Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Recycled paper and compost could both be key tools to control plant disease

26.09.2006
New research by the University of Warwick should have gardeners and commercial growers competing for both recycled paper and organic waste composts. The University’s plant research department, Warwick HRI, is finding that recycled paper based composts are proving to be a major weapon in the fight against a range of plant diseases.

A University of Warwick research team under Professor Ralph Noble has recently shown that the use of composts can reduce the incidence of some important plant diseases by as much as 72%. That research, funded by the UK government’s Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP), found that the replacement of around 20% of the volume of soil or peat by compost gave major disease control benefits.

Professor Ralph Noble’s latest research appears to add another ecological benefit. Early results from trials with conifers using compost made from paper waste shows that it is providing much the same disease suppressing effect as green compost made from plant waste. This provides an obvious additional commercial use for the vast amount of paper waste generated by offices and homes.

Professor Noble said: “During paper recycling production a large proportion of the fibres cannot be recycled. The useable fibres are taken out to make new newsprint, and the small fibres are no longer usable, they’re a waste by-product. In Britain, about half a million tonnes of these small, unusable fibres are produced each year. They have a potential use in growing media because they hold a lot of water, just like peat and, being a waste product, they have no other value. Obviously materials that are going to replace peat have to be very cheap or waste by-products. So, paper wastes fit this bill in terms of being cheap and they also hold a lot of water, which is what you need for plant growth”.

The suppression of plant diseases was particularly noticeable when the green and recycled paper composts were added to peat. Peat is used by many growers as it provides a clean and uniform material that is suitable for plant growth – but its very cleanliness makes the plants growing in it susceptible to quickly spreading plant diseases. In contrast compost contains a diversity of microbes that can suppress plant diseases. The ecological benefits of this are obvious: less fungicide has to be applied to plants, less peat is required thus preserving peat bogs, and green waste and paper waste that would otherwise be land-filled is recycled.

Professor Ralph Noble says: “This research shows that the use of such compost could provide clear commercial benefits to growers and ecological benefits for us all. There should be no additional costs involved but we must still test the reliability of using composts for a wide range of commercial crops. Those growers who do change from using 100% peat could literally reap significant rewards”

Peter Dunn | alfa
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>