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 New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
31.10.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

nachricht Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | Universität Zürich

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: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helping to Transport Proteins Inside the Cell

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Meta-surface corrects for chromatic aberrations across all kinds of lenses

21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>