Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Polymer protects grass

05.06.2002


To help the nature to recover from harmful impacts of the mining industry, Svetlana Mesyats and her team from the Geological Institute of the Kola Research Center RAS offer the method, which implies the application of a thin invisible polymeric film onto the soil surface and provides for a fast and successful minesite recultivation.Polymer Protects Grass

It is not surprising that such a polymeric covering is invented in Apatity. People leaving on the Cola Peninsula often need to deal with a destroyed soil cover and a bare infertile land. As a consequence of mining, a significant part of the peninsula is either stripped of the upper ground layer or buried under dumps of the barren rock. Water and wind erosion and sharp fluctuations in temperature make it impossible for a young grass to survive on this infertile ground, only clouds of dust fly over these bare lands. And such a situation is just the same in all mining and metallurgical areas in the North.

However, in the environs of Apatity the problem of dust storms has been solved. A thick grass cover has been created on barren rock dumps, and eyes and mouths of local population are no longer filled with the tons of dust. The idea is as simple as any stroke of genius.



Lawns are usually created the following way. A fertile soil is poured onto a certain plot of land, and a lawn grass is sown. To provide a high quality of lawn, the surface is covered with a coarse cloth (sacking) or a modern polymeric material (e.g., lutrosil). On average-quality or very large lawns, just a thin protective covering of ground is applied over seeds and the soil surface is slightly compacted to minimize erosion. Further success depends only on good luck. A strong rainstorm can wash off the surface layer of soil together with seeds at once, especially, if the lawn is situated in a gully or on a slope facing a road. So, all the work could be ruined. Of course, situation is rather different on lawns covered with sacking. The cloth protects the humus layer from being washed off or blown off together with seeds, decreases the evaporation of moisture, and makes it possible for grass germs to root in soil. In addition, slopes designed for lawns are stabilized using special concrete or wooden frameworks.

However, several hectares of damaged land cannot be covered with a cloth. But a protective covering could be dispersed over the soil surface like a fertilizer from an airplane. This is the way offered by ecologists and chemists from the Geological Institute. The scientists developed a polymeric covering "Biorekulat" for restoring vegetation of mine sites. In fact, this is a durable elastic film that if formed after applying an aqueous emulsion of polymer to the soil surface. Such a film effectively stabilizes the surface by gluing small soil particles together, and later they and seeds cannot be carried away by rainwater or wind. At the same time, the polymeric covering is porous, air- and water-permeable, and does not prevent the earth from breathing. Seeds are comfortable under such a film like under an elfin cloak: it saves heat and moisture and smoothens the fluctuations of temperature in soil. This screen is not an obstacle for young plants, which can grow through it easily.

This film itself is rather durable and stays for several years before beginning to disappear, as it is biodecomposable. It is frost- and heat-resistant: from minus forty to plus forty degrees Celsius. In fact, the most important thing is to let the seeds germinate and root the first year. The second year, the sod (grass-covered surface soil held together by matted roots) is formed, which protects soil from erosion and people from dust, and the covering becomes unnecessary. Thus, this method allows us to restore the soil-vegetation cover on a bare ground within two years, whereas a similar natural process would take decades. Besides, this method is ten times cheaper than the usual way of lawn creation. Using the polymeric film, one can succeed in restoring the soil-vegetation cover on the bare ground even without applying either seeds or a fertile ground. In the first case, one relies on the fact that soil always contains some seeds, and grass will appear without any sowing. In the second case, perennial grasses can be planted even on infertile land.

It should be mentioned that the Russian product "Bioreculat" attracted attention of the British known for their passion for ideal lawns. They consider using of this product not only for lawn treatment, but also for healing bare spots on golf-links.

In Russia, this invention was highly appreciated too. Recently, it won the Grand Prix and a gold medal at the Fifth International Salon of Industrial Property "Archimedes".

Olga Maksimenko | alphagalileo

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>