NL: Grower will soon enable the on-site production of biodegradable, biobased substrate plugs

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Somewhat away from the spotlight, the Raalte-based Maan Biobased Products introduced innovative solutions into the industry. It all started with the Growcoon, and now they introduce the Nygaia. Both of these are being developed in cooperation with Klasmann-Deilman. What makes this concept stand out is that it comes together with an automated machine range. The Nygaia Plugline will be showcased at the GreenTech Amsterdam.

Rob van der Meer

“It’s impressive what we built here in such a short time,” says Rob van de Meer from Maan Biobased Products. “It all started with the idea of gluing potting soil. That didn’t work, but as a result of this idea, the Growcoon was born.”

“We learn from every test”
Now, the focus is on the Nygaia, and that will continue for a while. Unlike Growcoon, this product results from the collaboration with Klasmann-Deilmann. They came up with an alternative substrate with the plug structure of potting soil. “While it is not a natural product, it does not affect pH or EC and is completely inert,” Rob emphasizes.

Nygaia’s recipe is very much a secret. At the same time, it is clear that the fiber structure is made out of polymers which make the plug absorb and release water properly. “The plug can absorb up to nine times its volume of water,” he says.

Currently, the product is not launched on the market as the product is still being fine-tuned. The fine-tuning takes place at The Green East, a test site near the Maan production sites. “We want some flow in the plug and this material makes it possible.”

Nygaia’s main focus is on cultivating on water in greenhouse and vertical or indoor farm. However, interest has also arisen in other crops. Rob: “We are testing with various crops.”

The Nygaia concept was nominated for a Concept Award this GreenTech. The concept also includes a machine. That machine will soon produce substrate on site for growers. “That means that you only have to send 1 container of raw materials to customers to ship substrate, instead of 40,” Patrick Alferink explains. “Largely renewable raw materials of non-fossil origin.”

Together with Martine Huisman, it is his job to, among other things, convey the sustainable sides of the technical developments. The fact that part of the machine range will soon be on display at the fair is certainly going to help attract the attention of fair visitors. “During GreenTech you will see something spectacular,” Rob assures us.

The machine processes biodegradable and partly bio-based polymer mixture into rolls. From these rolls, another machine makes the plugs. These plugs, which must be stable during cultivation, are also industrially compostable. By turning the right knobs on the machine, growers will soon be able to make Nygaia slightly lighter or denser at their own location.

Asides from testing the plug, testing is also carried out with a Nygaia mat. “We are getting great results, so we are very excited about that too,” he says. He shows lettuce grown on a float on water on the Nygaia mat. “The trials with this mat are going to help sell the plugs as well.” After the fair, Maan Biobased Products, together with partner Klasmann-Deilmann, Maan Biobased Products wants to produce commercial volumes for Nygaia, just as it did for Growcoon. This time no longer in Raalte, but on site. “As soon as we started to develop this sustainable concept, it was clear to us that it should enable on site production,” he says.

Cultivation with Nygaia mat

For more information:
Maan Biobased Products
Klipperweg 16
8102 HR Raalte, the Netherlands
Tel: 0572 35 27 71
[email protected]

Klasmann-Deilmann Benelux
[email protected]

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