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Development of a pea starch film with trigger biodegradation properties for agricultural applications


The main objective is to develop an agricultural plastic film which will maintain its functional properties during its lifespan, and at the same time be able to breakdown quickly and effectively after harvest. Our aim is to develop a trigger to start and a ccelerate the biodegradation process just when the film has just done its work.This trigger must be activated independently of the crop, the type of soil and climate conditions. We will investigate two alternative approaches to manufacture a film with a co ntrolled biodegradation start and rate (Trigger System): 1.A film based on a biopolymer with a low biodegradation rate, which will incorporate a salt as a filler that will undergo an exothermal reaction in contact with water.During the lifespan of the film the salt is isolated from water within the film, so rain or irrigation water can not begin the biodegradation process.After the crop season, the film is ground, mixed with the soil and water applied by specially adapted agriculture machinery.The filler th en comes into contact with water increasing the temperature and humidity of the film, accelerating its biodegradation process. 2.A film based on a biopolymer with high biodegradation rate whose biodegradation activity will be initially inhibited by the add ition of an anti-microbial additive and then promoted when required. Inorganic anti-microbials will be considered keeping in mind that they cannot be toxic for the soil. Initially, we will work with both alternative approaches.But in work package 5, we wi ll select the most technical, economic and environmentally viable solution. The needs of final users will be determined to establish the biodegradable trigger film requirements.The R&D work will mainly focus on the the trigger systems, but also on the biopolymer made of pea starch, the compounding process, the film extrusion process and the system to obtain plastic bits and mix them with the soil using specially adapted agriculture machinery

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Valencia Parc Tecnologic C/ Gustave Eiffel, 4

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Participants (15)