FABSOIL (Fabricated Soils) will develop sustainable soils manufactured from recycled and waste materials that are fertile and resilient.
The FABSOIL project has the aim of manufacturing and optimising a soil made from suitable waste materials that can perform at least as well as natural topsoil, while acting as a sustainable substrate in any environment to which it is deployed. These could include production of specialist crops, urban development or even increasing soil coverage in private residences. The goal is to make the material from suitable recycled and waste materials, ensuring its sustainability and fertility, maintaining a reservoir of slow-release nutrients to fuel plant growth to minimise fertiliser applications (Schofield et al., 2018).
The soils will provide a sustainable resource that can be applied globally – especially in the face of widespread soil loss and degradation in many parts of the world. They can be adapted depending on geographic needs and will provide material for major landscaping and land restoration projects, which currently demand large quantities of scarce natural topsoil.
As well as designing a sustainable resource, the FABSOIL project could initiate new commercial possibilities for the manufacture and analysis of fabricated soils in Cornwall and further afield, with businesses supplying the raw materials, processors, distributors and end-users all involved.