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OFF-TOPIC China Researchers Find Way To Transform Deserts Into Fertile Land

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Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2017
I saw this in FB and thought it would be interesting to share with you guys. China has reportedly developed a technology that is able to transform desert lands into arable soil that could grow crops and natural vegetation. Watch this short video here:

For those of you who are interested, this is the scientific journal from Science Direct:

Desert “Soilization”: An Eco-Mechanical Solution to Desertification - ScienceDirect

The most important points (I think) are these:

- Natural soil usually takes thousands of years to form. However, by means of sand “soilization,” sand can be turned into “soil” such that it instantly becomes an ideal habitat for plants.

- Based on the granular constraint principle, the method used to implement sand “soilization” is simple. The added constraining material is modified CMC (a kind of plant cellulose), which can be used as food additives, is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and suitable for mass production.

- A small amount (as little as 1%–5%, for example) of modified CMC added to water can produce a highly viscous paste. If mechanized preparation methods such as rotary cultivation are adopted, the work involved in planting in “soilized” sand will not be much greater than that for planting in arable land.

- From an economical perspective, because the content of the constraining material is quite low and the preparation method is simple, the total cost for desert “soilization” is between 4500 and 6500 dollars per hectare depending on the planting requirements.

This easy-to-implement technology could change the landscape of the world and bring great benefits to mankind, especially in countries where soil is extremely scarce. It's also one hell of a great product to sell, and could make the researchers rich beyond their wildest dreams.

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yeah at this point it seems that the Chinese are going to be #1 soon. At least they prioritize achievement more than they do diversity and usury and social justice.

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
World citizen
Carboxy Methyl Cellulose is commonly used as a water retention aid, and is generally regarded as less of a risk than acrylate copolymers because Methyl Cellulose in various forms is non-toxic.

Methyl Cellulose is used as a thickener in a huge range of food products and is also used to make pharmaceutical and cosmetic gels.

The concept of water retention in soil (or sand) is not new, but the Chinese researchers have applied it on a large scale.

It should be remembered that sand usually has almost nil plant nutritional value and must have fertilizer added in order to grow plants. Growing plants in sand is quite possible without the addition of gel forming products provided you add fertilizer and have access to sufficient water.

The big benefit of adding the Methyl Cellulose is that the water will filter through the sand at a much slower rate as the gel structure is tapped by the roots, keeping it available near the root system.


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