Collaborative project: Development of novel and sustainable permanent antifog additive masterbatches for polyolefin foils in greenhouse applications - subproject 3 (PermAFog)
Project code: 28RF4044
Contract period: 01.12.2018 - 31.03.2022
Budget: 156,577 Euro
Purpose of research: Applied research
Keywords: crop production
This joint research and development project deals with the development and subsequent commercialization of environmentally friendly and sustainable permanent antifog additive masterbatches for polyolefin foils in greenhouse applications. The innovative potential of this novel class of polymeric materials lies in the significant improvement in long-term stability of such foils which are equipped with permanent and non-migrating antifog functionalities. These foils shall provide a minimum of 36 months service time in greenhouse roofing and covering, compared to only 18 months of standard foils which are currently commercially available and used in vegetable cultivation. This improvement in material functionality combines economic advantages for the farmer with a significant reduction in the amount of plastic waste produced in greenhouse vegetable cultivation compared to standard greenhouse foils. Standard antifog polyolefin foils need to be replaced due to the occurring losses in antifog activity before the end of the effective mechanical lifetime of the polyolefin foil. An additional advantage of the permanent antifog foils is the non-migrating nature of the antifog functionality incorporated in/onto these materials. Polyolefin foils equipped with permanent antifog agents will not release any additives with the draining water onto the growing plants and/or into the soil, like observed with the currently available materials. By preventing the leaching of antifog additives from greenhouse foils onto vegetables and into the environment this joint project delivers an active contribution for the protection of consumers and the environment. Moreover, the outlined approach will strengthen the business activities of German farmers in a growing bio-economy by producing organic and toxin-free vegetables for the European population.