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Glycerine = Carbon for poor crop lands?
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The MM500 system I sell plans for has allowed me to have numerous conversations with farmers from various environments around the country (both usa and canada).
Most of these guys seem to be disposing of the glycerin by injecting it into the chemical injection ports on their crop irrigation systems (called pivots). They say that the glycerin is "carbon rich" and that it adds carbon back to the crop lands and that's good for everything involved.

Then I read this article:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081119120229.htm

Now it would seem to me that the farmers I'm talking to are a step (or two) ahead of the game plan here.

So my question is: Could we solve the carbon and crops problem by using the excessive glut of glycerin on the market to rejuvinate these deprived soils?

Or am I missing something?


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Assuming all the methanol is gone from the gly, wouldnt it still have to be composted. Or are they spraying it in such dilution that it doesnt matter?
I wasnt aware that carbon depletion was an issue, I always thought it was nutrient depletion. I will have to try a little demethed gly on the wifes roses.
 
Registered: May 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If they are injecting it into pivot irrigation systems it is extremely dilute, think parts per million, these systems use millions of gallons per cycle, so injecting three or four hundred gallons of glycerine is insignificant in terms of adding carbon or anything else for that matter, but I'm sure it aint hurting anything either.
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I will have to try a little demethed gly on the wifes roses.


Don't do it. If house plants get parasites then a 2% solution of demethed glycerine in dislilled water sprayed on the leaves will take care of it but any higher concentration will deprive the plant's leaves from being able to "breathe" and you'll kill it. I've no experience with exterior flowering plants, only indoor house flowering plants.

Murphy;
Is the glyc potassium or sodium ? Overly farmed land, especially if done with chemical fertilisers, is potassium depleted, so a potassium based glycerine would do some real good if sufficiently diluted and spread out far and wide. I don't know if a sodium glycerine would have as positive a result.



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Location: :-) Great White North eh ? | Registered: December 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I suppose there are several issues:

Are you INJECTING the Glycerin as would be done with Anhydrous Ammonia, or is it being sprinkled on the top of the soil as would be done with a center pivot sprinkler. Two completely separate processes.

I'm not sure of the nutritive value of short chain Carbon/oxygen products. Although, the point was that there are other impurities such as the NaOH/KOH that was added and could be of some benefit.

Plants are very good at removing carbon from the air.

Most chemical fertilizers are heavy with phosphates and nitrogen. While nitrogen is one of the primary components of air, not all plants are very good at utilizing it.

In forestry, a healthy forest floor is covered by decaying organic matter, moss, and etc. And, there is discussion of "nurse trees/stumps" where the old rotting trees feed the new. I'm not sure that just glycerin would fit the bill, even if it did attract other organisms.

Certainly it would be easy to test, and you could do it in half of your front yard (or perhaps the back in case you kill it).
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here is a great link about glycerin

http://www.biodieselsmarter.com/archives/2008/07/dumpin...n_and_for_profit.php

As I had suspected, the Belle Fountain Ditch issue wasn't dumping INTO the ditch, but rather applying the glycerin onto fields without permits, and then having heavy runoff.

Anyway, other notes about the stuff too.
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Originally posted by hooknline:
I will have to try a little demethed gly on the wifes roses.


hooknline,

Make sure it is well and decomposed in UV and/or compost and very dilute. Some people use sugars like black strap molasses as the "secret" ingredient in some flowering "bloom" formulaes, but I don't know if sugar alcohols give the same benefits? Seems likely in a soil application to the rhizosphere (root system) but I dunno about a foliar application?


Murphy,

Their "problem" is not with carbon per se (unless it is of the dioxide or monoxide varietal Wink ) Most plants do a good job of absorbing H, C and O from the air and water. But that's not what those guys (and gals!) are talking about. The soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil organic matter (SOM) problem they are talking about are caused by the glut of salts leftover from the soluble base used in chemical fertilizers. Toxic pesticides (petroleums and otherwise) are a whole nother level of ... "land management" Eek

As a "soil worker" I use different equipment to evaluate organic fertilizer than I do to evaluate chemical ferts. For example, with the organic stuff I use a microscope and look for the bacteria, fungus and other microbial content. For chemi ferts I can use things whichi measure the electrical conductivity of the salt based nutrients to evaluate the strength of the nutrient solution. I evaluate the pH of both Smile

Check out the "No-Till" folks: http://notill.org/ There are also some amazingly progressive indoor and outdoor farmers up Canada. They really know how to maximize the sunshine, air water and soil they have.

Not to worry tho - you ain't missin a thing, you are right on track Smile Just look into microbiology and organic chemistry. I was terribly confused as a kid about what organic meant - life beneficial is essentially what I thought it meant - and thought that "inorganic" meant chemicals and petroleum and that they were all toxic and bad. Once I learned that all hydrocarbons are "organic" it changed my whole perspective. Microbiology has answered most all of my questions about "life beneficials". Organic Chemistry has helped me mitigate my own "organic" sentimentalities as well as the finer points of toxicity, carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, and such

The problem is that much like you and I can get drunk and toxicify our central nervous system with ethanol (and blind w/methanol!) and stop making sense? The soil gets "drunk" on salt and stops makin' food! (and energy!)

Compost tea, crop rotations, "no-tilling" and sustainable practices like using switchgrasses, legumes and hemp to deeply penetrate and resuscitate "dead" soils. These practices can reverse the detrimental effects and increase the presence of augmenting beneficials like glomalin which support the SOC's and M's in the soil. Not really a "carbon" problem unless you consider that it is certain carbon based life forms causing a massively negative EROEI with a huge carbon footprint and the occaisional traumatic toxicification every now and then... Wink

Lastly, maybe it is me, but it doesn't seem like there is a "glut" of glycerin. I make tinctures with the stuff and it is as expensive as ever Frown Especially the veggie stuff Frown At least the price of SVO has gone down a little with the price of oil barrels... I digress Eek


quote:
Originally posted by keelec:
I'm not sure of the nutritive value of short chain Carbon/oxygen products. Although, the point was that there are other impurities such as the NaOH/KOH that was added and could be of some benefit.

Most chemical fertilizers are heavy with phosphates and nitrogen. While nitrogen is one of the primary components of air, not all plants are very good at utilizing it.


Hopefully they've got a lot of phosphrous too or your plants will be unhappy Big Grin Nitrogen is especially problematic. It is easily washed away from the soil so it is often overused.

I thought chemical fertilizers were only a problem because the majority use salts as the soluble base for the plants to absorb the macronutrients, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N-P-K)?

The salts from chemical N-P-K and micronutrient (Mg, Zn, Ca, B, Cl, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Se, Si and S) fertilizers build up and toxicify the soil after the plants have absorbed the soluble nutrition. Run-off is a HUGE problem in my area from all the wineries! Over a couple seasons acreage using chemi ferts requires more water and more fertilizer (to wash the soil of salts and insoluble nutrients and replace the nutrients used by the crop.) Some pesticides have carcinogens and mutagens, but the chemi ferts just "toxicify" the soil so it can't support organic life forms.

The alternative is that you can support the natural microbial processes which sustain fertility. I use legumes (vetch, alfalfa,clover) to rebalance the soil nitrogen. They take the nitrogen from the air and put it in the soil. See the "no-till" organization in Canada for some really progressive sustainable crop rotaters Smile Any Dr. Ingham "Soil Food Web" fans out there? Actively aerated compost tea (AACT) is a great way to support the soil food web of predatory nematodes, flagellates, miccorhizzal fungi. These life forms support bugs (I once read that ants comprise like 25% of the worlds biological mass?!?) and worms which support the soil and feed the birds which yadda yadda yadda. (Isn't "life" great? ...but all those ants!)

Anywhoo, I recently made some biodiesel which fueled a generator that powered an air pump which made some "actively aerated compost tea" which i put on my compost pile that had the waste glycerin mixed into it which exothermically decomposed in the sun and now my garden seems to like it. At least everything hasn't died so far, LoL! One day soon I will add into this: the compost was used as a topsoil bed for a row of sunflowers whose seeds were pressed into oil which fueled the genny that grew the corn that made the fuel that... and so it goes - kinda like this guy:

http://www.oilcrusher.5u.com/



I figure the extra oxygen molecules in the glycerin (C3H5-OH3) help aerate the soil after being properly mulched in compost or vermicompost. An undiluted topical field application of glycerin sounds like a terrible idea, but what those people were doing is unforgivieable Eek All those dead fish we can't eat Frown

I think keelec you are right about any sequestered and decomposed KOH being beneficial, but I dunno about the NaOH? After being composted, I'd imagine the NaOH leftover in the glycerin (or any sequestered methanol) byproduct from a homebrew wouldn't "toxicify" the soil in small quantities, especially once it had decomposed - but I wouldn't want to eat it or add it to my livestock feed. Not sure if I'd use it with vermicompost either... ? Am kinda "retentive" about these things, tho Smile I guess it it just a salt with a hydrogen and oxygen atom. I live around a lot of connifers, which offhand I think makes the soil more acidic. Perhaps NaOH biodiesel "waste" glycerin would be especially beneficial in forrest areas?

I also use glycerin for tinctures and herbal extractions, but I wouldn't use the glycerin I made for that. I don't know if you use potassium (K) or sodium (Na) hydroxide (OH) but I wouldn't want to risk ingesting either. For the tinctures I get a rabbi to wave his arms over mine after a P.E.T.A. rep has declared it "animal cruelty" free, I.S.O. 9000 says the plant is okay the O.M.R.I. folks stamp their label on the constituents and then $ell it accordingly Big Grin

Of note: the very same kind of "dumping" practices led the city of S.F. to start it's own green energy program! There was such a glut of illegal restaurant dumping that the city waste water folks decided to harvest the goo and make fuel!

Aloha!
 
Registered: July 27, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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1978_300D

Fascinating information. Very informative.

Thank you for taking your time to share it with us.
 
Location: Illinois | Registered: February 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Excellent post!

That cleared up a lot of stuff for me. (sort of)

Thank you !


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Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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