Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protecting Food Crops From Soil Contaminants

03.03.2015

Chemist uses natural soil components to trap pollutants

Using natural soil components to trap pollutants will allow producers to control soil contaminants and reuse draining water while protecting their agricultural crops, according to Mohamed Elsayed, a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar at South Dakota State University’s chemistry and biochemistry department.


Mohamed Elsayed, a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar at South Dakota State University’s chemistry and biochemistry department, uses ultrafiltration techniques to break humic acid down into smaller molecules that can then combine with clay minerals in the soil to trap pollutants.

Elsayed, a researcher from the Soil Water and Environmental Research Institute at the Agricultural Research Center in Egypt, will present his work at the American Chemical Society National Meeting March 22-26 in Denver.

If crops are sown in polluted soil, the plants absorb the contaminants, Elsayed explained. These are then transferred to humans when they consume the vegetables or grains.

Because of water shortages in Egypt, Elsayed said, “we need to use water again and again, but before we reuse it, we need to clean it.”

His research seeks to increase the ability of humic acid to adsorb or trap pollutants in combination with either of two clay minerals—kaolinite or montmorillonite. Humic acid is one of the major organic components in soil and is also used as fertilizer.

“The idea is to use natural materials to reduce the pollutants,” he explained. “Natural components are cheaper, more easily available.” Plus, artificial ingredients run the risk of adding to the pollution problems—natural ingredients don’t.

By breaking humic acid into smaller molecules, a process called fractionation, Elsayed hopes to improve the interaction between humic acid and clay minerals and, therefore, their ability to trap pollutants, particularly heavy metals. This project is a continuation of his doctoral research.

If fractionation produces good results, the next step will be to determine the optimum humic acid fractionation combination for each clay mineral to enhance the trapping process, Elsayed explained.

The long-range vision is for producers to apply humic acid, either in solid or liquid form, to enhance soil properties.

“These compounds would capture the heavy metals and organic pollutants so the plant won’t take it up,” he said. The resulting crop would be contaminant-free.

About South Dakota State University
Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from eight different colleges representing more than 175 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 32 master’s degree programs, 15 Ph.D. and two professional programs. The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Cooperative Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.

Contact Information
Christie Delfanian
Research Writer
christie.delfanian@sdstate.edu

Phone: 605-688-4541
Mobile: 605-651-4183
Mohamed.Elsayed@sdstate.edu

Christie Delfanian | newswise
Further information:
http://www.sdstate.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary

21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cnidarians remotely control bacteria

21.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?

21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>