Scientists from the Basalt Glass Lab, part of Perm State National Research University used CBF (continuous basalt fiber) as a substrate for growing plants on vertical walls by hydroponics method.
“Continuous basalt fibers, each having an average diameter of 20 microns, hold the plant roots as a foundation. Unlike preceding materials, this one has a high permeability, the roots breathe in it. The surface energy of the fiber keeps 30% of the water on its surface, making it possible to determine correct watering cycle, “said Raul Ergaliev, the head of Basalt Glass Lab.
Developed in the city of Perm, this green wall variety differs somewhat from those globally used to make premises greener and to revive urban landscapes. To create vertical gardens and to grow greenhouse plants, they use basalt substrate based on mineral wool. However, Perm suggests the use of continuous basalt fiber.
CBF as a soil for hydroponics systems offers a number of excellent properties: it neither decay nor dissolve, prevents microorganisms from entering and reproducing, and it is able to be recycled. For the second use, it is enough to calcine substrate to burn organic residues.
The scientists understand the potential of this method for both industrial purposes and personal use. Distinguished by light weight, this material enables the creation of various hydroponic systems being used in greenhouse complexes, offices, residential premises, for vertical or horizontal planting roofs or facades.
Basalt Glass Lab LLC was established in 2016 as a project of Mozgovo Innovation Center on the basis of Perm State University. Basalt fiber is manufactured in the laboratory from raw material mined in the Gornozavodsky district of Permsky Krai and can be used for the agriculture purposes, insulation materials, basalt plastics, filter materials, special types of cement and high-strength concretes.