Stacking Benefits: Crop performance + Carbon Sequestration
We are a proud partner with Emily Chiang in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph to investigate the carbon sequestration potential of Canadian Wollastonite in agricultural soils. Boosting crop performance and sequestering carbon is an exciting combination to offer a warming world with a growing human population.
There are two key highlights from the study attached below:
“Soil amendment with wollastonite promoted enhanced plant growth: beans showed a 177% greater dry biomass weight and corn showed a 59% greater plant height and a 90% greater dry biomass weight. Wollastonite-amended soil cultivated with beans showed a higher TIC accumulation of 0.606 ± 0.086%, as compared to that with corn (0.124 ± 0.053%).”
The researchers did not add any fertilizers to either the treatment (with wollastonite) or the control. Such a dramatic increase in growth from only adding wollastonite suggests that the wollastonite treatment provided some of the well known plant growth benefits as a result of increased silicon availability, and calcium’s pH balancing finesse.
A second key take away, carbon sequestration:
“…that using wollastonite as a soil amendment, along with legume cultivation, not only buffers the soil against acidification (due to microbial nitrogen fixation) but also sequesters carbon dioxide (12.04 kg of CO2/tonne soil/month, 9 times higher than the soil without wollastonite amendment).”
The benefits of silicon for plant growth are already well known, this study affirms the availability of Canadian Wollastonite in the soil and now the ability of our wollastonite to sequester carbon. This is a fascinating cutting edge project digging into the mechanisms of how wollastonite can sequester carbon in agricultural soils. With results like these, it seems the researchers are well on their way to finding practical field-based win-wins for crop performance and climate restoration.
It is important to note that this study was conducted in 9-litre pots (a small amount of soil relative to a field study) with a high application of Canadian Wollastonite to ensure the researchers could get a measurable response, clearly there were no issues. After this successful phase one experiment, we are excited as this project pushes forward into field trials that began in 2019. We look forward to sharing those results with you in the near future.
The full study is available here: CO-Benefits of Wollastonite Weathering in Agriculture.pdf