"The best environmental facts of 2018
Project Cabeço Santo
The Cabeço Santo Project continued in 2018 to actively contribute to the ecological and scenic recovery of a forest spot in the municipality of Águeda, managing to increase the extension of the area under its care. This is a unique project in Portugal, with an intervention area of more than 120 hectares.
About three dozen volunteer actions were promoted. The initiatives were attended by more than 300 volunteers and more than a hundred visitors. During the year, a dozen actions were publicized in various national and international events, as well as several pedagogical and educational initiatives in educational institutions in the region. During the months of August and September, the technical team carried out several night surveillance actions to detect risk behaviors or criminals in critical areas. Thousands of native trees were planted and cut, stripped and peeled thousands of acacias.
This year also brought new partners and supports, namely the companies INDASA SA, Acail Gas Medicare, Zeocel and the association Pioneers, who supported the planting of thousands of native trees and ecological recovery works, joining the Municipal Council of Águeda, Altri, Space Talassa, Petus, Critec and Baixo Vouga Forestry Association. "
Zeolites occur naturally in rocks of volcanic origin, and are minerals of the hydrated aluminosilicates group composed of: aluminum, silica, hydrogen and oxygen arranged in a highly stable three-dimensional tetrahedral structure.
The structure of these elements consists of zeolite crystals having a network of micro pores connected to each other, with diameters ranging from 2.5 to 5.0 A0, depending on the type of zeolite mineral.
Natural zeolites are grouped into significant amounts that constitute deposits, and about 50 minerals of this family are known, within which we have the following:
Mordenite and Clinoptilolite are zeolitic minerals best known for their uses and applications. Clinoptilolite, is a natural Zeolite formed from volcanic ash in lakes or marine waters for millions of years. Clinoptilolite is the most studied and considered most useful and is known as adsorbent of certain toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide.
Benefits produced by zeolites in soils
• It improves its physical properties (structure, moisture retention, aeration, porosity, density, capillary rise, etc.).
• It improves its chemical properties (pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and micronutrients), increasing its cation exchange capacity.
• Decreases soil sodium content, which can be toxic to plants.
• It facilitates greater stability of soil organic matter content and does not allow loss of organic matter by mineralization.
• It increases the retention of nutrients, which allows to reduce up to 50% the application of traditionally applied mineral fertilizers.
• Increases moisture retention by reducing irrigation rates by more than 15%.
• It considerably improves the leveling of the ground, due to the improvement of its structure.
• The application of zeolite in the soil significantly reduces the amount of water and the cost in fertilizers, through the retention of nutrients in the root zone.
• Zeolites form a permanent water reservoir, ensuring a prolonged moisture effect, even in periods of dryness.
• Controls soil acidity, increasing pH. This is due to its alkalinization ability.
• Increases resistance to soil compaction.
• The physical-chemical conditions of the sandy soils improve with the application of zeolite, as it increases its moisture retention capacity, and in clayey soils, it improves the physical conditions, avoiding their compaction and improving the penetration capacity of the water.
• It increases the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other products applied to the soil, as it incorporates them into its porous mass and liberates them little by little.
• Improves nitrification in soil. By providing an ideal surface for adhesion of nitrifying bacteria, it helps increase nitrification. For the same reason, the population of soil bacteria that attack pathogenic fungi increases.
• The porous structure of zeolites helps to keep the soil aerated. A single application of zeolite offers benefits for a long time due to the stability and resistance of this substance
• Facilitates good relationships between nutrients.
• Facilitates phosphorus solubilization (P) and potassium assimilation (K).
Benefits produced by zeolites in the production of organic fertilizers, chemicals and organic minerals.
(a) in the production of organic fertilizers:
• Reduces leachates, which often in liquid form, contaminate freshwater sources.
• Controls 100% unpleasant odors in the composting process.
• Increases the agricultural and commercial quality of the compound.
• Reduces nutrient loss by up to 50% due to volatilization, which occurs during the production process.
• It accelerates the process of organic waste decomposition and its early conversion into fertilizers.
• Having less nutrient loss increases the organic quality of organic fertilizers.
b) In the production of chemical fertilizers and mineral organs:
• Zeolites act as slow release fertilizers. They have a negatively charged structure that contains nutrients such as potassium and nitrogen. They can be loaded with these ions before they are used as a culture medium to later release nutrients near the root system where they are needed for growth.
• Increases the efficiency of using chemical fertilizers and mineral organs by more than 50%.
• Not only can it act as a slow-release fertilizer, reducing or reducing leachate (movement of nutrients dissolved in the ground water), but also reducing the migration of nutrients from the root zone to deep water, eliminating the possibility of contamination.
• Many of the fertilizers used in the field of agriculture, for example, ammonium nitrate, have low efficiency in the use of their nutrients and, in very few cases, efficiency is more than 50% for most crops. Zeolite additions can help increase the efficiency of these fertilizers.
The Cabeço Santo Project received an advance gift: Zeocel is the new partner of the project.
Zeocel Portugal stands out as a reference in the technical development of natural zeolite products, suitable for regulating soil fertility. The company based in Águeda will support the actions of planting native trees in Caramulo.
In order to make more and more the difference in nature and society, Quercus invites the business community of the region to collaborate in the environmental valuation of the region and support initiatives to promote sustainability.
An article on the agricultural attractiveness of the Zeolites was published:
"The agricultural attractiveness of zeolites
Its characteristics include its ability to retain moisture and nutrients, help desalination of soils, and its potential use as a slow-acting fertilizer.
Monday, February 19, 2018 at 8:30
Against bad odors. Zeolite has been concerned, among other things, with mitigating unpleasant odors in animal breeding sites, due to its particularity in capturing the ammonium present in its excrement.
Credit: El Mercurio
Luis Muñoz G.
Zeolites are a family of minerals of natural and volcanic origin, possessing properties and characteristics extremely attractive for the agricultural business. These include their ability to retain moisture and nutrients, help desalinate the soil and its potential use as slow-acting fertilizer. All this has repercussions in obtaining greater nutritional efficiency and in the reduction of the production costs of the farm.
"Zeolite is a particularly important tool in areas where water is scarce due to its adsorption and absorption properties. In fact, Zeolite is able to retain around 30% or 40% of its weight in water, so it optimizes the use of water resources, "says Rodrigo Mundaca, an agronomist and specialist in organic agriculture, who has been familiar with zeolites since the late 1980s.
"In intensive pig farming, for example, an animal will need five months to reach a 90-kg pig. However, if the zeolite is administered in his diet, the time will decrease to three months. "
But this is not all: if they are incorporated as a filler into complete fertilizers, the zeolites can reduce the leaching of synthetic fertilizers to almost zero, that is, they almost completely eliminate contamination of groundwater; and make crops much more efficient in assimilating and converting nutrients.
Likewise, they have been used successfully to mitigate the emission of bad odors, especially in intensive breeding sites, since they have the peculiarity of capturing the ammonium present in animal excrement, deodorizing a specific place.
Likewise, zeolites have been used in animal diets, thanks to their ability to capture mycotoxins and improve productive conversion. "In intensive pig farming, for example, an animal will need five months to reach the piglet - 90 kilos - but if the zeolite is administered in his diet, the time will decrease to three months because it has a better conversion and retains mycotoxins, making food supplements much more efficient, "explains Rodrigo Mundaca.
In fact, in the world, zeolite is widely known and used in agriculture. In Cuba, for example, we come to what is known as zeoponic cultures, where the mineral is used as a substrate.
In Chile, however, the reality is completely different. Although the country is a favorable place to find this mineral - especially in Cordón de Frellones - knowledge about its use and utility is limited, which has led to the fact that, currently, there is no commercial product for agricultural use, based on the zeolite. "The closest of this is a product that has been used to mitigate the emission of bad odors in cats' beds," says Rodrigo Mundaca, who in 2005 already worked with this mineral, using it to improve the physical properties of the soil destined to the production of organic avocados in the province of Petorca, in the region of Valparaiso.
In 2012, the Organic Inputs Society (SIO), where Rodrigo Mundaca is chief technical officer, presented a project profile for the Foundation for Agricultural Innovation (FIA), where the intention was to incorporate zeolites into composting systems under the premise of three scenarios: acceleration of degradation processes of organic matter; reduction and elimination of harmful microbiology of fertilizers derived from composting processes; and delivery of nutritionally improved humus, from the high cation exchange that the mineral presents and its ability to capture certain important components for agricultural production, such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and calcium, among others.
The experiment, monitored largely by FIA agronomist Juan Carlos Galaz, was to set up a randomized block design for two years, where he worked with four treatments: one sub zero (control without zeolite) and three with mixtures of zeolites. The first includes 400 kg of zeolite per pile, the second and third 800 kg and 1600 kg. It should be noted that in this period all treatments were constantly kept on a dose of guano (1.2 tons) and nitrogen (1.2 tons) and that each included three replicates.
The result of the four treatments was, according to the expert, excellent: "All the hypotheses that supported the investigation were fulfilled".
"Zeolite is a particularly important tool in areas where water is scarce due to its absorption and adsorption properties, and it is able to retain about 30% or 40% of its weight in water, so it optimizes the use of water resources."
Specifically, the organic matter degradation processes stabilized at 96 days and a harmful microbiologically free end product was obtained and nutritionally enriched.
This, in practice, means a humus with a slightly acid, almost neutral pH (6.5-7); no salinity problem, less than 5 mm; and with an average carbon-nitrogen ratio of 17-18 parts of carbon to one of nitrogen. To this it is added that the batteries that received the mineral received less irrigation than those that did not receive it.
The future and the costs
With the end of the project, it's time to make determinations. In the case of Rodrigo Mundaca and his team, the intention is to transform this experience into the production of organic fertilizer enriched with zeolite, which will have as its main target the small and medium producers of fruit trees with resistant leaves, mainly avocado and citrus, in the region of Valparaíso. "The idea is to start with that, but in a second step we intend to bring the benefits of zeolites to all of Chile," he says.
How does the use of zeolites influence the costs of the producers? Although figures can’t be given, Rodrigo Mundaca explains that the costs of incorporating composting systems per kilogram of finished product are quite marginal for producers. "The same is true if you want to incorporate this mineral into strategies to improve moisture retention, make water regimes more efficient, or reduce leaching from synthetic nitrogen fertilizer application to zero," he says."
Interview with ZEOCEL on the prestigious Agricultural Marketing platform
Zeocel carried out a study with the purpose of verifying the efficiency of the application of Celtonita in the rice crop. The field trial was carried out in the Baixo Mondego area.
- To evaluate the agronomic behavior and the production obtained
- To evaluate the effect of the application of Celtonita on the rice crop
In terms of productivity obtained at the harvest, in the CELTONITA modality, there was an increase of about 20 to 25% in relation to the modality without CELTONITA.
It was verified that the modality with CELTONITA presented more satisfactory results regarding the quality of the rice, in the sense in which it minimized the incidence of the Piricularia.
In the case of panicle length and technological parameters (industrial performance and biometry), there was a very positive effect resulting from the application of CELTONITA.
At the beginning of the vegetative cycle of the crop, the modality with CELTONITA presented a better coloration, a very homogenous growth, a very consistent texture and a good root development, better than in the modality without CELTONITA.
It was also verified that with application of CELTONITA the culture germinated earlier in relation to the modality with application of only the chemical fertilizer. In terms of panicle length, number of panicles / m2 and plant length, the results with CELTONITA application were more satisfactory, because the height of the plant was 20 cm higher than the CELTONITA-free method.
ZEOCEL supplied the product CELTONITA for the Stadium of Alvalade, Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Clinoptilolite type zeolite, pretreated, modified, enriched in macro and micronutrients, which has a high CTC - cation exchange capacity, giving the plants the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and development. It is an eco-friendly product.
Product intended to provide a balanced development for the crop, increasing the productivity and reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and consequently the acidification of the soil.
By providing nutrients gradually to plants, improving the physical structure of soils, preventing nutrient losses from leaching or volatilization, and preventing groundwater contamination, is compatible with organic production methods.
ZEOCEL supplied the CELGREEN product for the Dragon Stadium, F. C. Porto, a product developed for sports lawns or lawns in general ...
Zeolite of clinoptilolite type with capacity to potentiate the action of the nutrients that constitute the chemical and organic fertilizers, fertility regulator and soil conditioner. Retains water and air, prevents losses of nutrients by leaching or volatization. It is a biological product.
Product used for lawns that need to be always green with the texture suitable for their use, and are constantly irrigated.
Improves root development. Intensifies the color green. Increases trampling resistance and regeneration capacity, and speeds up the breeding process. It improves physical parameters (moisture retention, aeration, porosity) and physical-chemical soil (pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and micronutrients).
Significantly improves terrain leveling. It is a non-toxic product for humans and animals. Does not cause burns in the field.
Technical article about our product Celtonita in:
After several tests ZEOCEL will make this year some ha of rice with FERTCEL / CELTONITA.
See more at the link below:
Presentation of our products "Celtonita, Ecocel and Forcel" (Foliar Fertilizer). We thank the participants that have taken their time to listen to our technicians.
The Auditorium of INIAV - National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Research, in Elvas, receives on February 21, the Colloquium "The Competitiveness of the Almond tree and Olive grove". The event is organized by Alentejanices with Tomato - Grouping of Alentejo Tomato Producers, Azeitonices - Grouping of Olive Oil Producers and Cersul - Grouping of Southern Cereal Producers, in collaboration with Consulai and Todolivo.
Zeocel Portugal, in partnership with Todolivo, provides Celtonita for 3,000 HA of new olival plants in Tunisia.
Zeocel Portugal in partnership with Todolivo will supply Celtonita for more 2,000 ha in Morocco.
See more in the link below: