Green solutions from inexpensive materials with improved sustainability.
The objective in the SOILFILM project is to develop mulch films from food waste streams.
In SOILFILM project, Norner has already developed plasticized biodegradable film from potato peel- the waste product generated from potato processing industry. In addition, Norner is exploring the possibility of utilizing other co-streams of the food industry in the project such as chicken feather from the poultry industry.
Norner is an R&D partner in the project, which is funded by the Norwegian Research Council led by NIBIO (earlier Bioforsk, Norway). VTT (Finland) and University of Nebraska (USA) takes also part. Four industrial collaborators in the value chain support the project.
The objective of the project is “to develop biodegradable mulch film formulations from the co-streams of the food industry, which can be sprayed directly on the soil of row crops to form a strong film and protect crops against the growth of weeds”.
The project started up in 2014 and will have a duration of four years. The potential co-streams of the food industry have been ssessed and competence has been acquired in the project to develop film-forming formulations. Field tests will be carried out at NIBIO to investigate the effectiveness of films against weed growth.
Norner develops mulch film from potato peel
Food processing is one of the most important industries globally. The coproducts and waste from the food processing industry must be handled in an appropriate manner to avoid any environmental violence.
Potato peel and chicken feather have been chosen as the main co-streams of the food industry in the project for the development of biodegradable sprayable mulch films. Potato is the world’s fourth most important food crop, with an estimated annual production of 376 million tons in 2013. Processed potato in the form of ready-to-eat products such as frozen products, chips and French fries, generates large amounts potato peel, which is currently used as animal feed or treated as a waste.
Similarly, feather is a by-product in the poultry industry. According to OECD agriculture statistics, in the year 2012, the world’s poultry production was 106 million tons (ready-to-cook). As feathers constitute a significant part of the total weight of a chicken, the amount of feather generated can be estimated to 15-20 million tons.
Co-products of food processing are inexpensive and affordable. If the suitable applications for the co-streams of the food industry are developed, it adds value to inexpensive materials with improved sustainability.