The product offered is a foamed glass material with numerous pores, produced by burning pulverized glass mixed with a foaming agent such as shell powder or calcium carbonate (CaCO3). If this product is mixed with soil, the water retention capacity of the soil is increased, because the pores catch and retain water which otherwise infiltrates in the soil. The product can retain water for 15% of its total volume. It is compliant to Japanese soil environmental standard. Based on the result of leaching test, the utilization of this product doesn’t have any problem related to heavy metals and toxic products to use it in the soil including mixing with soil. It can promote the growth of vegetables and fruits and can improve germination rate, biomass, water conductivity and soil physical and chemical properties.
The soil environment is an organic entity, which is sustained by the constant supply of organic nutrients. In recent years, the blind pursuit of crop yield, induced a surge in fertilizer use, and the amount of farm manure was reduced sharply, resulting in decreased organic matter content in soil, increased soil bulk density, decreased water holding capacity in the field, acidification and hardening, and continuous decrease of soil fertility. At the same time, the use of chemical fertilizer also caused serious environmental pollution. Therefore, improving the utilization ratio of soil fertilizer and fertilizer is the basis of sustainable and healthy development of modern agriculture. The product can improve fertilizer utilization rate, improve soil physical and chemical properties, improve soil fertility, soil compaction and air permeability, improve soil water supply capacity and conducive to root growth. The reason is that the characteristic of the product is to retain water and nutrients, thus increasing soil water storage, increasing soil organic matter and nutrient content, increasing microbial activity, further enhancing the mineralization ability of organic nutrients in soil, and improving the availability of nutrients in soil.
The Portuguese company is seeking for distribution agreements with distributors with knowledge and contacts with farmers, farmer’s associations and waste-water treatment companies willing to adopt this product to improve soil/substrate conditions in sustainable agriculture practices, by reducing the water demand, enhancing nutrient retention and improve soil aeration, and to act as a biofilter in different wastewater processes.
The SME is also looking for industry partners interested in commercially exploiting this technology (e.g. through integration in its product portfolio). License agreement may also be considered through the establishment of a strategic alliance that involves the transaction of the product use right.