Degradable Nursery Containers Made of Rice Husk and Cornstarch Composites

Enhui Sun, Hongying Huang, Fengwen Sun, Guofeng Wu, Zhizhou Chang


The degradation behavior was investigated for eco-composite nursery containers (NCs) prepared with rice husk and cornstarch adhesive modified with urea formaldehyde (UF) as a wet strength agent. The wet shear strength, water absorption capacities, and biological degradation of NCs within soil were also investigated. Quantitative analysis of the thermal degradation behavior of different NC versions was performed by thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA). The results demonstrated that the introduction of the UF agent accelerated the soil degradation of the NCs matrix to a certain extent. The maximum cumulative mass loss was 51.1% when the UF content of NCs was 8 wt.%. Moreover, the dry strength of the mixed urea formaldehyde-cornstarch adhesive (UCA) was increased by 108.9% compared with cornstarch adhesive (CA). The results of this work indicate the improved biodegradability of the NC eco-composites, which could make them potential sustainable alternatives for conventional plastic pots.


Rice husk; Nursery containers; Eco-composites; Morphological structure; Biodegradable materials

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