Thursday, March 13, 2014

Value-added Principle through Recycling

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Kinds of Recycling

• Biological – Trichoderma, a fungus, to hasten composting
• Enzymatic – Wild sunflower in composting, urea in hay
• Mechanical – Shedding, decortication, grinding
• Fermentation – Silage, retting, biogas digester
• Burning – Rice hull ash, wood
• Combination of two or more of these methods. Ex. Mushroom production, mulching and composting using rice hay

Fruits in season are made into wine and vinegar (rambutan, dragon fruit). 

Recycling in Nature

1. Lightning is Nature’s quickest and most efficient converter and recycler, instant manufacturer of nitrates, phosphates, sulfates; it burns anything on its path, recharges ions. Lightning sustains the needs of the biosphere, it is key to biodiversity.

2. Fire is the Nature’s second tool. While fire is indeed destructive, in the long run, fields, grasslands and forests are given new life by it. Fire is a test of survival of the fittest. It is the key to renewal and continuity of life.

3. Volcanoes erupt to recycle the elements from the bowels of the earth to replenish the spent landscape, so with submarine volcanoes that keep the balance of marine ecosystems.

4. The Laws of Nature always prevail with the seasons, weather and climate. They govern the life cycle and alternation of generations of organisms; the food chain, food web, and food pyramid. The same applies to long term phenomena such as Continental Drift and Ice age.

5. Naturally occurring cycles govern the physical and chemical properties pf the earth’s chemical elements and compounds, principally Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen (CHON), which are essential to life.

6. Nature recycling of organic materials in through the action of microorganisms: bacteria, algae, protists (amoeba, diatoms), fungi, blue green algae. Fibrous materials are broken down by fungi. Other than roughage and fuel, rice hay is used as substrate for mushroom growing. The spent materials decompose easily into organic fertilizer.

7. Recycling in nature through the action of microorganisms. Top left, clockwise: bacteria (dark sports) attacking a cell; algal bloom (note evolution of CO2 gas); phosphate bacteria glow in the dark; protists (amoeba, diatoms, blue green algae). Recycling of fibrous materials with fungi. Other than roughage and fuel, rice hay is used as substrate for mushroom growing. The spent materials decomposes easily into organic fertilizer.

8. Recycling by animals also helps in controlling the destructive ones such as the mosquito, which is food of fish, spider and bat.

9. Nature’s nutrient converters. Simple life forms such as lichens, algae, mosses and ferns silently work on inert materials, convert them into nutrients for higher organisms.

Harvesting Sesame. The stalk is used as fuel, and material in composting. 

10. Nature’s recycling with waterways Mekong river in Vietnam (below), Pasig River in the Philippines, Great Britain, Danube and Rhine in Europe, the Nile, Mississippi, Amazon, Yangtze, Tigris-Euphrates. Rivers, lakes, swamps, basins – they provide many basic needs of man. They are arteries of life, the ecological bridge between the living and the non-living world. It is said that no civilization exists without a river.

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