January 13, 2016

With the shift from a weighted wide area bio-mat to smaller weighted disks, the team began to problem solve a system that integrates the bio-disk system within a pre­cast biodegradable weight. Early testing with melting PLA pellets ( Poly Lactic Acid ) commonly used in 3­D printing, did not pan out. While technically biodegradable, the process of coating a Environmentally inert clay as a weight was found to be problematic. Further testing indicated that the degradation time would be inappropriately long. The team met with Chemists Tony Walder from Lubrizol and Nicholas Skirkanich from the Coim Group to talk about potential biodegradable polymers. New castings will be made and tested. The good news is that in the casting we can also introduce time­ released fertilizers or rich sediments to increase the growth and success rate.