Solid Crystalline Acids

One reason that I am very encouraged with regards to the terra preta soils is that their behavior conforms with substantial agricultural field work utilizing Zeolites over the past thirty years. Zeolites and activated carbon have both been properly described as solid crystalline acids.

Zeolites are typically formed as volcanic ash deposits and for that reason are rather limited in general availability and quality. There are several separate mineral species also. That has not stopped testing in agricultural applications. Besides the usual soil remediation tests, there have been substantial use as an additive to pig feed in feed lots with excellent results. It is also worth mentioning that while oil refining began with sulphuric acid, it converted to a synthetic Zeolite early on.

The point to remember is that Zeolite, while a solid can still be 10,000 times as acidic as sulphuric acid. Activated carbon or charcoal is a Zeolite analog with the same behavior. That means that it should tend to neutralize and generally remediate any soils that it is put into.

The point that I am making, is that I immediately recognized the significance of the terra preta soils because of my previous exposure to Zeolite work and had already posited that adding activated charcoal would be very beneficial. I just never thought that someone had gone out and run a thousand year field test, nor did I have a practical way to deploy the method. The Amazon has given us both.

Can any of you imagine the debate that we would be having if we were introducing this as a new technology?

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