06. December 2018 | Geotech

MoosTex: Active watering regulates fine dust

Modulare Mooswand: MoosTex-Testaufbau auf dem DITF-Gelände in Denkendorf
Modular moss wall: MoosTex test setup on the DITF site in Denkendorf, Germany
Source: DITF
Modular moss walls are intended to make a sustainable contribution to air purification in metropolises polluted with fine dust: The German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research (DITF), Ed. Züblin AG and Helix Pflanzen GmbH have taken a big step forward on the way to practical implementation of their innovative idea in the MoosTex research project. The three project partners have developed a system that ensures the survival of vertically planted mosses under real weather conditions and with which their biological, fine dust absorbing activity can be specifically controlled.

Mosses bind and metabolise fine dust via their large leaf surfaces - a natural property that the MoosTex project hopes to exploit. Since November 2017, ten modular moss walls have been intensively tested at four different locations in the Stuttgart region under different weather conditions and sky alignments. The project partners have now derived two decisive core elements for the construction of the moss walls in order to optimally exploit their fine dust absorbing potential: an active irrigation system and a special textile substructure adapted to the moss.

In the hot and dry summer months of 2018, the MoosTex project succeeded in keeping the green modules of the test walls biologically active and even stimulating significant growth by means of targeted irrigation. Without sufficient moisture, moss dries out completely. It then does not take any damage, but cannot metabolize any fine dust during this sleep phase (dormancy). With the integrated irrigation system, the ability of the moss walls to absorb fine dust can be actively and specifically controlled at any time.

In a second step, the partners of the MoosTex project now want to verify the fine dust absorption capacity of the moss walls, which has been proven in the laboratory, also under real conditions. In spring 2019, extensive investigations and measurements will start on the test walls in the Neckartor area in Stuttgart, on the B 27 in Ludwigsburg and on the sites of Helix (Kornwestheim) and DITF (Denkendorf). Different types of moss are also tested. This test phase is an important step towards the development of a modular wall system populated with mosses for fine dust binding, which can be used flexibly and economically in urban areas with high traffic loads.

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy funds the MoosTex research project as part of the "ZIM-Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand" funding programme. The project, which was launched in April 2017, runs for 36 months until April 2020.

By Petra Gottwald

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