The use of STOCKOSORB® in the reforestation of argan trees in Morocco shows that superabsorbents can help overcome arid conditions. For this idea, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has honored Evonik with its Responsible Care Award (large companies category).
The award was presented to Annette zur Mühlen of Evonik, who specializes in innovative solutions for agriculture, and Marie-Rose Chalhoub, who is responsible for sales of this product, at the Global Chemical Industry European Convention in Madrid (Spain) at the end of September. Together with the Institut Agronomique et Veterinaire Hassan II in Agadir (Morocco) and local partners, Evonik investigated how STOCKOSORB® can improve the survival of argan seedlings.
The argan is a multipurpose tree used by the local population in south-west Morocco as a source of timber, fodder and oil. It grows in extremely arid conditions but the area covered by these trees is regressing rapidly. Trials have shown that STOCKOSORB® superarbsorbent polymers increase the survival rates of saplings. STOCKOSORB® absorbs many times its own weight of water and releases it gradually to the plants as required. Depending on the environmental conditions used in the trial, survival rates increased by between 45 and 150 percent compared to the control. Preparations for further trials are currently under way in Morocco.
The Responsible Care Award is presented by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) for projects that foster cooperation, address energy efficiency and climate change, encourage health, safety and environmental excellence and demonstrate the business value of Responsible Care. The Responsible Care initiative, which is supported by Evonik, is the chemical industry's commitment to the principles of sustainable development.