Our proposal THYRSOS/THYRSUS: Development of a pallet from Nartheka (Anathrika) was approved for funding. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the following agencies:
  • Argyris Drakos Ltd
  • Frederick University
  • Agricultural Research Institute

The project:

Wooden pallets in Europe face a shortage of raw materials due to the war in Ukraine. The wooden pallets come from countries like Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. In addition, the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures No 15 (ISPM 15) requires all wooden packaging to be treated to remove or kill pests. The high cost of energy and fuel required to heat treat and kiln dry the timber has further increased the price of wood pallets. The Cyprus wood pallet industry has been limited to the recovery and reuse of used pallets. Although wood is considered a renewable material, it takes more than twenty years to mature for harvest. Ferula Communis is a herbaceous perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region and a characteristic plant of the Cypriot flora with a robust, rigid and long fibrous stem that can reach up to 3 meters and can grow in stony soil with minimal needs in water. The THIRSUS project aims to create a new composite material using plant fibrous stem of Ferula Communis with eco-adhesives, which will be tested as a sustainable alternative to wooden pallets. The proposed methodology for the manufacture of the biocomposite board from Ferula Communis will be a modification of the bamboo scrimber production. The aim is to develop a prototype pallet from Ferula Cοmmunis composite that will comply with ISO, ISPM 15 and European standards. The THYRSUS project will investigate the agronomic characteristics of the plant to optimize cultivation and harvesting towards the use of its stem to create a biocomposite product. The THIRSUS project will introduce to the Cypriot market a green and renewable product that has the potential to replace a large portion of wood products.