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WOW--what an idea. Liquid "nano" clay onto desert sand.

 
pollinator
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Ole Morten Olenson gives this Ted Talk,



About research that his father did in the Sahara. He developed a clay processing technique (that he says was not in itself any amazing feat, just accidentally effective) that allowed the tiny grains of clay to slip through sand's surface and permeate the medium.

The clay does nothing for biology directly; it only provides water retention where there wasn't any--and to a depth where there wasn't any, and begins the biological processes to life. Simple enough. But indirectly, the moisture allows bacteria and fungi which are naturally occurring to take up residence in the sand, and nitrogen fixation and conversion of organic mollecules can begin. (Fertilizer and water are required to kickstart the cycle of course--which present their own set of difficulties in the desert.)

But if this works...wow...what an amazing step! Is this snake oil? Is there some shortcoming that I am overlooking because my eyes are glazed over?

Does Geoff Lawton know about this guy?
Anybody?
 
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So-called "nanoclay" approaches to greening deserts have been in the news in past 6 months as China had a big publicity push for it's attempts (apparently successful, if their reports can be believed) to rapidly change sand dunes to arable land for orchards and farming. Not sure if Ole Martin Olenson was involved in the work the Chinese did, but it didn't sound like it from the clips I heard.  Here's one YT clip from their publicity machine:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8_Hnmty4vY
 
Michael Sohocki
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I didn't hear the word clay mentioned in the Chinese newsreel--but innoculation with nitrogen fixing bacteria was. I guess I would have  hard time denying a UN secretary ( if I understood that correctly) interview on the subject. If HALF the photos of reversing the Bucuqi desert are true, it's just mind-boggling.

Mortenson admits that the innovation his father developed was not from an episode of Star Trek--it was a simple accidental discovery by a lifetime HVAC repair man. Had something to do with aeration--patented process, I'm sure he's not chomping at the bit to hand out recipe cards.

Chinese newsreel also placed alot of stock in gridpattern of straw, I saw zillions of solar panels (income), and quite a lot of piped water--which is dubious, for sure.

In either case, I see....dare I say it...HOPE.

I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like it can't be true. Like, we've been fighting this thing for...what...when did Egypt extend irrigation past the banks of the Nile? Three thousand years or so? It just couldn't be that easy. Could it?
 
Michael Sohocki
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I made my best effort to contact Geoff Lawton from his website--by emailing "volunteer student help line" or something. I asked if this is legit--if this is something to believe.

It's a long shot, really can't expect anything. But if I get an answer I'll tell you immediately.
 
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https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/41/fb/27/312d2dc7add60b/US20100187474A1.pdf

It sounds really easy to make nanoclay ,according to this patent.
I want to try this so bad.


 
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I'm new here, so forgive me if my question has already been answered. Does anyone know when this will be available in the States?
 
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Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
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Geoff Lawton used this technique for sandy soil. He designed a school garden on extremely sandy soil, but the nutrients and soil life just kept falling through the sand, leading to really bad quality produce and very difficult plant growth. So they stripped out the little bit of soil they had managed to build, and mixed clay with it. Quickly they had really good brown loam soil and great produce. The clay holds everything up so it won’t fall through the sand. I think the confusion here is between  100% sandy desert like there is in central Sahara and just dry desert with an ordinary mixture of dirt sizes, like Geoff Lawton is working with in Jordan.
 
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Michael Sohocki wrote:

I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like it can't be true. Like, we've been fighting this thing for...what...when did Egypt extend irrigation past the banks of the Nile? Three thousand years or so? It just couldn't be that easy. Could it?



The "other shoe" might be in the secondary and tertiary effects. As I understand it, the dust that enters the atmosphere from the Sahara desert, is crucial to the life of the Amazon. If the amount of dust each year gets reduced significantly, what happens to the jungle? And what effects will those effects cause?

No idea. I'm watching these developments with a mix of curiosity and concern.
 
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