Biodeg. Pack. Material

Robbie Byers VFWN86B at
Fri Jun 16 18:34:43 EST 1995

     I am a student at Denbigh High School, in Newport News, Virginia, 
and have been involved for the past three years in a science project 
dealing with biodegrable foam packing material.  The first two years of 
my experimentation I used Ecofoam, a product of American Excelsior 
Company, and this past year I used Renature, possibly produced by Noven, 
a division of Warner Lambert.  My project involved using different 
concentrations of the packing material and water, and using that mixture 
to water and feed radish seedlings.  My abstract is attached, for those 
     The reason I am posting here is to receive any and all comments, 
suggestions, or criticism of my project.  I would also appreciate any 
more information about biodegradable packing material.  I have contacted 
Carolina Biological Co., who has since changed its material to Envirofill,
 by Enpac, Inc. (I must say not as a result of my experimentation, 
though! :)   ).  Carolina Biological also has indirectly supplied my 
needs for the past two years, through the school system science 
departments.  I am also currently contacting American Excelsior Co., 
Greenpeace, RecycleNet, and various organizations.
     I conclusion, I would appreciate any and all comments, suggestions, 
criticisms, and information about my project.  

                                                       Robert Byers

vfwn86b at
robbie.byers at

Atch: 1

Please note that this is abstract is not correct in form.  Many parts, 
such as the Discussion, have been added to further your knowledge of my 

Title of Research:   The Effect of Renature Contaminated Water on Radish 

Purpose:   The experimenter wanted to find how Renature contaminated 
water affected the environment.  In this experiment, the environment was 
represented by the radish seedlings.

Hypothesis:   The experimenter believed that the higher amount of 
Renature solution given to each radish seedling would affect its growth, 
and that the Control group would grow more than any other group, 
especially the 30g group.

Procedure:   One 14.175g package of White Tipped Scarlet Globe Radishes, 
four newspapers to place under the four pans to keep excess water from 
leaking and from mixing with other groups, one four-beam balance, 60g of 
Renature, 18.145 kilograms of sterile potting soil, and three 3.79 liter 
jugs of distilled water were needed for the experiment.  First, all 
materials were collected.  Then, 10g of Renature was mixed with 1 liter 
of distilled water (in a 1 liter bottle), and this step was repeated with 
20g and 30g of Renature.  For the Control Group, 1 liter of distilled 
water was put in a 1 liter bottle.  Dirt was then placed in the plant 
holders (25 cups in each group).  Twenty-five seeds were planted in each 
group.  Then, all groups were placed in direct sunlight.  The radish 
seedlings were watered every-other day with 20mL of solution (the 10g 
solution for the 10g group, etc.).  The plants were measured in 
centimeters after they germinated.  Plants were measured and watered on 
alternating days.  Data was recorded every day for seven days.  Finally, 
the measurements were averaged.

Discussion:   The Control group and the 30g group grew taller than the 
10g group and 20g group. The experimenter did not understand this. One 
reason this may have happened was that the starch in Renature could have 
stimulated the growth of the radish plants. Or, there may have been 
another chemical in Renature that could have stimulated the growth. 
Possibly even the polyvinyl alcohol portion of the Renature (a water 
absorbent used in baby diapers) could have helped maintain constant soil 
moisture which may have stimulated plant growth.
     Past experiments that were done with Eco-foam (not Renature) have 
shown the same results.  In the future, the experimenter will try to test 
Renature (or Eco-foam) on another portion of the environment, possibly 
daphnia, or even another type of radish seedling or plant. This substance 
had been tested on radish seedlings for the past three years (including 
this year). It seems probable that further testing would still not 
produce the same data which would support the research hypothesis.

Conclusion and Results:   The research hypothesis was only partly 
supported by the data.  It was found that the Control group average was 
11.58 cm, the 10g group average was 10.37 cm, the 20g group average was 
10.71 cm, and the 30g group average was 10.82 cm.  The experimenter 
concluded that the Control group grew taller than all the other groups, 
but the 30g group grew taller than the 10g group and the 20g group.  
Perhaps the starch in Renature was able to stimulate growth, or maybe it 
was another chemical.  It was surprisingly noted that 10g of Renature 
seemed to slow the growth of the radish seedlings more than the increased 

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