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Sustainable growing media for vegetable cultivation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MOSSWOOL (Sustainable growing media for vegetable cultivation)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-08-31

A Finnish SME, Novarbo, has developed a sustainable and cost-effective way to manufacture hydroponics growth medium Mosswool® as a sustainable and compostable drop-in replacement for the non-biodegradable stonewool growth media for the hydroponic cultivation of vegetable crops. There is a strong desire for sustainable alternatives to stonewool and other mineral-based media.

The innovation is to utilize sphagnum moss, harvested in EU countries by using a new technique that skims only a top layer of moss. Ecological and hydrological balance of the bogs are preserved and they return to their former state within 3 years. Patented manufacturing techniques are used to fabricate Mosswool® slabs. A demonstration-scale manufacturing plant is designed and the production process fully costed to allow for a robust investment case.

The objectives are production scale-up from pilot to demonstration plant scale, cost and eco-optimization of Mosswool® slabs and performance testing at test institutes and commercial greenhouses. Life-cycle assessment of Mosswool slabs compared to competing products will be made. Benefits of Mosswool® are communicated by augmented Novarbo’s sales network.
Demonstration-scale Mosswool® manufacturing plant has been successfully designed and is under construction.

Mosswool® slabs have been optimized economically and ecologically.

Several Mosswool® performance tests have been conducted at non-commercial testing greenhouses and commercial greenhouses. Feedback from customers has been very positive.

Benefits of Mosswool® have been communicated by augmented Novarbo’s sales network in customer workshops, exhibitions and fairs. There seems to be a lot of demand for Mosswool® on the market.
Reliable production cost and capacity calculations will be developed to include in a robust business plan with reliable investment calculations for industrial scale production, and private or SME-instrument Phase 3 funding will be prepared.
New Mosswool® slab visual appearance