Biopolymer turns deserts fertile

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In Mexico, a biopolymer that holds nutrient-filled water for months at a time may help make deserts arable.

Developed by engineer Rafael Ríos Trejo of Dos Ríos in collaboration with the Institute of Technology and Higher Studies of Monterrey and the Autonomous University of Chapingo, the biopolymer has enabled over 1,000 hectares of otherwise arid land in Mexico, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Chile to grow crops. Successful trials include olive oil production in Africa and Asia  and fruit in Chile.

“We can achieve reforestation with the help of this polymer, which can be compared to the so-called Solid Rain,” the company tells La Crónica de Hoy. Solid Rain is another system in which solidified water is used in crop fields.

Trejo’s biopolymer is made from biodiesel waste, methane, and carbon dioxide.