Briefly about: News in the market of peat-free substrates

The issue of reducing the use of fossil resources is still relevant. Consequently, peat-free substrates and soil improvers are the ones that need to conquer the consumer market of the future.

Looking at the current supply, it can be seen that peat-free substrates made of composted material (Gardman, Rolawn, Pro-Grow, Neudorff, Klassman, etc.) are mostly available on the market.

Continue reading “Briefly about: News in the market of peat-free substrates”

Plant cultivation experiment

In order to evaluate the effect of the product formula on plants, experiments with plants must be performed. An experiment with the cultivation of Lactuca sativa is currently underway. The results of the experiment will indicate to necessary improvements in the development of the product formula. The greenhouses in the Nature House of the University of Latvia provide suitable conditions for plant cultivation experiments – hopefully, our plants will enjoy the “eternal spring sun”.

The cultivation experiment includes preparation, mixing and filling of the substrate components into pots, seed selection and careful sowing process, seedling diving, regular monitoring and measurements (soil pH, etc.) and, of course, watering.

In addition, it is necessary to understand the behaviour of the product formula in the soil – the duration of degradation, the relationship with soil components, etc. These experiments should be performed under both laboratory and field conditions.

Prototype of the formula

Based on the performed tests and analyzes of secondary raw materials, as well as identifying the availability and volume of various waste materials, a prototype version of the product has been developed in the form of granules made from biomass ashes and sapropel.

What comes next? We will test how the granules can be used to improve the soil quality, whether the properties of the granules meet the requirements of soil improvers, how the granules interact with the soil and plants.

Planned presentations at conferences

In the shadow of COVID-19, abstracts for presentations have been prepared and submitted for two international conferences:

  • 20th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference Surveying, Geology and Mining, Ecology and Management SGEM 2020 (scheduled from 16-08-2020 to 25-08-2020 in Albena, Bulgaria), presentation topic: “From utilization of wood ashes to new product for soil improvement “;
  • 3rd Conference of the Arabian Journal of Geosciences CAJG 2020 (scheduled from 02-11-2020 to 05-11-2020 in Susa, Tunisia), presentation theme: “Towards the formula of peat-free soil conditioner applicable for soil remediation and quality improvement of agricultural production ”.

Will there be an opportunity to attend the conferences? No one can answer the question at this time. Today’s virtual world is technologically equipped for off-site events with a face-to-face effect, therefore it is expected that the planned events will not be missed.

Scientific Report No.1 finalized

There is a lot of work done to summarize what has been done during the project. Due to the wide range of methods used in the study, a report on the results of “SUMMARY OF RESEARCH METHODS FOR INVESTIGATION OF BIOMASS COMBUSTION ASHES” has been prepared.

Why biomass ash research? At the beginning of the project, various waste products were identified that could be used to develop a Formula of peat-free soil improver. Biomass (including wood) ashes are among the waste products available on an industrial scale, therefore detailed ash research will allow expanding their use.

It should be noted that the methods can be adapted for laboratory analysis of other materials.

The project continues

After a break for a year, the project continues. We will work on what we have started and try to fulfil the planned activities. Currently, we are working on technical solutions for the production process of the Formula prototype, as well as the processing of existing data and the development of a new scientific publication.

Are you an environmental science student at the University of Latvia and do you want to be on my team? Do not hesitate to write to me:

Presentation at the conference Eco-Tech 2018

Thanks to colleagues, there was an opportunity to present project-related data at an international conference:

11th International Conference on the Establishment of Cooperation among Companies and Institutions in the Nordic Countries, the Baltic Sea Region and the World: Eco-Tech 2018, held from 19-11-2018 to 21-11-2018 in Kalmar, Sweden.

Title of presentation: “From field to plate: Discussion on transfer of metals in food chain”.

The Project Begins!

Dear guest,

Welcome to my project website. Do not hesitate to write Your comments, thoughts and questions in comment boxes or by direct e-mailing to start a discussion on the related topics.

I will be glad to receive collaboration proposals.

Kind regards,
Dr. Zane Vincevica-Gaile, leading researcher at the University of Latvia