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New European Project to Develop a New 100% Compostable Material for Micro-irrigation Systems

New European Project to Develop a New 100% Compostable Material for Micro-irrigation Systems

  • Tuesday, 14th January 2014
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

DRIUS is a European project which aims to implement new micro-irrigation systems.

Four companies are working together in the project, Extruline Systems (Spain), Metzerplas (Israel), research organisation Aimplas, Technological Institute of Plastics, (Spain) and OWS N.V. (Belgium), as coordinator.

Aimplas explains the main objective of this project is to implement in the market new micro-irrigation systems 100% compostable as a solution to manage the plastic and the green waste in a composting plant at the end of the crop period. The new system will not require the separation or the burning of the pipes and green waste.

According to Aimplas, the main applications of the system to be developed in DRIUS will be crops of small plants such as strawberries and tomatoes with short periods of cultivations, less than a year. Currently, the problem after the crop period is the difficulty in the recycling of the irrigation system because of the mix of plastic with plants and soil, so the common solution is the burning of the waste generated. However, they hope that the new compostable system will make possible to treat the waste in a composting plant.

DRIUS is the continuation of a previous project called HYDRUS (FP7/2007-2013-Grant Agreement 231975), where new biodegradable micro-irrigation pipes were developed and satisfactorily manufactured in industrial extrusion lines. The main focus of the present project is to manufacture biodegradable drippers by injection to obtain the complete system.

Aimplas states its specific role in the project will be to optimise the suitable material for drippers to make possible the industrialistion of the micro-irrigation system. Extruline Systems will be responsible for manufacturing the complete micro-irrigation system (pipes and drips) at industrial level. Metzerplas is going to design the new moulds and will be the injector for flat drippers. Lastly, OWS N.V. will carry out the complete study of biodegradation and compostability in order to obtain the compostability logo.

The project receives funding from the European Community’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP/2007-2013), under grant agreement ECO/12/332883. DRIUS started in November 2013 and has duration of 24 months.

Photo provided by Aimplas

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