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Extra resources for Design and Applications of Hydrophilic Polyurethanes
For this reason, while using pure foam could be justified, technically, it was necessary to use foam filled with large amounts of fillers. Most commonly, the filler of choice is peat moss, but bark and almost all natural fibers are also used. Even with the cost-cutting method of adding fillers, however, hydrophilic polyurethane foam as a growing medium is only used with highvalue plants. Among these are geraniums, cut flowers, roses, grapevines and a number of other plants. Billions of plants are grown worldwide using this technology.
While we will specifically describe this subject in terms of its use to bioremediate waste streams, the core technology is the immobilization (by adsorption, reaction or entrapment) of a biological species on or in a polyurethane foam. Included in these biological constituents are yeast, algae, bacteria, enzymes and even human cells. The discussion begins with a description of the conventional treatment of municipal waste. It is common to use bacteria for this in large settling ©2004 by CRC Press LLC ©2000 ponds.
First and foremost, it must not be phytotoxic. Second, it must yield an open-celled foam. As we have and will discuss further, the degree to which it is open is an important property. Unlike a wound dressing, the foam needs to drain. The explanation of this, and the method by which it is measured, is the most critical part of this technology. Consider the following experiment. An apparatus is set up according to the diagram in Figure 14. Foam is placed in the reservoir (the volume of FIGURE 13.