Arctic Research and Education Centre has developed biodegradable seedling cassettes
Alexander Guryev, professor at the Department of Pulp-and-Paper and Wood Chemical Production at the Northern Arctic Federal University, said they should replace the plastic ones.2 December 2022
Scientists at the Russian Arctic Research and Education Centre (REC) in Arkhangelsk have developed biodegradable cassettes to grow seedlings for reforestation from pulp and paper waste. Alexander Guryev, professor at the Department of Pulp-and-Paper and Wood Chemical Production at the Northern Arctic Federal University (NArFU), told TASS that they are expected to replace the plastic ones that are normally used.
'This development will eventually replace plastic seedling cassettes for reforestation with biodegradable cassettes created from raw material waste from pulp production,' Guryev said.
The development is currently being tested in the laboratory. In the future, biodegradable cassettes could be included in the production cycle of the reforestation technology of the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill (APPM) and Titan Group. A forest seed centre is being established in Novodvinsk, which will grow up to 9 mn seedlings of conifers with closed root systems.
The main raw material for the filter cassettes will be cellulose waste, which is produced at the APPM in an amount of five to ten tons on a daily basis. They are currently being stockpiled, then burned in boilers.
As standard, seedlings with a closed root system are grown in peat substrate that is placed in a plastic pot. The seedling is removed from this pot before planting in the forest. If the cassette is biodegradable, the small tree can be sown with it, with virtually no damage to the root system of the seedling. In addition, not just peat can be added to the pot but nutrient additives such as algae waste can also be added to improve rooting and quality characteristics.