What is Terra Preta?

Terra Preta is a unique form of soil created by human activity. Artificial soil has some unique properties; Terra Preta is not only incredibly fertile and retains its fertility for hundreds of years, but it is also a form of carbon sequestration. Both properties have spread a widespread interest in Terra Preta around the world, and some even suggested that it could be used to produce negative carbon fuel with energy technologies from gasification.

Terra Preta Information

What is Terra Preta?

According to archaeologists, the pre-Columbian indigenous population produced them intentionally or as a by-product of human activity, by incorporating large amounts of coal residues (coal) produced with nutrient-rich materials. Food-rich wastes, including human and animals (rich in N and P), mammals and fish bones (rich in Ca and P), residues of missing fuel ash (rich in P, Mg, Ca, K) and coal ) or plant biomass (e.g. compost,  kitchen waste, seaweed, etc.) The addition of coal results in a high percentage of organic matter in the soil.

The content of Terra Preta in soils can be 70 times higher than infertile soils, which gives these soils their black appearance and amazing properties. Due to its polycyclic aromatic structure, carbon black is chemically and microbiologically stable and has existed for centuries. Terra-Petra acts as a long-term carbon sink.

One hectare of soil can hold 250 tons of terra preta; unlike the 100 tons in the unimproved soil. Black carbon can be converted by pyrolysis of biomass or by enzymes of microorganisms. Although the structure of the soil (water retention, aeration) reduces the number of fungi and bacteria, it has a good porous structure for soil fertility and increases the growth and abundance of certain bacteria. :

Over time, carbon black is partially oxidized, forming chemical molecules (carboxyl groups) on surfaces that act as traps for nutrients, preventing them from cleaning up. These nutrients enter the porous structure of the carbon elements necessary for plant growth, as well as the nutrients and habitats of beneficial bacteria in the soil and plants.

It was argued today that the creation of the new Terra Preta Nova in the 21st century could be the basis for sustainable agriculture that could feed millions of people and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. : (i) combating desertification, (ii) the constant release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and (iii) biodiversity, such as tropical forests.

Hygienists have carried out this idea in recent years since they found the patio, but today it is a promotional response to the challenge of sustainable and safe management of human and organic waste.

The results of the Terra Preta Sanitation (TPS) health scale and laboratory tests have shown that biologically and waste can be replaced healthily and sustainably by humus material with high yields.

How Does Terra Preta Look Like?

What is Terra Preta?

Terra Preta has a high concentration of low-temperature coal; Large quantities of ceramic shavings; Organic substances such as plant waste, animal, fish, and animal bone surplus, and other substances; And nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, and manganese. It also shows a high level of activity of microorganisms and other specific properties of ecosystems. There is a lower tendency for nutrient leaching, which is a serious problem in many jungles. Terra Preta sites are usually surrounded by a terrace comum or “common soil”; the soil is mainly acrisols, but also foundries and arenosols.

Management of Terra Preta del Indio

The land, which is rich in nutrients, seems to have been preserved for centuries for the farmers who created it. Some speculate that this is due to carbon, but the high humidity and heavy rainfall here are difficult to explain because the nutrients dry out quickly.

To store nutrients, farmers and scientists use a product called biochar. This is waste from cutting and coal mining. They use agricultural products, such as sugar cane or animal waste, and suffer from the slow-burning of coal.

This process led to a reflection of soil conditions and local waste recycling. The benefits of Terra Preta can be found anywhere in the world by creating a sustainable chain of use of local products and their landscape.