Tag Archives: humus

Deutschland zieht sich „Boden unter den Füßen weg“

UN-Jahr der Böden 2015: In deutscher Landwirtschaft gehen jährlich 120 Mio. Tonnen fruchtbarer Boden verloren.

Allein in Deutschland gehen in der Landwirtschaft im Durchschnitt pro Jahr und Hektar zehn Tonnen fruchtbarer Boden durch Erosion und Humusabbau verloren. Dem gegenüber steht ein jährlicher natürlicher Bodenzuwachs von nur etwa einer halben Tonne pro Hektar. Der Boden wird also rund 20-mal schneller zerstört, als er nachwächst. Davor warnt die Naturschutzorganisation WWF zum Start des internationalen UN-Jahr der Böden 2015.  Insgesamt gehen der deutschen Landwirtschaft damit 120 Millionen Tonnen fruchtbarer Boden pro Jahr verloren. (more…)

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UA Researchers Hunt Bomb-Eating Bugs

UA researchers are investigating bacterial eating habits as part of a $1 million study to determine the environmental fate of newly developed munitions.

University of Arizona researchers are studying the environmental effects of insensitive munitions compounds, or IMCs, which are new, more stable explosives that won’t detonate in response to heat or shock.

Not much is known about the environmental impact of IMCs, which the U.S. Department of Defense hopes will reduce injuries and fatalities among troops who handle explosives. (more…)

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Breaking Down Plastics: New Standard Specification May Facilitate Use of Additives that Trigger Biodegradation of Oil-Based Plastics in Landfills

Despite efforts to encourage the recycling of plastic water bottles, milk jugs and similar containers, a majority of the plastic packaging produced each year in the United States ends up in landfills, where it can take thousands of years to degrade.  To address that problem with traditional polyethylene, polypropylene, Styrofoam and PET products, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are working with the Plastics Environmental Council (PEC) to expand the use of chemical additives that cause such items to biodegrade in landfills.

Added during production of the plastic packaging, the compounds encourage anaerobic landfill bacteria and fungi to break down the plastic materials and convert them to biogas methane, carbon dioxide and biogenic carbon – also known as humus.  These additives – simple organic substances that build on the known structures of materials that induce polymer biodegradation – don’t affect the performance of the plastics, introduce heavy metals or other toxic chemicals, or prevent the plastics from being recycled in current channels. (more…)

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