Lamma 2012: Foam gives weeds a thermal shock

FOAMSTREAM is a non-toxic method of weed control, developed by Weeding Technologies, which uses natural plant oils and sugars from wheat, maize and potatoes to create a foaming agent.

Its effectiveness comes from being mixed with near-boiling water and then applied to weeds - by lance, or precision boom for row-specific crops.

When applied, the foam acts as a thermal blanket and uses its contained heat to strip back the waxy layer on leaves. Continuous exposure to heat above 57degC gives a good dose of thermal shock, followed by plant degradation.

Application is effected by a tractor-mounted system, called the AW80. It uses a pto input to provide electrical power to heat three, on-demand industrial boilers, which feed either a hand-lance or spray boom with super-heated foam. The system is priced from £43,950.

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