Sustainable substrates for plants, trees and shrubs enabled with BioFoam®

J. Noordegraaf, J. De Jong, P. Matthijssen, P. De Bruijn, T. Baltissen, K. Molenveld

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


BioFoam® is a polylactic acid based particle foam developed by Synbra Technology. It is an alternative to current foam materials, but bio-based and compostable. BioFoam® is already used in packaging applications and in construction, but now also horticultural applications are considered. To study possible horticultural applications various experiments have been conducted. Water retention curves of BioFoam® mixtures with potting soil have been determined. Various types of BioFoam® have been used for this. It was found that the water retention of the foam is not as good as e.g., peat, but it can be improved by modifying. In a large greenhouse BioFoam® has been compared with Styromüll for insulation purposes and to improve light reflection during Chrysanthemums growth. Best growing results have been obtained when BioFoam® was used and besides it has better end of life options. A cultivation test in a hydro culture pot system with blackberry plants on BioFoam® and standard substrates showed that plant growth was comparable. Based on the above it is concluded that BioFoam® offers an alternative in various horticultural applications as (partial) replacement for existing substrates like peat or coconut.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789462610217
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572


  • Bio-based substrate
  • Hydro culture
  • Potting plants

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sustainable substrates for plants, trees and shrubs enabled with BioFoam®'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this