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[[File:Coir fiber.jpg|300px|thumb|alt=image of coir fiber|<font size=3>A close-up view of coir fibre, by [https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fotokannan Fotokannan], licensed under CC CC BY-NC-SA</font size>]]
 
[[File:Coir fiber.jpg|300px|thumb|alt=image of coir fiber|<font size=3>A close-up view of coir fibre, by [https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fotokannan Fotokannan], licensed under CC CC BY-NC-SA</font size>]]
  
Coconut (''Cocus nucifera'' L.) pith or coir, the mesocarp of the fruit, is a waste product that has potential benefits in growth media.  
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Coconut (''Cocus nucifera'' L.) pith or coir, the mesocarp of the fruit, is a waste product that has potential benefits in growth media. Coir dust is peat-like and consists of short fibres (< 2 cm). Coir has a large surface area per unit volume, is hydrophilic, and therefore has the ability to absorb water.  
  
Coir dust is the spongy, peat like residue from the processing of coconut husks (mesocarp) for coir fibre. Also known as cocopeat, it consists of short fibres (<2cm) around 2% - 13% of the total and cork like particles ranging in size from granules to fine dust.
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There are three basic types of coir material.
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#Coco pith is a rich, brown color and has a high water retention capacity.
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#Coco fibers are stringy bundles that does not readily retain water and will break down over time.
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#Coco chips are small chunks of coir that combine the properties of the peat and fiber. Coco chips retain water well and also allow for air pockets.
  
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Coir production involves separating the husk from the shelled nut and soaking the husk in water. The fibers are then separated from the pith and the resulting material is screened to create a uniform particle size. A dust is created during this process and the dust may be air dried and packaged.
Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that’s made by burning <span title="carbon-based compounds, originally derived from living organisms"> '''organic material'''</span> from <span title="organic matter used as a fuel"> '''biomass'''</span>. The two most common proceesses for producing biochar are pyrolysis and gasification. During pyrolysis, the organic material is heated to 250-800<sup>o</sup>C in a limited oxygen environment. Gasification involves temperatures greater than 700<sup>o</sup>C in the presence of oxygen.
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Biomass waste materials appropriate for biochar production include crop residues (both field residues and processing residues such as nut shells, fruit pits, bagasse, etc); yard, food and forestry wastes; and animal manures. Clean <span title="a raw material used to provide energy"> '''feedstocks'''</span> with 10 to 20 percent moisture and high <span title="a complex organic polymer deposited in the cell walls of many plants, making them rigid and woody"> '''lignin'''</span> content are recommended. Examples are field residues and woody biomass. Using contaminated feedstocks, including feedstocks from railway embankments or contaminated land, can introduce toxins into the soil, drastically increase soil pH and/or inhibit plants from absorbing minerals. The most common contaminants are heavy metals—including cadmium, copper, chromium, lead, zinc, mercury, nickel and arsenic, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
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Coir benefits may include but are not limited to the following.
 
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*Coir has a neutral pH
Biochar is black, highly porous, lightweight, fine-grained and has a large surface area. Approximately 70 percent of its composition is carbon. The remaining percentage consists of nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen among other elements. Biochar’s chemical composition varies depending on the feedstocks used to make it and methods used to heat it.
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*Coir improves water holding capacity of soil
 
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*Coir may improve drainage in fine-textured soils by creating pore spaces as it degrades
Biochar benefits for soil may include but are not limited to
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*Coir increases the organic matter content of soil, which can improve soil structure and aggregation
*enhancing <span title="Soil structure describes the arrangement of the solid parts of the soil and of the pore space located between them. It is determined by how individual soil granules clump, bind together, and aggregate, resulting in the arrangement of soil pores between them."> '''soil structure'''</span> and <span title="Soil aggregates are groups of soil particles that bind to each other more strongly than to adjacent particles. The space between the aggregates provide pore space for retention and exchange of air and water."> '''soil aggregation'''</span>;
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*Coir production is sustainable and therefore does not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
*increasing water retention;
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*decreasing acidity;
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*reducing <span title="a potent greenhouse gas emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste, as well as during treatment of wastewater"> '''nitrous oxide'''</span> emissions;
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*improving <span title="Porosity or void fraction is a measure of the void (i.e. empty) spaces in a material, and is a fraction of the volume of voids over the total volume, between 0 and 1, or as a percentage between 0% and 100%."> '''porosity'''</span>;
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*regulating nitrogen <span title="a soluble chemical drained away from soil, ash, or similar material by the action of percolating liquid, especially rainwater"> '''leaching'''</span>;
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*improving <span title="a measure of the amount of salts in soil"> '''electrical conductivity'''</span>; and
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*improving microbial properties.
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Biochar is also found to be beneficial for composting, since it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and prevents the loss of nutrients in the compost material. It also promotes microbial activity, which in turn accelerates the composting process. Plus, it helps reduce the compost’s ammonia losses, bulk density and odor (Spears, 2018; Hoffman-Krull, 2019).
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==Applications for biochar in stormwater management==
 
==Applications for biochar in stormwater management==
 
Biochar has several potential applications for stormwater management. Below is a brief review of what we know about biochar.
 
Biochar has several potential applications for stormwater management. Below is a brief review of what we know about biochar.

Revision as of 16:56, 6 February 2020

Warning: This page is an edit and testing page use by the wiki authors. It is not a content page for the Manual. Information on this page may not be accurate and should not be used as guidance in managing stormwater.

Coir and applications of coir in stormwater management

Coir

This page provides information on coir. While providing extensive information on coir, there is a section focused specifically on stormwater applications for coir.

Overview and description

image of coir fiber
A close-up view of coir fibre, by Fotokannan, licensed under CC CC BY-NC-SA

Coconut (Cocus nucifera L.) pith or coir, the mesocarp of the fruit, is a waste product that has potential benefits in growth media. Coir dust is peat-like and consists of short fibres (< 2 cm). Coir has a large surface area per unit volume, is hydrophilic, and therefore has the ability to absorb water.

There are three basic types of coir material.

  1. Coco pith is a rich, brown color and has a high water retention capacity.
  2. Coco fibers are stringy bundles that does not readily retain water and will break down over time.
  3. Coco chips are small chunks of coir that combine the properties of the peat and fiber. Coco chips retain water well and also allow for air pockets.

Coir production involves separating the husk from the shelled nut and soaking the husk in water. The fibers are then separated from the pith and the resulting material is screened to create a uniform particle size. A dust is created during this process and the dust may be air dried and packaged.

Coir benefits may include but are not limited to the following.

  • Coir has a neutral pH
  • Coir improves water holding capacity of soil
  • Coir may improve drainage in fine-textured soils by creating pore spaces as it degrades
  • Coir increases the organic matter content of soil, which can improve soil structure and aggregation
  • Coir production is sustainable and therefore does not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.






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