Sunday, December 16, 2007

Terra Preta NUGGETS

In this experiment, I have mixed redsoil (~40%), Charcoal (~50%) and little ash (~10%)in water, created small nuggets and dried them in the sunlight for about 3 hours (20 to 30 deg centigrade temperature), there was also a mild breeze of air too.

These nuggets were put in Magh-1 stove]] along with Maize cobs which were used as fuel and then lit. For keeping them in the Magh -1 stove for about 10 minutes, just enough maize cobs were added. While the stove was burning, I could also heat some water. The end result was hard TP Nuggets - With a combination of charcoal, little ash and burnt red soil. This is a hybrid product having characteristics of pottery shreds and charcoal which exists in TP.

Probable applications and uses:
- Such TP nuggets produced in large numbers could be used in Horticulture where we concentrate more on each plant rather than the spread.
- In small scale could be used for flower pots at home, for the people who many not be able to take care of the pots every day - expecially watering the pots.
- These TP nuggets could be used in the compost pits - vermicompost, farm yard manure, etc.
- They could be used for introducing microbes as they were used in the Alkaline Soil treatment process using charcoal.
- They many not repel some good insects like Wasps, Bees, Ants, etc.
- Very clean to store, durable and easy to transport
- There could be some more applications like as a filtering media, for water purification, in aquarium water filters and as gravel in aquariums, etc.

- These nuggets are relatively heavy, otherwise some part the charcoal added into the soil would have been washed away or moved with passing time from the respective fields with rain and wind. These nuggets with charcoal and burnt earth (comparable to pottery shards) called TP nuggets would tend to remain longer time in the soil.
- There could be some more applications which, I am unable to imagine presently. Requesting for your suggestions and in further improvement of the process of Production of TP Nuggets.

Positive aspect is that the Magh-1 stove which is highly efficient and the end product was charcoal a by product.

Note: This experiment is a low cost research work (roof top and Kitchen lab), regarding the quality of TP Nuggets, its porosity, temperature at which they were produced etc., there is a need to do systematic research.

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