Biodegradable horticultural pots
The main mission of the FCBA InTechFibres cluster is to support industrialists using wood as a raw material in the development of new components, materials and processes and in the optimisation of their industrial processes. The main markets concerned are biorefinery and green chemistry, panels and lignocellulosic fibres and their derivatives.
In the sector of lignocellulosic fibres produced from wood, the development of a process for the manufacture of horticultural pots for the company FERTIL is an example of transfer to industry.
The FERTIL biodegradable horticultural pot is used for both sowing and transplanting. It is manufactured by moulding and then drying lignocellulosic fibres produced solely from wood.
In 2016, a collaboration with FERTIL was initiated to develop a more efficient production tool. Process development and feasibility tests based on the expertise of the FCBA InTechFibres cluster were conducted on a pilot scale.
Based on the raw material used by FERTIL, the pilot tests for the production of fibres and their evaluation for the manufacture of horticultural pots have demonstrated the industrial interest of this new technological approach.
Following the results of these trials, in early 2017 FERTIL launched an investment plan for a new production line.
The new production line was commissioned in June 2017 in the presence of FCBA and since September 2017 FERTIL has been producing horticultural pots with the new process and the new wood fibre production unit.
This collaboration between FERTIL and FCBA is a successful example of technology transfer.