Ecology and nature management

  • Innovative methods of preparation, storage, transportation of drinking water and green technologies of electrodialysis of water

Based on the rich experience and research work of experts of JSC “SPE “Radiy”, innovative absorbent material, new highly efficient technologies for groundwater purification, installations and equipment for water treatment were developed.

The highly effective sorption, filtering and bactericidal material SCOV, developed at JSC “SPE “Radiy”, is one of the many products of the company’s diversification. The material is intended for processing and purification of natural and man-made waters from iron, non-ferrous and heavy metals, arsenic, uranium and other elements and has been successfully tested on installations of various sizes. On the basis of SCS, a technology for groundwater purification has been developed, which allows simultaneously purifying water from iron, manganese, non-ferrous and heavy metals, arsenic and reducing the turbidity and color of water. The developed sorption material also has unique bactericidal properties (patent 2433958), which reduces the cost of finishing water treatment, as well as transporting it over long distances without energy costs for cooling. Water, including water after desalination plants treated with SCS, is not subjected to excessive growth of microalgae for a long time, as well as spontaneous bacterial contamination.

The sorbent production technology is based on the modification of natural serpentinites – magnesium hydroxysilicates.

Elementary serpentinite fibers are hollow inside: their inner diameter is 13 nanometers, the outer diameter is 26 nanometers.

SPE “Radiy” has acquired a license to extract 50 million tons of sorbing nanomaterials from natural deposits.

Sorbent and water treatment and purification technologies based on it are patented in Russia, Japan and European countries: RU 2316479, 2433958, JP 4834143, EP 2011767 B1 (DE, UK, FR, CH, LIE). 

The technology of water treatment using natural sorbing nanomaterials is being developed and tested at the industrial level, independent tests have been conducted in different countries. Water treatment is carried out by filtration through granular natural materials and can be used in the system of household and drinking water supply, including for the production of drinking water of the highest quality category. The method involves filtering water through a layer of granular serpentinite with a certain size of granules and pretreating the serpentinite layer with an alkaline solution to convert it into an anion-exchange material. The method provides an increase in the sorption activity of serpentinite, expands the range of extracted polluting components, guarantees the supply of highly purified water to the consumer, whose compliance with the established requirements is achieved directly during the purification process, without averaging its composition and the need to have a supply of purified water for this, with an increase in the duration of operation of loading granular material.

One of the unique technologies of JSC “SPE “Radiy” for water treatment is the method of bactericidal water treatment. This invention can be used in the system of household and drinking water supply, for the production and storage of drinking water of the highest quality category, for the preparation of water for the food and pharmaceutical industries. To implement the method, the source water is contacted with a sorption material based on a natural silicate polymineral, which is used as serpentinite. In this case, the method involves the synthesis of hydrogen peroxide on the surface of the grains of the sorption material. To do this, the source water is aerated during contact with this sorption material. The contact of the source water with the sorption material and its aeration are carried out under dynamic conditions by passing this water through a column containing serpentinite in the form of granules in the top–down direction, and air in the opposite direction. The method provides high bactericidal efficiency when using inexpensive natural silicate polymerals without additional processing steps and without the introduction of bactericidal agents, such as, for example, chlorine. In addition, when using serpentinite pretreated with an alkaline solution to obtain ion-exchange properties, water purification from polluting chemical components is simultaneously ensured.

Technologies of water purification of SPE “Radiy” based on highly effective natural sorbents allow to maintain the freshness of water without the use of chlorine, provide health benefits due to water mineralization, make it possible to purify water from heavily polluted sources at a favorable price, reducing the cost of the water purification process by 40% compared to traditional methods of water processing.

The use of an innovative method of electrodialysis desalination of water (RF Patent No. 2770078 Method of electrodialysis desalination of water), developed by JSC “SPE “Radiy”, makes it possible to eliminate the shunting effect of washing near-electrode chambers with a corresponding reduction in unproductive energy consumption and at the same time increase the efficiency of washing. In addition, with the help of this invention, the loss of sulfate ions from the washing solution and the penetration of chloride ions into it at the anode can be prevented. Desalination of seawater requires less energy costs, this technology is used in conjunction with traditional reverse osmosis technology, increasing the efficiency of the latter by 50%.

  • An environmentally safe system of intensive agriculture based on the large-scale application of the ACM organomineral complex, aimed at restoring the fertility of depleted and acidic soils

Scientists of our company have developed a waste-free environmentally friendly agro-composition ACM to restore soil fertility.

ACM (anionite-cationite-meliorant) is the collective name of a class of agro–compositions representing artificial chernozem and meliorant. We are talking about specially prepared mixtures of natural materials, ground to a certain grain composition and taken in certain ratios with a specially selected mixture structure. The created basic composite compositions can be used as an artificial soil substrate for intensive crop production and as an air conditioner for open soils, they are ideal for restoring large areas of depleted and degraded soils.  

It includes three basic components: finely granular serpentinite (RF Patent No. 2750665, 2021), clay and brown coal in comparable quantities, selected exactly depending on the characteristics of the soils. 

Serpentinite has ultrabasic properties, is an anion with an anion exchange capacity (Component A). 

– it neutralizes the acidic properties of brown coal. By adjusting its ratio with coal, it is possible to provide any optimal pH value for different soils.

– promotes retention of useful components: phosphates, nitrates and sulfates, preventing their leaching from the soil

– has the ability to magnetize, which makes it easy to reproduce modern technological techniques of magnetic seed treatment to increase their germination.

Clay is a cation and, having a moderate cation exchange capacity (component K), 

– allows you to retain useful nutrients of a cationic nature, in particular, ammonium and potassium, taking them from soil waters.

-retains moisture in the soil.

Brown coal contains humic substances in the bound state, which are the basis for humus, which ensures the vital activity of nitrogen-fixing and other microorganisms (component M).

– it is a source of organic substances.

– having a low specific gravity, it provides a loosened structure and a small density of artificial soil.

– tested as a soil meliorant.

The soil is modified when ACM is introduced into it and gradually turns into a dispersed colloidal mixture of mineral (aluminosilicate) and organic (humic) compounds. At the same time, most of the soil colloids will be negatively charged and cations will appear on their surface in the adsorbed (absorbed) state. The other part of the soil colloids will become positively charged, so anions will be in the absorbed adsorbed state on them. 

Root nutrition of plants is realized due to the exchange of cations and anions in the absorbed state in the soil for ions adsorbed on the surface of root cells. This is how the cations contained in the ACM are received in exchange for protons formed in the roots as a result of photosynthesis and anions in exchange for carbonic acid or anions of organic acids. 

The properties of ACM contribute to the activation of substances that are necessary for the plant and quickly convert them into high-quality organic compounds. The composition of trace elements and the corresponding ions involved in this process is shown in the table.

The main indicator of soil fertility is the content of humus, the most important component of soil organic matter. During a long period of economic use of soils for the cultivation of agricultural crops, an average of 30 to 50% of soil humus reserves were used from the upper layers of arable land. 

In the current situation in agriculture, most of the crop is formed due to the mobilization of soil fertility without compensation for the nutrients carried out with the harvest; and as a result, a constant negative balance of nutrients depletes the soil, destroys humus.

 The depletion of soils by organic matter significantly increased the migration of the main nutrients to the underlying horizons, especially on soils with light mechanical composition – sandy, sandy loam, as well as soil zones with a washing water regime. The territories where erosion processes are actively developing have significantly expanded. It is humus that is the main source of nutrients, since it contains almost all the nitrogen of the soil – 98-99%; about 60% of phosphorus and sulfur, as well as a significant part of other nutrients. 

The formation of humus is part of the food chain of the ACM-soil biosystem. Microorganisms and microbes that are present in this system begin the food chain and can process organic compounds found in the ACM, these organisms do not have digestive organs and feed by absorbing substances dissolved under the action of their enzymes with their whole body. The products of their vital activity combine and turn into humic and fulvic acids. The latter react with substances of inorganic nature and create salts, which are the primary humus. At the same time, the decomposition of biomass by soil microbes leads to the loss of carbon in the form of co₂ from the soil due to microbial respiration, while another part of the original carbon is preserved through the formation of humus, a product that often gives carbon-rich soils a characteristic dark color.

In addition to the natural dark color of brown coal, this enhances the absorption of infrared radiation, providing the possibility of regulating the temperature balance of the soil, and the presence of magnetite in the composition of serpentinite, which is in a state of magnetization, makes ACM a source of additional impact on the soil and plants by a physical factor – a magnetic field, increasing the energy of seed germination.

Serpentenite allows the prolonged conversion of humic acids contained in brown coal into humates assimilated by plants and contributes to the process of sustainable humus formation in the soil.

In wet soil conditions, the components of ACM, when interacting with each other, create a synergistic effect. The agrochemical efficiency of the mixture far exceeds the total efficiency of the components taken separately. The data obtained during experimental use on the agrotechnical efficiency of the proposed composition allow us to conclude that the presence of ultrabasic serpentinite material without the use of active alkalis and acids allows, in the presence of the root system of plants, to extract humic substances from brown coal, as well as carbon-containing components consumed by plants. The components of the composition, interacting with each other, provide a loosened structure of artificial soil, characteristic of chernozems. The combination of components A, K and M provide a high rate of protein ammonization and decomposition of other components. At the same time, the composition in the proposed composition allows to absorb gases released during ammonification, including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, providing an increase in the accumulation of sulfur and nitrogen fertilizers in artificial soil, eliminating odors associated with the decomposition of food waste, and, finally, eliminating the need to use imported ammonia for both bactericidal soil treatment and for the accumulation of nutrients.

ACM artificial chernozem has a more intense black color compared to natural chernozem. This increases the absorption coefficient of solar energy, providing a more favorable soil thermal regime, in particular, an increase in soil temperature by 1-2 degrees in late autumn and early spring, which makes it possible to perform earlier crops. ACM has great potential for landscaping desert areas. The company has created a structured soil substrate — constructosem, designed for growing plants in closed or open ground conditions, mainly for the development and landscaping of desert territories and increasing the fertility of already developed desert soils with smaller volumes of water and nutrients for fertigation.

The use of ACM will be of no small importance for restoring the fertility of depleted soils, including in chernozem regions. And also to create conditions for agricultural production in desert and arid areas. The properties of ACM contribute to the activation of substances that are necessary for the plant, and quickly lead them, substances, into high-quality organic compounds, thus affecting the quality of growing crops. The value of this meliorant is obvious to the team of developers and can become the property of the Russian agricultural economy.

  • Creation of a food line with preset parameters based on the mechanism of macro and microelement transfer in the “ACM-soil-plant-food” biosystem

Modern environmental problems are increasing with the simultaneous increase in demand for food to provide the population. This dictates the need to involve new environmentally safe and cost-effective technologies in agricultural use. The future of agriculture in the country, as well as around the world, consists in a gradual reduction in the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides due to a rational combination of various types of nature-like and “green” technologies, including organic farming technologies.

The necessity and inevitability of the transition to new technologies in the Russian Federation is confirmed by Federal Law No. 280-fz “Introduction of organic products and Amendments to Certain Legislative acts of the Russian Federation”. According to this law, since January 1, 2020, a new regulatory regulation for the production of organic products has come into force and the appearance of a special “green” brand in Russia has been announced, under which food with improved environmental characteristics will be sold.

SPE “Radiy”, as a defense-related enterprise that implements, in accordance with the List of instructions of the President of the Russian Federation dated 21.11.2018, work on the diversification of the defense industry and the production of civilian and dual-use products, has gained significant experience related to the creation of new environmentally friendly agricultural complexes.

Of particular note are the works carried out at the enterprise to create environmentally friendly artificial chernozems from natural components under the general brand ACM (anionite-cationite-meliorant), containing more than 70 trace elements and other useful substances and having maximum efficiency. 

We are talking about specially prepared mixtures of natural materials: brown coal, serpentinite and clay, ground to a certain grain composition and taken in certain ratios with a specially selected mixture structure. The created basic composite compositions can be used as an artificial soil substrate for intensive crop production and as an air conditioner for open soils, they are ideal for restoring large areas of depleted and degraded soils. A composition has been developed in which, in order to increase its effectiveness, liquid ammonia or its aqueous solution is added to it in small quantities. To increase the efficiency of the composite by increasing the concentration of nutrients in it, without resorting to chemical materials, in particular, phosphorus and nitrogen, compositions with bone meal, waste from the fishing industry, balanced in composition and structure soil compositions based on the base composite and organic food waste are proposed. At the same time, a very important environmental problem of disposal of these wastes is being solved at the same time.

Scientists of JSC “SPE “Radiy” have developed an innovative environmentally friendly invention, an agrotechnical composition with magnetic properties, which allows for the preservation of nutrients in the soil while eliminating the use of soil-poisoning components to obtain indicators of agrotechnical efficiency characteristic of chernozems, as well as the creation of a magnetic field capable of affecting both the nutrient components of the soil and on the seeds of the plant and on the plant itself during the growing season.

The agrotechnical composition contains ground brown coal and ground ultrabasic (alkaline) material – natural serpentinite – in a certain ratio with ground brown coal and additionally natural clay in a certain ratio with ground brown coal.  At the same time, magnetite, which is part of this ground natural serpentinite, has a magnetization of at least 80% of the saturation level, obtained as a result of exposure to a magnetic field on ground natural serpentinite or agrotechnical composition as a whole.

The use of the proposed composition as an artificial soil or soil conditioner has been investigated experimentally. The results obtained confirm the expected properties of the agrotechnical composition. If necessary, to increase the efficiency of the ACM, liquid ammonia, phosphorus and nitrogen are added to it in small quantities, or without resorting to chemical materials – compositions with bone meal, fish and food industry waste. Due to its composition, artificial chernozem based on ACM has a physical effect on the root system, so the dark color of brown coal, which is part of ACM, enhances the absorption of infrared radiation, and magnetite in serpentinite makes ACM a source of magnetic field, thereby activating additional capabilities of the complex for the delivery of micronutrients to the final product of the biosystem “ACM-soil-the plant is food.” 

Due to the dissolving ability of root secretions, including carbonic acid, organic acids and amino acids, there is an impact on the solid phase of the soil, translating the necessary nutrients and trace elements into an accessible form. So, phosphorus and sulfur are absorbed in the form of phosphoric and sulfuric acid anions – H2PO4- SO42 – potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron – in the form of K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Fe2+ cations, and trace elements – in the form of corresponding anions or cations. This creates prerequisites for the creation of a line of plant foods and animal feeds with regulated properties that can provide a balanced set of useful additives for optimal assimilation. The resulting agrotechnical compositions make it possible to directly regulate the content of certain nutrients and trace elements in plant food in the “ACM-soil-plant-food” biosystem, thereby closing the circular cycle of movement of these elements in nature.

The performed studies have shown a stable correlation in the indicators of the content of microintruents in the roots, stem, leaves and fruits of plants and the concentration of the corresponding initial ingredients in the applied ACM complex, which can simplify the process of designing environmentally friendly mass-consumption food products with a predetermined trace element composition and taste properties.