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Sand converted into fertile soil

 

Photo credit: China.org

A 1.6-hectare sandy plot in Ulan Buh Desert in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, north China, has been transformed into fertile land. [Photo/www.cqnews.net] 

Chinese scientists convert sand into soil with new method

Xinhua, September 5, 2016

Chinese scientists announced they have converted sand into fertile soil using a new method they developed, which they hope to use to fight desertification.

A team of researchers from Chongqing Jiaotong University has developed a paste made of plant cellulose that, when added to sand, helps it retain water, nutrients and air.

A 1.6-hectare sandy plot in Ulan Buh Desert in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, north China, has been transformed into fertile land, yielding rice, corn, tomatoes, watermelon and sunflowers, after being treated by the new method.

A forthcoming issue of the English-language journal “Engineering,” published by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), will publish the research by the Chongqing scientists Yi Zhijian and co-author Zhao Chaohua.

The new method will hopefully help turn desert areas into an ideal habitat for plants, said Yi.

The plants in the sandy test plot needed about the same amount of water as those grown in regular soil, but required less fertilizer and bore higher yields, according to estimates by experts.

Read the full article: China.org

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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