On floating plant islands, aquatic and riparian plants grow in places where this is normally not possible. With their roots, the aquatic plants absorb nitrogen and phosphorous, which reduces the growth of (blue)algae. In addition, aquatic plant islands attract amphibians, fish, water birds, bees and other insects. This is not only positive for biodiversity, it also makes the water cleaner.
Water plant islands used so far contain fossil plastics and coatings. The water islands that Dutch Water Tech is developing together with the Green Chemistry Campus are 100% circular and consist of bio-based components. Renewable raw materials such as bamboo form the basis. Thanks to a special bio-based material and a coating of Impershield, a good balance is found between biodegradability and robustness.
Dutch Water Tech is building the islands in the demo facility of the Green Chemistry Campus and testing them in a pond of the municipality of Bergen op Zoom. The project provides insight into the lifespan of the islands, the most suitable plant species and the amount of CO2, nitrogen and phosphorous they can fix.
The municipality of Bergen op Zoom and the province of Noord-Brabant are supporting the project through an incentive scheme of in total almost €1.2 million for biobased SMEs from the European Union that are active in the biobased economy. Per application, up to €95,000 is available in the form of co-financing. The scheme makes the West Brabant economy more future-proof and preserves and creates jobs. After Fruitleather, Dutch Water Tech is the second company to make use of it.
More information can be found on the website of the Green Chemistry Campus.