasmons have been known about for centuries. Plasmons are collective oscillations of conduction electrons ...

Recommended for you

Innovations from the wild world of optics and photonics

August 2, 2015

Traditional computers manipulate electrons to turn our keystrokes and Google searches into meaningful actions. But as components of the computer processor shrink to only a few atoms across, those same electrons become unpredictable ...

Shedding light on millipede evolution

August 2, 2015

As an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded entomologist, Virginia Tech's Paul Marek has to spend much of his time in the field, hunting for rare and scientifically significant species. He's provided NSF with an inside ...

Better together: graphene-nanotube hybrid switches

August 2, 2015

Graphene has been called a wonder material, capable of performing great and unusual material acrobatics. Boron nitride nanotubes are no slackers in the materials realm either, and can be engineered for physical and biological ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.