The physical and chemical properties are what make polyvinyl alcohol very versatile and ideal for use in agriculture. It features water-solubility, excellent film forming characteristics, high tensile strength and elasticity, as well as resistance against organic solvents and dispersing power and is inherently biodegradable in water/soil in aqueous solution form. PVOH can be used in a wide range of agricultural applications.
When seeds are coated with polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), they are protected by a PVOH film, where the water solubility and mechanical strength of the film can be controlled. Polyvinyl alcohol coatings decrease dusting, improve germination and can be applied in a variety of ways. PVOH is used as a binder for seed coating. Seed coating is the process of applying materials like agrochemical or fertilizer to the natural seed surface. This technology is used for improving physical properties of the seed and the delivery of active ingredients.
Polyvinyl alcohol is used for improving soil structure and soil fertility. The polyvinyl alcohol can be either be mixed into the soil or sprayed onto the soil as a solution. The goal is to create a crumb structure to the soil, like this the roots can penetrate the soil more easily. With a crumb structure some parameters are improved, creating a good environment for soil organisms. These include water retention, drainage and good air permeability.
Polyvinyl alcohol is commonly used as a binder in fertilizer formulations. It can be applied as a solution or in powder form. The goal is to accelerate the aggregation of ingredients, and granulation speed, yields and physical properties of the granules (for example release control and water retention properties).
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) is recognized as one of the very few vinyl polymers which are water soluble and inherently biodegradable in water in the presence of micro-organisms. The biodegradability of PVOH is affected by its specification or biodegradation condition.