Waterproofing sand with nano-coatings developed to slow desertification

February 05 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Environment   Year: General   Rating: 2

Nanosand Pankaj SharmaReducing the amount of water needed to grow crops and prevent massive desertification could dramatically reduce the need for energy used in producing fertilizers, irrigation and desalination.

Hydrophobic Sand
Nanowerk has featured a story written by Derek Baldwin of Xpress News on the development and use of layers of hydrophobic (water resistant) sand that prevents water from evaporating to keep it closer to the root systems.

The nano-coated sand could be used as a sub-layer for farming, urban landscaping, and a wide range of eco-friendly industrial applications like oil spills. 

The proprietary coating process was developed by UAE-based DIME Hydrophobic Materials working with German scientist Helmut F. Schulze.  The product's performance has been verified by a German materials testing agency (without details on coating's own  environmental impact or longevity) and is now in pilot projects in the United Arab Emirates.
Visit: Photo Gallery/Pankaj Sharma

Image Credit XPRESS Pankaj Sharma (Verifying Press Release rights)

Via Nanowerk

Article at XPRESS

Comment Thread (3 Responses)

  1. This kind of thing sounds cool but makes me nervous. It doesn’t exactly sound biodegradable. What happens when the stuff disperses? It’s going to be worse than glitter.

    Posted by: AdamEdwards   February 07, 2009
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  2. Adam, I can see the ‘what?’ factor. And anti-glitter stance~!!

    Again, I’m not sure of the coating (whether it biodegrades over time?, et al) My guess is that they are building it out of molecules that are not going to cause negative impacts (heavy metals). Nor am I clear on amount applied… Is it all hydrophobic and traps ‘all’ water- or just a small %?

    We do use ‘enhanced’ soils, et al in much of our world today to alter some environmental processes. I guess I look at it with the ‘upside/downside’ of global desertification. But jury is still out for me too!

    Posted by: Garry Golden   February 09, 2009
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