Final Thesis_Cuyler Borrowman_Amendments made_no signatures.pdf (7.06 MB)
Degradation, Efficacy, and Environmental Impact of a Sprayable Degradable Plastic Mulch
thesisposted on 2020-07-13, 04:59 authored by CUYLER KENNETH BORROWMAN
Non-degradable plastic mulches are an important, but unsustainable agricultural technology for conserving water and increasing crop yield. Biodegradable plastics have begun to emerge as a sustainable replacement. This thesis focuses on understanding the efficacy, degradation and potential environmental impacts of one particular novel biodegradable plastic mulch. It identifies which environmental factors control degradation rate, and finds that the biodegradable plastic is effective in conserving water. Further, it identifies that the use of this biodegradable plastic increases the abundance of plant growth promoting microorganisms in soil, which could have beneficial implications for the long term usage of this material.