From sand to soil in 7
hours | Ole Morten Olesen | TEDxArendal
Water is a scarce resource that many of us take for granted, but
unfortunately large parts of Earth’s population do not have that
luxury. Ole and his innovation team have tried to solve an
enormous task: to turn sand into soil. Even more exciting – they
believe they have solved the problem! Listen to Ole talk us
through the concept behind turning deserts and sand dunes green.
How their technology could change the face of the planet, and
solve parts of the global environmental problem. Presenting the
game-changing concept at TEDxArendal, he will show you the
fascinating images of the green lush results! Ole Morten has an
extensive background in R&D and is focused on "Desert Control"
since the companys inception. He has been instrumental in
developing and testing Liquid nano clay, which is a tool for
turning sand into soil. This talk was given at a TEDx event using
the TED conference format but independently organized by a local
Prize-winning technology to
make the desert bloom
By Andrew Wad
Line in the sand: New technology could transform poor-quality
sandy soils into high-yield agricultural land.
Through a combination of climate change, drought, overgrazing and
other human activities, desertification across the world is on the
march. It’s a process defined by the UN as “land degradation in
arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions”. Given that around 40
per cent of the Earth’s land surface is occupied by drylands –
home to around two billion people – the potential for
desertification to impact the planet is huge. A recent report from
the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative claimed that it’s a
problem costing the world as much as US$10.6tn every year –
approximately 17 per cent of global gross domestic product.
The refugee crisis in Europe has highlighted the difficulties that
arise when large numbers of people migrate. However, the numbers
arriving from countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Eritrea pale in
comparison to those that could be forced into exile by changing
climate conditions. According to the UN’s Convention to Combat
Desertification (UNCCD), the process could displace as many as 50
million people over the next decade.
But one Norwegian start-up is developing a technology to wage a
frontline battle with desertification. Desert Control is a
Norwegian company set up by Kristian and Ole Morten Olesen,
alongside chief operating officer Andreas Julseth. It was recently
awarded first prize at ClimateLaunchpad, a clean-tech business
competition that attracted more than 700 entries from 28 countries
across Europe. The product that earned Desert Control top honours
was Liquid NanoClay, a mixture of water and clay that is mixed in
a patented process and used to transform sandy desert soils into
“The mixing process splits the clay particles into individual
flakes and adds air bubbles on both sides of the flakes,” Ole
Morten Olesen, CEO of Desert Control, told The Engineer. “The mix
is then spread over the land and allowed to saturate down to root
level – about 40-60cm deep. This requires around 40 litres of
water and 1kg of clay per square metre.”
Olesen explained that his father Kristian, Desert Control’s chief
technical officer, has been working on the process behind Liquid
NanoClay since 2008. The treatment gives sand particles a
nanostructured clay coating, completely changing their physical
properties and allowing them to bind water. The process, which
does not involve any chemical agents, can change poor-quality
sandy soils into high-yield agricultural land.
According to Desert Control, virgin desert soils treated with
Liquid NanoClay produced a yield four times greater than untreated
land, using the same amount of seeds and fertiliser, and less than
half the amount of water. It found that Liquid NanoClay acts as a
catalyst for Mycorrhizal fungi when nourishment is available, with
the fungi responsible for the increased yield.
Clay is a fundamental component of productive arable land, acting
as a water-holder, providing elasticity, and allowing non-clay
elements to bind to the soil. In the past, adding clay to dry land
in order to improve its agricultural value has involved tilling
clay into the soil. This requires large volumes of clay and
substantial amounts of manual labour. The process of transforming
sandy soil into fertile land can take between seven and 15 years.
By comparison, Liquid NanoClay takes just seven hours to saturate
into the land.
The water and clay is mixed on site using the patented process,
then traditional irrigation systems such as sprinklers or water
wagons are used to spread it across the sandy soil. The individual
clay flakes bind to the surface of the sand particles with a Van
der Waals binding, significantly increasing the ability of the
soil to hold water and nutrients.
The cost of treatment per hectare is US$4,800, and requires a
15-20 per cent retreatment after four or five years if the land is
tilled. If the soil is untilled, the treatment lasts for longer.
Converting a piece of desert the size of a rugby pitch into
fertile land for this cost seems like a pretty good deal.
“In just seven hours the soil is totally transformed,” said Ole
Morten. “We use existing irrigation systems to apply the Liquid
NanoClay, removing the need to till the land and use much greater
volumes of water.”
The performance data for Liquid NanoClay is based on field tests
that were conducted at the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) in
Ismailia in Egypt. White pepper was planted in test fields
containing dry sandy soil. Fields treated with Liquid NanoClay
gave an additional two months of harvest, compared to the fields
that were untreated.
Following the initial harvest, the plants were then left without
irrigation over winter and spring, when new plants were due to be
sown. However, the original crops were found to be in such good
condition that they could be used for another season.
“When we returned the following season, we were surprised that the
pepper plants were looking so healthy,” said Ole Morten. “We had
expected to have to replant, as they had been left over winter and
spring without irrigation. But the old plants were in good enough
shape that we could use them again in the next season.”
Unsurprisingly, some of the most vulnerable areas to
desertification are in north and central Africa, around the edges
of the Sahara. Other regions under threat include large parts of
China and Mongolia, as the Gobi encroaches into the eastern parts
of the Eurasian Steppe and the farmland it supports, as well as
several regions in Australia.
When pitching Desert Control at ClimateLaunchpad, chief operating
officer Andreas Julseth also focused in on the particular business
opportunity available in Central Valley, California. Making up
around 14 per cent of California’s total land area, the valley is
one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions. However,
since 2011, the state has been in the grip of one of the worst
droughts on record.
“In 2014, the agricultural sector in Central Valley lost 165,000
hectares to fallowing,” Julseth recently told the ClimateLaunchpad
audience. “Fallowing means they ploughed the land but didn’t sow
any seeds, because there simply wasn’t enough water available to
sustain the land. They estimate this had a US$2.2bn impact on the
In the desperate search for water, farmers in California have been
digging ever deeper, employing oil-drilling equipment to reach the
disappearing aquifers. Not only is this expensive, it is
eradicating an ancient natural resource in a classic tragedy of
the commons. Acting out of rational self-interest, the farmers are
draining a communal water resource dry. Julseth believes Liquid
NanoClay can help avert the impending tragedy.
“I believe that farmers will flock to us as soon as they see that
they can reduce their dependency on water by at least 50 per
cent,” he said. “Put it this way – if they were using our product,
the present drought would no longer be a problem. I also believe
that land developers will use the opportunity to buy dry land,
have us treat it, and then be able to sell it for eight to 10
times the purchasing price. Because that’s the reality now – dry
land goes for one-tenth what fertile land goes for.”
“I believe that farmers will flock to us as
soon as they see that they can reduce their dependency on water by
at least 50 per cent. If they were using our product, the present
Californian drought would no longer be a problem" -- Andreas
Julseth, Desert Control
If Desert Control can successfully get Liquid NanoClay to market,
the potential of the technology is enormous, with implications for
fragile environments around the globe and the populations that
inhabit them. Along with the testing that took place in Egypt,
additional third-party verification is taking place at the Faculty
of Natural Sciences at Imperial College London.
Our patented Liquid nanoclay (LNC) mixture is sprayed directly on
to dry, sandy land, creating a water-retaining network in the soil
profile. 2. Save. water retention of up to 65% means less water
required and huge cost reductions,
Safe, fast, easy. We mix clay with water in a special process.
No additional chemicals.
Save water, labor & costs.
reduces water usage by 50-65% compared to current irrigation
lasts up to 5 years.
LNC is applied directly on top of dry, sandy land using
traditional watering techniques (or direct injection into water
The mix saturates the soil to a depth of 40-60 cm, retaining water
like a sponge.
It’s time to rejuvenate The planet
Desert Control Keeps On Improving -
Aug 22, 2016 - About 900 tons of clay per hectare were required to
have positive results. The labor required was enormous. Still,
researchers had extremely positive results in terms of crop yield
after adding 90-100 kilos of clay to every square meter.
Clay holds the key
The founders of Desert Control had spent three years in Egypt and
Kuwait testing a product to enhance the reflection of sunlight
from the surface of the desert sand. The results were excellent,
but short-lived, making further development unfeasible.
While there, Kristian P. Olesen, an expert in fluid dynamics, had
become intrigued by the concept of enhancing sandy soil. He’d been
infected with the same curiosity and desire for a solution as had
the scientists and engineers who lived in the region. He wanted to
address the problem of desertification.
Like many before him, he thought the solution must be clay.
He developed and patented a mechanical process for disintegrating
individual clay flakes into water. This mixture could be irrigated
into dry sandy soil.
Kristian’s son, Ole traveled to Egypt in the middle of January
2006 to discuss a simple test with Dr. Islam Wassif of Egypt’s
Desert Research Center.
Dr. Wassif was furious and happy all at once when he realized what
the Desert Control team had accomplished. How could two
hillbillies from Norway find a solution to something that had
eluded his team for decades? At the same time, he was hopeful
about what this development could mean for Egypt’s future.
The first tests made examined the mixture’s ability to slow and
even halt the movement of sand. The thin treated layer stopped
sand from moving in wind velocities of up to 27 meters per second.
This was later tested with Dr. Wang Tao at the Cold and Arid
Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute Chinese
Academy of Sciences in Lanzhou, China.
The research institutes in Egypt had done a lot of different work
to enhance the growth potential of dry sandy soil. Research using
clay had been done for at least 15-20 years. The expense and the
amount of clay used made the project prohibitive.
About 900 tons of clay per hectare were required to have positive
results. The labor required was enormous.
Still, researchers had extremely positive results in terms of crop
yield after adding 90-100 kilos of clay to every square meter.
When the Desert Control team explained how their liquid NanoClay
could be irrigated into the soils without any mechanical work,
there was great enthusiasm. If only 10% of the water needed for
irrigation could be saved, a statue of the ambassador would be
built, Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture Land and Reclamation Amin
Abaza told Norway’s ambassador.
“We know you’re cheating”
The Desert Control team was brought in to prove the technology on
an unused plot. The results were so positive that the scientific
team monitoring the experiment refused to sign off on them. The
test plot treated with Desert Control’s Liquid NanoClay
demonstrated a 416% higher yield than untreated plots.
“We know you’re cheating,” the Desert Control team was told. The
results seemed scientifically impossible. Another test was
ordered, this one observed by a whole team of scientists and
overseen by Dr. Ahmed Yousry Kerdany. The results were repeated
and the test was confirmed, Ole Olesen told ClimateLaunchpad.
“We had the same results as good American farm
soil, in the Sinai. We ourselves didn’t even know what was causing
such great results.”
In 2006, Dr. Wassif saw something surprising in the Liquid
Nanoclay. A fungus had begun to grow in the sand treated with
Nanoclay. Dr. Wassif knew its presence made the land more
productive, but he didn’t know what it was.
In 2014, the team figured out the secret to the high yields. It
wasn’t just that the mixture retained water and nutrients: it was
that the mixture of clay and cow manure they used became a
catalyst for a particular type of fungus: mycorrhizal fungi.
According to biologist Douglas H. Chadwick, writing in Mother
Earth News, “Mycorrhizae, not plant roots, are the principal
structures for most nutrient uptake in the plant kingdom.”
“The outer walls of hyphae contain gluey
compounds that cause fine particles of earth to clump together on
and around the threads. This process is a major factor in building
soil structure and making the ground less vulnerable to erosion.
Mycelial networks also play a valuable role in sequestering carbon
within microclusters of filaments. They limit their partner
plants’ exposure to heavy metals, such as lead, zinc and cadmium,
by keeping those elements bound to the hyphae’s sticky sheath. At
high latitudes and high altitudes, mycorrhizal fungi scrounge
nutrients from cold, rocky soils. In boggy regions, the hyphae
buffer plant partners from the high acid content of peaty soils.
In saline ground, the hyphae help safeguard their partners from
high salt concentrations. Mycorrhizae can also protect plants from
pests and diseases.”
Ole Olesen explained,
“The fungus existed in the cow manure we used.
It was also in the ground. The clay created the right environment
for the fungus to flourish.”
“Imagine trying to grow anything in glass
beads. That is what sand is like. Water and nutrients flush right
through. Wrap the beads in something like newspaper and the water
and nutrients remain. That’s what the fungus does to the sand. It
creates a great environment for growth.”
The possibilities are truly groundbreaking
Liquid Nano Clay is a truly exciting technology that could
actually reverse desertification and revolutionize agriculture.
Ole Olesen tells ClimateLaunchpad, “We consider the Gobi good
In addition,the surface temperature of plant-covered land is
significantly cooler than that of bare sandy land. The Desert
Control report states:
“Converting bare sandy soils to green plant
covered land lowers the surface temperature around 15°C. This has
a cooling effect of 320 – 360 MW/km2. Changing desert to the green
land also reduces CO2 emissions by between 15 – 25 tons/hectare.”
The Desert Control team imagines growing energy (bio-fuels),
reducing water usage for agriculture (the mixture retains water
effectively), and even for usage in areas without enough
Where are they now?
Political upheaval got in the way of a full-scale implementation
in Egypt. Desert Control is still working on its product, looking
for two more large-scale verifications of the technology. We
expect to hear more news from them soon as the results of tests
INORGANIC, STATIC ELECTRIC BINDER COMPOSITION, USE THEREOF
AND METHOD FOR THE PREPARATION OF SAID BINDER COMPOSITION
Inventor(s): OLESEN KRISTIAN P
Applicant(s): DESERT CONTROL INST INC
The present invention relates to an inorganic, static electric
binder composition for use as a texture stabilising element in
masses of organic and/or inorganic particles and also as a
filtering mass. One major use of the binder composition is to
reclaim arid and hyper-arid deserts and to prevent desertification
and the movement and advancement of sand dunes, in other words
stopping wind erosion efficiently. Described is also a method for
the preparation of the binder composition and the use thereof.
 The present invention relates to an inorganic binder
composition which displays static electric charge, more precisely
a homogenised dispersion of clay particle consisting substantially
of single flakes of clay and air bubbles dispersed in a fluid. The
present invention also relates to a method for the preparation of
said binder composition as well as use of the binder composition
as a texture stabilising element in an organic or inorganic
particle composition, such as soil and sand. The invention also
relates use of the binder composition as a filtering mass for the
purification of, for instance, air or water.
 The main causes of desertification are wind erosion and the
advancement of sand dunes. It is known from land areas exposed to
strong drought that the earth surface is easily exposed to wind
erosion when a protecting, unifying vegetation cover is removed by
overgrazing, traffic flow and so forth. The mineral soil
particles, substantially consisting of sand, lack the ability to
remain closely connected and sand transport may arise. This may
also arise under relatively humid conditions, for example in sand
dune formations, where the sand's reduced ability to transport
humidity from the underground by capaillary action leads to local
drying in the surface with subsequent lack of opportunity for
vegetation with shallow root system to establish growth. Both the
lacking ability of the mineral soil to maintain a stable unifying
structure as well as the sand soils lacking ability to bind
humidity from underground reservoirs are major obstacles with
relation to for example maintainance and increase of food
production ability in drought exposed areas.
 It is generally recognized that when soil particles are
entirely unattached to each other the soil is known as
structureless or as a single grained structure such as the case of
sand dunes. When, on the other hand, the primary soil particles
under favourable circumstances tend to group themselves and
associate into small units or aggregates, the soil is termed
aggregated. It has been shown, in the studies of sandy soil, that
about 99.5% of the original particles are of a diameter of less
than 0.5 mm, i.e. constitute wind erodible particles. It is also
evident that the percentage of dry aggregates >0.8 mm is less
than 0.2% of the soil matrix.
 It is also known that the formation and maintainance of
stable aggregates is an essential feature which is highly
desirable, due to the fact that it ensures the most favourable
conditions for tilth, cultivation, plant growth and conservation
of soil against degrading factors.
 An organic binding agent is generally known which is
intended for addition to the uppermost layer of mineral soil, in
order to thereby stabilize the structure, increase the ability for
capillary transport of water as well as increase the binding of
water on the soil particles. The disadvantages of this binding
agent is that the organic material is rapidly decomposed by the
bacterial cultures living in the mineral soil in those parts of
the world where this binding agent has its major use.
 The dry mixing of clay into sandy soils have been
researched and used up till 1987 when it was a fact that it was a
much too expensive treatment even with just positive practical
 Generally known is also the fact that clay has an extensive
ability to bind water and to establish coherent structures in dry
condition. Dry clay soil is hard to crumble, and dry clay forms
hard, durable structures, used for instance in sun dried building
blocks. Clay has already been used in an effort to combat
desertification and to increase the fertility of the soil. Clay
has a twofold function when applied to the soil. It enhances water
retention, reduces the wash-out of fertilizers and rehabilitates
the soil with regard to ion exchange. Secondly, it provides
growing plants with nutrients. The previous use of clay for this
purpose has been the use of dry clay for mixing with the soil.
Substantial amounts of clay were required and the mixing required
a considerable amount of mechanical work. The problems so far has
thus been price and availability.
 The object of the invention is to propose a new and
improved solution to the problems outlined above whereby sandy
deserts may be reclaimed and desertification may be prevented with
higher efficiency, with less clay and less mechanical work and
thereby at reduced costs.
 The object is achieved by the features disclosed below in
the specification and in the following claims.
 It is generally known that flakes of clay, which are the
mechanical single units in clay, are negatively electrically
charged and has a strong ability to bind, inter alia, water to the
 The invention substantially relates to a negatively charged
binder composition consisting of homogenised, negatively charges
flakes of clay for the binding of positively charged particles in
order to increase the adsorption and the absorption capability of
for instance water, impurities in water and undesirable substances
in or on a target object when the binder composition is added to
the target object. The binder composition may be added to the
target object for instance in an aqueous solution. The positively
charged particles may for instance be water molecules.
 The clay particles may be provided in any form obtained by
a homogenisation process which divides the clay into single flakes
or particles consisting of a few coherent flakes of clay dispersed
in a liquid, for instance water, whereafter the flakes of clay,
after an application process, covers the surface of particles. The
clay flakes have a surface diameter of from about 25 to 2000 nm,
and a thickness from about 1 to 10 nm, adjusted to the particle
structure of the target object. In order to increase the stability
in the homogenised dispersion of clay flakes air may suitably be
added in the form of microscopic bubbles which will give a weak
cation bonding to the clay flakes. The result is that the mixture
is stable until it comes into contact with cations of higher
electrical charge/potential/valence. A single flake of clay in
water will thus in reality consist of the solid particle and a
cloud of air ions which neutralise the particle, surrounds it and
is bonded by the charge of the solid particle.
 The binder composition is applied, for instance on soil, by
ordinary watering techniques in such an amount that the soil is
moist down to the relevant root depth or to the depth required for
stopping wind erosion.
 The binder according to the invention has the desirable
property that it hardens by drying and by heating combined with
 The application of the binder on soil particles result in
an increased ability to attract and transport humidity with the
aid of the clay particles humidity binding capacity, caused by the
negative polarity, as well as the increased capillary transport
ability, caused by the microscopic voids between the clay flakes.
This increases the ability of plants to grow in the soil. This
results in a better food access and increased absorption of carbon
dioxide. The increased growth of plants also further the Albedo
value of the soil, which means that the reflection of incident
radiation is increased and that the temperature of the earth
surface is reduced. (The Albedo or solar reflectance is a measure
of a material's ability to reflect sunlight (including the
visible, infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths) on a scale of 0 to
1. An Albedo value of 0,0 indicates that the surface absorbs all
solar radiation and a 1,0 Albedo value represents total
reflectivity.) Measurements have shown that in desert
surroundings, with an air temperature of 32° C. and sea
temperature of 28° C., the temperature measured over a sand
surface was 51° C. which transformed to 34° C. over an area
covered with grass. The ground surface temperature reduction
achieved by greening was thus in the range of 17° C.
 The dehydration makes the treated surface of the soil hard,
which means that the surface to a greater extent will endure the
load of traffic, wind and so forth without loosening of single
particles, which causes the structure to collapse, the roots of
plants to be destroyed and the soil, for example humus particles
and other nutrient particles, to be carried away by the wind.
 With the supply of water in the form of rainfall,
irrigation or a change in the balance between evaporation and
capillary transport of humidity from the underground, the soil is
structure again softens.
 In one embodiment of the present invention the binder
composition may be mixed with a plant nutrient dissolved, or
dispersed, in liquid before application on the soil, in order to
increase the growth of plants.
 The binder composition according to the invention may be
applied by homogenising the mixture in water and thereafter
applying this on the soil to be treated.
 The soil particles may for instance be sand particles,
humus particles, coarse plant remains, carbon particles and so
forth, which in mixture or each on its own constitute a
substantial part of the soil and which preferably should be bonded
together so that no movement is taking place under normal stress
levels applied on said particles.
 In a first embodiment the invention relates to a binder
composition for use as a structure stabilizing element in masses
of organic and/or inorganic particles, comprising a homogenised
mixture of clay, whereby the clay particles principally are
separated into single flakes of clay.
 The binder composition preferably comprises air micro
bubbles bonded to a considerable part of the clay flakes.
 The binder composition is preferably a liquid based
dispersion, preferably based on water.
 The binder composition preferably comprises at least one
 The binder composition preferably comprises one or more
 Another feature of the invention relates to a method for
the preparation of a binder composition, whereby the method
comprises the steps of homogenising a dispersion of clay and a
liquid in a homogenisation device in order to make a dispersion of
clay flakes and to introduce a clay flake dispersion and to
introduce gas micro bubbles in the dispersion of clay flakes.
 The gas micro bubbles are preferably added during the
dispersion process. The gas is micro bubbles are preferably air
 The dispersion of the clay flakes is preferably put into a
substantially laminar flow, for thereafter to be put into a
turbulent flow caused by a substantial change of direction.
 Alternatively, the clay flakes are put into a substantially
laminar flow movement, thereafter they are put into a turbulent
flow movement caused by a substantial change of direction,
whereafter the flakes again are put into a substantially laminar
flow for thereafter again to be put into a turbulent flow caused
by a substantial change of direction.
 The change of direction is preferably in the range 45-135
 The method according to the invention preferably also
comprises the step of introducing at least one dispersant to the
dispersion of clay flakes.
 The method further comprises the preferable step of adding
at least one plant nutrient to the dispersion of the clay flakes.
 A further embodiment of the present invention relates to
the use of a clay flake dispersion according to the invention as a
water- and particle binding agent and a capillary transport
enhancing agent for a soil mass as well as a plant protection
 The treated layer of sand particles have the ability to
filter out unwanted positively charged impurities, for example
salt in seawater, cleaning contaminated water.
 The filter mass will typically consist of a particle
structure which is pretreated with the clay flake dispersion in
such a way that the particles are covered with clay flakes as done
for stopping wind erosion in sandy deserts. This method uses
approximately 13% of the amount of clay used in the old dry mixing
method and achieves the same benefits together with an immediate
binding of the sand particles.
 The process for the preparation of the binder composition
according to the invention may be carried out in any suitable
 The present invention also relates to the use of the above
binder composition as a filtering mass.
 In this embodiment of the invention the binder composition
is used to increase the adsorption- and absorption ability of for
instance water, impurities in water and unwanted substances in or
on a target object when the binder composition is brought into
contact with the target object.
 When the binder composition is used to remove unwanted
substances from a target object this is done by filtration of a
fluid containing the unwanted substances through the binder
composition which is prepared with the wanted structure in such a
way that the unwanted substances are retained in the binder
 A preferred embodiment of this aspect of the invention
relates to use of the clay flake dispersion as disclosed above for
the preparation of a filter mass for purification of water and
air, including desalination of sea water. The filter mass may
typically consist of a particle structure which is pretreated with
the clay flake dispersion in such a way that the particles are
covered by clay flakes.
 In practice the desalination of sea water may be carried
out of preparing a layer of sand on a mesh, this is treated with
the clay dispersion and when the layer is filled with salt
remains, this can be flushed into the ocean or the salt can be
used for other purposes.
 Below a non-limiting example of a preferred embodiment will
be described, which is shown in the enclosed figures, wherein
 FIG. 1 shows an example of a non-swelling clay particle
composed of a plurality of flakes;
 FIG. 2 shows the basic particle- and crystal
structure in synthetic laponite clay;
 FIG. 3 shows aggregates of non-swelling flakes of
clay which are mixed in water;
 FIG. 4 shows typical flake structures when swelling
flakes of clay are dissolved in water;
 FIG. 5 shows a section through a single grain of
sand covered by single flakes of clay according to the
 FIG. 1 shows an example of a clay particle of a
non-swelling clay type. The transverse dimension is about 1 μm. A
particle may contain up to 1200 flakes. Examples of non-swelling
clays are kaolin and illite.
 In FIG. 2 the numeral 2-A shows a part of a particle stack
of a swelling synthetic clay of laponite type before
hydratisation. A hydratisation process I results in the swelling
of the clay particle stack, shown in magnification in 2-B. A
separation II of the hydrated clay particle stack 2-B provides
individual clay flakes 2-C, here shown in increased magnification.
The metal ion bonding to the surface of the clay flake is
illustrated by the sodium ion Na(+), whereas the osmotic pressure
leads to a weakening of the metal ion bonding. A magnified section
2-D schematically shows the molecular structure in the clay
particle and at its surfaces.
 Laponite is an example of a triochtahedral smectite.
 Non-swelling clay can not be separated be hydratisation
solely. When the clay particles are exposed to considerable
mechanical stress, for instance considerable shear forces by
turbulent flow in accordance with the inventive method for
homogenisation of a clay flake dispersion, or by using a suitable
homogenisation device, a stack of non-swelling clay flakes may be
separated. It is obvious that also swelling clay flakes may be
separated in this manner.
 FIG. 3 shows typical clay flake structures when a
non-swelling clay is mixed with water. The water is not capable of
penetrating in between the single flakes and the stacks will
remain intact. Different structures may be formed by the single
flakes of non-swelling type when these are mixed with water.
 FIG. 4 shows different clay flake structures which are
formed when clay flakes are dispersed in water. The structures are
surrounded by a cloud of ions. Typical flake structures formed by
swelling clay are: (a) edge against edge (chain structure), (b)
surface against edge (house of cards) and (c) surface against
surface (as a deck of cards).
 FIG. 5 shows a section through a single grain of sand
surrounded, according to the invention, by single flakes of clay
with a thickness of 1 nm and a transverse dimension of 25-400 nm.
When the grain of sand has a diameter of 0.1 mm between 1000 and
13000 flakes are required to cover the circumference with flakes
of clay of the given magnitude. In order to cover the whole
surface of the grain of sand about 50.000.000 flakes of a
transverse dimension of 25 nm, about 3.000.000 flakes with a
transverse dimension of 100 nm and about 200.000 flakes with a
transverse dimension of 400 nm are needed.
 A binder composition according to the invention is provided
by treating a dispersion of clay and water in a mechanical
homogenisation device with a very high turbulence index, for
example the one described above, for thereby to split the normally
smallest components of the clay into single flakes. In order to
keep the mixture stable air is also supplied to the dispersion, so
that micro bubbles of air bind to the single flakes of clay, and
neutralise the negative polarity of the clay flakes. The air
bubbles increase the stability of the mixture and thereby prevent
sedimentation. Sedimentation may also be prevented when the
dispersion after homogenisation is kept in motion with the aid of
for instance a rotation device.
 Said micro bubbles have a diameter of from about 1 nm to
about 20 μm.
 In an alternative embodiment of the binder composition one
or more additives are added, for example plant nutrients, in
dispersion or solution. Added in dispersion form, the particle
diameter must be less than 20 μm in order for the substance to be
able to be watered down in the sand together with the rest of the
 In a further embodiment of the binder composition a
dispersion agent is added in order to keep the binder composition
homogeneous for a sufficient time. Without any salt present, the
air bubbles stabilize the mixture for 2-4 days.
 Application of the binder composition on the particle mass
to be treated may for instance be accomplished by spraying,
flooding or by sinking in the particle mass. The particle mass may
be sand, gravel, humus, aggregates for the production of building
materials, for example raw materials for the production of bricks,
 The amount of binder composition used is adjusted according
to the particle mass to be treated. In order to improve the
properties of sand a few grams of the binder composition (based on
dry matter) is used per kilogram of sand.
 Below the invention will be illustrated further by the
following non-limiting examples.
 Two types of experiments have been carried out.
 The first one were pot experiments aimed at comparing the
effect of different levels of both suspended kaolin and dry mixing
kaolin on wheat grain germination percent and physical properties,
the second one was wind tunnel experiments aimed at studying the
effect of suspended kaolin on threshold velocity and soil loss by
 This experiment was carried out under greenhouse conditions
in order to compare the effect of different levels of kaolin
either in suspended form or as a powder, i.e. dry mixing with
soil, on the germination rate of wheat grains.
 The experimental treatments included the following:
control, i.e. without kaolin application,
two levels of kaolin, i.e. 2.5% (of soil mass to root depth—7
kg=175 gram clay) (T1) and 5% (of soil mass to root depth—7 kg=350
gram clay) (T2) applied as dry mixing.
four levels of kaolin, i.e. 1% (of suspension weight—0.9 kg=9
gram) (T3), 1.5% (of suspension weight—0.9 kg=13.5 gram) (T4), 2%
(of suspension weight—0.9 kg=18 gram) (T5) and 2.5% (of suspension
weight—0.9 kg=22.5 gram) (T6) applied as suspended kaolin. The
suspension applied to field capacity=900 ml.
 The pots were arranged according to completely randomised
design, and each treatment was replicated three times. The total
number of pots was 7·3=21 pots.
 After application of the above mentioned treatments, 20
grains of the local wheat variety (Triticum vulgari var Sakha 93)
which is recommended for desert areas—were sown in each pot. The
pots were irrigated up to the field capacity level. The amount of
the applied water was 900 ml. Thereafter they were watered with
amounts sufficient to compensate the depleted moisture. Such
amounts ranged between 100 to 150 ml. Germination began after 4 to
6 days at which the rate of germination was followed up and
 After 20 days from sowing the vegetative parts of the
plants were harvested and dried in a ventilated oven at 70° C.,
thereafter the dry weight was recorded.
 Soil penetration resistance for each of the applied
treatments was measured by using a computerised electrical
Penetrometer after harvesting.
 These tests were conducted in relatively small pots and the
studied soil is mainly sand. Penetrometer readings were taken at
every 3 cm intervals. Because the penetration resistance is
strongly affected by soil moisture content, soil samples were
taken at each tested depth to determine the soil moisture content
at the time of measurements. Thereafter the soil samples were
collected from each pot to determine soil aggregates, field
capacity, and wilting percentage.
 The given percentages in all the report give percent value
which seems to be % of the same objects, but as shown in brackets
is of different objects: 5% (of total soil weight 7 kg=350 gram
clay) dry kaolin and/or 5% (of the applied water suspension 0.9
kg=45 gram clay) suspended kaolin. The amount of clay used in the
suspension is 13% of the amount used in the dry mixing, the old
method. The suspended clay bind the particles as soon as applied
and the dry mixing, old method must have water applied before it
had any binding abilities, dry clay particles is dangerous for
humans when inhaled into the lungs. The remarkable result is thus
that this method uses approximately 13% of the amount of clay used
in the old dry mixing method and achieves the same benefits
together with an immediate binding of the sand particles.
Germination Rate and Seedlings Dry Weight:
 Table (1) shows that the application of kaolin either by
mixing dry or suspended kaolin with any level increased
germination percent after four days from sowing as compared to the
control treatment. After six days from sowing the same trend was
obtained with the exception of applying suspended kaolin with 1%
level. The best levels were 2.5% for dry mixing and 1.5% suspended
 From the statistical point of view the difference between
germination rates under 2.5% of dry application and those under
1.5% of suspended kaolin treatments were not significant.
The effect of different levels and methods of kaolin
application on wheat grain germination
The effect of different levels and methods of kaolin
application on dry weight of wheat seedlings
Method of Dry Mixing Suspended Application
level Kaolin Kaolin Control treat.
 As mentioned above, the penetration resistance is strongly
dependent on the amount of moisture retained in the soil (i.e.
layer under test). Therefore, the amount of soil moisture was
measured in soil samples taken very close to the penetrometer cone
at the time of measuring soil resistance. The obtained data of
soil moisture in the tested depths (0-5, 5-10 and 10-15 cm) is
given in table (3). This table shows that the soil moisture
content at the time of measurement was almost similar either in
respect to the applied treatments or in the tested depth in each
pot. Therefore, the obtained variations in soil resistance
expressed by the penetration resistance data are mainly related to
the influence of the kaolin treatments, i.e. the levels and
methods of application. In other words, under the conditions of
the current study, the variation in soil resistance can be
explained only on the basis of the kaolin treatments because the
influence of soil moisture on resistance is negligible, as shown
in table (3)
Soil moisture content (w/w) at time of Penetration resistance
measurement under the conditions of applied treatments
 Regarding the influence of the application level it has
been shown that the penetration resistance is linearly associated
with the application level. In other words, mixing dune sand with
kaolin at a rate of 5% dry or 2% suspended kaolin (w/w) has
resulted in increasing the penetration resistance from about 0.4
to 1.40 Mpa/cm<2>. This remarkable impact is favourable for
both plant production as well as environmental requirements. These
low values of soil strength do not impede root growth of most of
the cultivated crops while improving the soil bearing capacity and
Wind Tunnel Experiments
 These experiments focus on the study of the relation
between wind velocity and soil loss or threshold velocity, i.e.
the velocity required to create soil particle movement, under
different levels of binder, i.e. kaolin, suspension.
 The capacity of the binder according to the present
invention to reduce the soil loss by wind was measured in wind
tunnel experiments. The experiments were carried out at the “Cold
and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute,
The Chine Academy of Sciences” in China. The tunnel was an
open-circuit type through which air was forced by a blower to the
test section with dimensions of 1.0 m width, 0.6 m height and
16.23 m length. Air was sucked from ambient through a bell shaped
entrance by the blower to the entrance section and then proceeded
to the exit. Before reaching the test section, the flow passed
through a diffusor followed by a convergent nozzle and wind
 The test section was equipped with traverse mechanism to
measure the flow velocity profile at different levels. The
diffusor floor was equipped with a sand trap mechanism in order to
collect sand transported and the air left through a vertical duct
to the outside air.
 The following table shows the test results obtained.
 It is evident that at any wind velocity the soil loss
decreased by increasing application levels, but the percent
reduction varied according to the wind velocity. The highest
reduction occurred with 5% suspension and 3 L/m2 or more and 10%
suspension and 1 L/m2 or more, at wind velocity of 27.5 m/s with
100% reduction. It is also evident that the threshold velocity
increased by increasing the binder suspension.
 Tests performed in the windtunnel belonging to:
 COLD AND ARID REGIONS ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENGINEERING
RESEARCH INSTITUTE, THE CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
 China 26.-27.10.2006:
Windtunnel tests of the effect of DESERT CONTROL INSTITUTE Inc's
Added gr after
gram % At wind
Tray Tray + Added
suspension Control weight gr After wind-
Sand % reduction velocity
 The results show that increasing kaolin levels increased
threshold velocity, in other words the velocity required to create
soil particle movement increased by adding suspended kaolin at any
level. As mentioned the threshold velocity is the lowest wind
velocity which create movement of the soil particles.
 It is also evident that at any wind velocity soil loss
decreased by increasing application of kaolin levels, but the
percent reduction varied according to the value of wind velocity.
The highest reduction occurred with 5% suspension and 3 L/m2 or
more and 10% suspension and 1 L/m2 or more, at wind velocity of
27.5 m/s with 100% reduction.
 It is evident from the above experiments that the present
invention allows the use of clay of moderate quality and at the
same time gives improved results and just using an average of 13%
of what was used in the old method of dry mixing. Or as said above
to stop wind erosion efficiently by 1 L water/m2 using 100 gram
clay per litre has never been done before.
 The obtained results also indicate that the applied
treatments significantly increase the adhesion and cohesion forces
within the soil matrix, with consequent decrease in soil
erodibility and hence erosion losses.
 The most recent results obtained by applying 0.5-1 litre
suspension per m2 with a percolation depth of 0.5-1 cm have
demonstrated that by the application of 9% suspended kaolin,
without pre-watering of the ground, the increased soil moisture in
the soil surface layer (i.e. 0-10 cm) increased by 24%. Screening
experiments have indicated that this increase seems to be
 It will be obvious for a person skilled in the art that the
electrostatically binding properties of the binder composition is
of use in all areas where it is desirable to fix small entities,
for example microscopic particles, atoms, viruses, bacteria and
other cellular structures, to a medium, in order to remove
unwanted substances or add wanted substances to change the
properties of the medium, as described above and as claimed in the
following patent claims.
How to make nanoclay? Any suggestion to synthesize it?
How one can easily make nanoclay by biological or reduction
methods? Does anyone know of such methods?
Reda Gado / National Research Center, Egypt
Firstly you have to determined The Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)
which can be determined for the raw clay sample by saturation with
1 N solution of sodium acetate trihydrate (CH3 COONa .3H2O) for
long time at pH 8.2, then washing for several times by ethanol 95
% to get rid the excess sodium ion. The reacted sodium (Na+) with
the clay sample was extracted by reaction with 1 N ammonium
acetate solution followed by sodium determination using flame
photometer in the extracted solution .
Since the mEq equal to mg*valence of surfactant divided by its
molecular weight, the amount of CEC will be changeable according
to the molecular weight of each surfactant.
5g of clay was dispersed in 300 ml of distilled water for 24 h at
room temperature using a magnetic stirrer and then a desired
amount of surfactant according to CEC and M.Wt of surfactant was
slowly added. The concentration of surfactant can be varied from
0.5 to 5.0 according to the CEC of clay. The reaction mixtures
were stirred for 5 h at 80 oC. Consequently, the cation exchange
reaction occurs rapidly. The resulting organoclay suspension was
mixed further for 12 h. All products were washed until free from
bromide anions and dried at 90oC. Finally, the resulting material
was ground using SFM-1 Desk Top Planetary Ball Miller (MTI) for 3
hours, in order to obtain a nanoscale powder. The organo nanoclay
product was stored in bottle .
NANOCOMPOSITE MICROGELS, METHODS OF MANUFACTURE, AND USES
Nanocomposite microgel particles containing a three-dimensional
network, containing a water-swellable nanoclay and an organic
network polymer. The nanocomposite microgel particles include
primary nanocomposite microgel particles having a mean diameter of
1 to 10 micrometers. Also disclosed is a method of manufacture for
the nanocomposite microgel particles
Patents: Mycorrhizal Fungi Culture
Method for preserving arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
Culture medium for glomus mosseae and culture method
Method of planting plant symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi
SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR CONTINUOUS PROPAGATION AND MASS
PRODUCTION OF ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI IN LIQUID CULTURE.
Wild efficient expanding propagation method for arbuscular
Method for collecting mycorrhizal fungi through using
tissue culture seedling of sterile blueberry
Mycorrhizal fungi locellus culture apparatus
Method for layered culture and enrichment of arbuscular
mycorrhizal fungi spores
Method for storing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
Artificial cultivating method for advantageous symbiotic
mycorrhizal fungi of Castanea henryi (Skam) Rehd. et Wils.
MICROORGANISM MIXTURE OF ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI AND
MASSILIA SP. RK4 PROMOTING PLANT GROWTH UNDER SALT STRESS
CONDITION AND USES KR101563349
MASS MULTIPLICATION OF ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI USING
Compartment culture device for conducting pure culture of
arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi through artificial culture media
Method for promoting sprouting of arbuscular mycorrhizal
fungi spore and growth of hypha
Phlegmariurus phlegmaria mingchegensis mycorrhizal fungi,
method for production of huperzine A from the same, and
METHODS FOR CULTURING MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI, UTILIZATION METHOD
THEREOF AND SUBSTANCE FOR CONTROLLING GROWTH OF MYCORRHIZAL
MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI CULTIVATING APPARATUS
Quick-breeding method of directly inducing and mycorrhizal
seedlings of ledum plant mycorrhizal in test tube
METHOD FOR CULTURING VA MYCORRHIZAL FUNGUS
Method and device for culturing inoculant of arbuscular
METHOD FOR CULTURING MYCORRHIZAL FUNGUS
Fungal media and methods for continuous propagation of
vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi in root organ
Production of mycorrhizal fungi
METHOD FOR PROLIFERATING VA MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI
CULTIVATION OF MYCORRHIZAL FUNGUS AND PREPARATION OF FRUIT
BODY OF THE FUNGUS
MYCELIUM ISOLATION CULTURE FOR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI
INFECTION OF MYCORRHIZAL FUNGUS BY GRAFTING METHOD
METHOD FOR PROLIFERATING VESICULAR-ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL
FUNGUS AND APPARATUS THEREFOR
ARTIFICIAL INOCULATING METHOD FOR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI
METHOD FOR PROLIFERATING VA MYCORRHIZAL FUNGUS
Improvements in or relating to the production of
METHOD FOR IN VITRO PRODUCTION OF MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI
MYCOCALLUS AND MYCORRHIZED BIOLOGICAL SUPPORT OBTAINED THUS
Method for producing axenic vesicular arbuscular
mycorrhizal fungi in association with root organ cultures.
Process for the production of mycorrhizal fungi.
Method and compositions for stimulating
vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
Method for producing bush mycorrhizal fungi preparation
Method for preparing exotrophic mycorrhizal fungi
preparation for large waste land in mine area
Culture of ramaria mycorrhizal fungi by using glass bead as
MANUFACTURE AND USE OF ADSORBENT FOR THE INOCULATION OF
PLANTS WITH VASCULAR-ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI
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