Friday, September 26, 2008

Cape Aquatic Humates Mission

Go to the main page : http://capehumates.blogspot.comLink

Humic acids, in CAPE AQUATIC HUMATES which are extracted from rivers of the Western Cape of South Africa and importantly these indeed ARE SUPERIOR to those extracted from coal.

Other names are ,.....Kap Wasserhumates,Huminsäure ,海角水生humates胡敏酸 ,
Organic fertilizers,humates,humic substances & humic acids,農業の化学薬品、水生humates、生物動的の肥料、生物治療、岬水生HUMATESのカーボン、カーボンemmissions、カーボン 減少、 有機物酸、有機性農業、有機肥料、のSAの生物農場、土管理、土の治療、の西部岬,农业化学制品,水生humates,生物动态,肥料,生物治疗,海角水 生HUMATES,

What does one do with Humates?

Humic acid
Humic acid is one of the major components of humic substances. Chemically, it is a super-molecular aromatic acid composed by various functional groups, taking on effects of sorption, complexation, chelation, flocculation, which dissolves loads of hydrophobic matters. They can also be found in peat, coal, many upland streams and ocean water.

Major applications:
Humic acid is mainly employed in industry in forms of additive, its effects are: to improve product quality, to retrench raw material and to reduce energy expenditure; for instance, it may be applied as boiler water soften agent and as petroleum drilling fluid decreasing and filtering agent. By chelating the ions, humic acids facilitate the uptake of these ions by several mechanisms, one of which is preventing their precipitation, another seems to be a direct and positive influence on their bioavailability. They also dissolve loads of hydrophobic matters and along with the above characteristic they take care of harmful matters, preventing waters from contamination.
Since their pH values are below 7, namely acidic, humic acids alleviate the world-challenging issue of soil salinisation.

Appearance darkly brown or black, ( currenly not in stock -amorphic powder, granule or column) or slurry liquid
Humic acid 50%Min (Moisture 65%)
Mesh 50-80m /1-5m
Solubility slightly soluble in water
pH Value 5-6
Stability stable in air, nonpoisonous
Packing 25Kg plastic woven bag or upon request

Contact data:

Thebe M. Thebe (Thebe IV) or John M. Riggs

Respectively Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Street Address
14 Spin Street, Mowbray 7700

Postal Address:
Doctor Green Horticulture, PO Box 958
Cape Town, South Africa Green Point, Cape Town, SA

Fax: Fax: +27 (86) 654-7818
Mobile: +27 (73) 407-5456


Accepted in the ezSearch South African business directory.

Agricultural Chemicals - aquatic humates - bio dynamic fertiliser - bio remediation - CAPE AQUATIC HUMATES - carbon emmissions reductions - CDM - CER - clean development mechanism - fertiliser - Fertilizer - humates - humic acid - John M Riggs - Kyoto protocol - organic agriculture - organic fertiliser - Riggs - SA Bio farm - soil management - soil remediation - thebe - thebe thebe - Theewater - Western Cape


Historical Overview of the South African Chemical Industry : 1896 - 2002


During its 100 years of existence, the development of the chemical industry has been dominated by three factors: the demand for explosives by the mining industry, the abundance of relatively cheap coal, and the political and regulatory environment in which it operated between 1948 and 1994.

Based in a country with no proven oil reserves, until recently little natural gas and abundant coal resources it is not surprising that the gasification of coal became a major factor in the development of the industry. This was aided and abetted by a political system which increasingly forced the industry to look inwards and to focus on import replacement. It led also to the construction of small-scale plants with production geared to local demand. As a consequence locally-produced commodity chemicals and processed goods have generally been less than competitive in export markets.

For a developing country, South Africa has an unusually large chemical industry and it is of substantial economic significance.In 2006 the industry still contributes 5% to the GDP and 25% of manufacturing sales. The Omnia Group has become a major player in recent times and is today a diversified, specialist chemical services provider with its business interests balanced across the chemical, mining and agricultural markets. The chemicals division, Protea Chemicals, stemmed from the buyout of Protea Chemicals in 2004 and is structured around the seven businesses of Protea Polymers, Protea Bulk Resources, African Polymers, Acol Chemical Holdings, Protea Chemicals Inland/Cape/KZN, Protea Speciality Chemicals and Protea Animal Feeds. The explosives business consists of Bulk Mining Explosives, Delta Caps Initiators and Protea Mining Chemicals and the agricultural division consists of Omnia Fertiliser and Omnia Specialities and its subsidiary in Australia. A large number of smaller companies are involved with manufacturing a wide range of specialities and in formulating and converting. Many multi-national companies operate in South Africa as manufacturers and/or distributors. Amongst these companies are Bayer, BASF, Shell, Unilever, Ciba Speciality Chemicals, du Pont, ICI, CH Chemicals, Monsanto and Rohm and Haas

The Chemical and Allied Industries' Association (CAIA), which grew out of the 50 year old Transvaal Chemical Manufacturers' Association, was founded in 1994. CAIA's responsibilities include fostering South Africa's science base, assisting in education and training, seeking ways to promote growth in the chemical and related sectors, consulting with government and other role players, and promoting the industry's commitment to a high standard of health, safety, and environmental performance. CAIA is the South African custodian of Responsible Care.

Now that South Africa is once again part of the international community, the chemical industry is focusing on the need to be internationally competitive and the industry is reshaping itself accordingly. Exports were R22 billion and imports R31 billion in 2005 with the gap declining. Rationalisation in some sectors of the industry as pointed out in this article has been drastic and the process is not yet complete. However, signs that the industry will emerge leaner and more competitive are clearly apparent.

Nutrient and soil feeding science Links:

Fertilizer Associations
International Fertilizer Association (IFA)
Fertilizer Association of South Africa (FSSA)



Farmer Organisations

Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB)
South African Grain Information Services

Grain South Africa

Farmer Search Engine

Government and Parastatals


Agrelek, Eskom
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
National Department of Agriculture



Farmers Weekly
SA Irrigation

Agricultural Research Council

Search engines



Chicago Board of Trade

Google PageRank    Checker - Page Rank Calculator

So just what are humates ? :

The important differences between raw Leonardites
and water-soluble humic acids:

The term humic acid represents a group of powerful natural substances that are so complex that science will not be able to replicate them for generations to come. Because they are impossible to replicate, all humic acid products are derived from highly concentrated natural deposits. The most common deposits are called Leonardites (forms of oxidized lignite), but humic acids can also be found in natural deposits of peat and silt. These deposits are formed over millions of years, yet the humic acids have not broken down or leached out of the earth into the water table. Therefore, they are extremely insoluble and inactive in their natural state.

In fact, the presence of insoluble humic acids can commonly be found in ordinary soil, only at much lower concentrations (0.2% to 10%) than is found in Leonardites or other natural deposits. In 1949 at Kherson University, USSR, Lydia Khristeva was able to educe the insoluble humic acids from ordinary soil in the form of a sodium salt solution. She then watered plants with the solution and discovered that it greatly enhanced plant growth and root development. This discovery lead to a great deal of research with the use of humic acids in stimulating plants. Despite the fact that this discovery utilized a soluble humic acid solution, over time a common belief emerged that applying raw Leonardites to the soil will boost the natural humic acid levels and stimulate plant growth as it did for Lydia Khristeva.

The principle “problem” with this concept is that Leonardites (insoluble humic acids) are very low in chemical and biological activity because the valent vacancies of their molecules are occupied with metals from soil minerals and the molecules themselves are rolled up very tightly in a ball. In order for Leonardites to provide a response to a plant, the humic and fulvic acids must be "activated" through chemical and biological processes in the soil. Unfortunately, this process is dependent on an infinite combination of factors in the soil and this makes it nearly impossible to know if, how, or when the humic acids will ever be released. This is the primary reason Leonardites have still failed to gain universal acceptance in agriculture 50+ years after the benefits of humic acids were first discovered!

Because Leonardites do closely match the structure of natural soil humus, they can slowly increase the soil organic matter over many years, which is an obvious benefit to any soil. However, the end user must be aware of which goals they are trying to achieve when they use humic acids; are they trying to build their soil, or are they looking to immediately stimulate crops, or both. This will help decide which materials to use.

To effectively stimulate plants through the use of humic acids, it is necessary to convert them into forms that have very high chemical and biological activity levels. This conversion “unrolls” the tight molecular ball and creates water-soluble humic acids, either as a liquid or in the form of sodium, potassium, or ammonium salts (known as Humates). In their soluble form, humic acids can readily chelate nutrients, preserve nitrates from leaching, enhance root development, and improve overall crop vigor and yields. Positive results can be obtained using soluble humates alone, or they can be used in combination with raw Leonardites to achieve both short term and long term results.

The difference between sodium, potassium, and ammonium salts of humic acid:

There are three primary forms of humates (humic acid salts), the sodium form, the potassium form, and the ammonium form. Although they are all similar, each form actually has its own special benefit at various stages of plant development. However, the ammonium form is generally not used because it has a greater degree of chemical instability and it can often produce unpleasant ammonia odors. Of the remaining two, many people favor the potassium form simply because potassium itself is a valuable component of plant nutrition. However, because of the very high chemical and biological activity of water-soluble humic acids, the application rates are very low and the applied amount of potassium does not play a significant role in plant nutrition. TeraVita, through years of research, has developed humic acid products with the ideal ratio of their sodium and potassium forms to promote the ideal response in soils and plants without the risk of chemical instability or odor issues.

The roles of humic acids versus fulvic acids:

A lot of attention is often given to the role of fulvic acids over humic acids. It is often stated that the "primary action" of humic acids comes from the fulvic acids because their chemical and biological activity is higher than the humic acids. This theory does not properly take into account the many complex aspects involved in soil fertility (such as the formation of ferments in the soil), but relies more on the simplest message many commercial entities can give for people to use their product. Quite simply, it is not true, and we can only guess that this opinion originates from the concept that fulvic acids are the only portion of raw Leonardite that is potentially soluble and mobile through water in the soil.

Fulvic and humic acids have the same source of origin and are very similar in structure and elementary content. The main difference is that the molecular size of fulvic acid is smaller, which provides it with increased solubility in water throughout the pH range. However, this is only relevant if you are attempting to use raw Leonardite to stimulate crops. As mentioned before, raw Leonardites are primarily insoluble and have very low chemical and biological activity. If a natural Leonardite deposit is very high in fulvic acid content, it would be possible to see some positive result to the crop if the application rate were high enough and there were enough free water-soluble fulvic acids to act on the plants.

However, once raw Leonardites are converted into water-soluble humates, all of the humic and fulvic acid components are biologically active and play important roles in plant and soil stimulation. They all work together in various stages of soil and plant development and no one component is necessarily more important than another.

Additional notes on water-soluble humic acids:

Another benefit of using water-soluble humic acids is that their application and utilization by soil and plants can be predicted much more accurately than Leonardites. As mentioned earlier, it is nearly impossible to predict if, how, or when the humic acids from raw Leonardites will ever be released or utilized by the plants and soil. With soluble humates, the usage rates can be narrowed down to within small margins and the overall response to crops can be achieved with only 1/100 of the typically used rate of Leonardites.

It is also important to note that humic acids are not a significant source of plant nutrients, but are a soil stimulant and a transportation vehicle for carrying nutrients into plants. Once connected to the humic acid molecule, nutrients are carried into a plant in available forms that help intensify the plant’s metabolism and stimulate the soil’s natural activities.

Because of their strong ability to chelate nutrients, humic acids greatly increase the efficiency in which plants utilize nutrients from the soil. In turn, this enables a significant reduction in the amount of fertilizer historically required to maintain optimal plant growth. Obviously, this provides enormous economic and ecological value to growers wishing to reduce their fertilizer input costs and/or reduce the potential side-effects of heavy fertilizer usage.


Humates and Humic Acids. How do they work?

The important role of humus in agricultural growing has been known since ancient times. However, the change from a “primitive” understanding to serious scientific research only happened in the middle of the last century, when a young scientist from Kherson State University, Ukraine, named Lydia Khristeva made a simple experiment. She educed humic acid in the form of a liquid solution of sodium salts from an ordinary soil sample and then watered plants with it. Shortly thereafter she discovered that the plants considerably increased their growth and developed a much stronger root system. Thus, the biological activity of Humates was discovered for the first time. The essence of this discovery was the fact that a conversion of natural Humic acids into their soluble salt forms sharply increases (over 100 times) their biological activity.

Let’s consider the most important factors of Humates’ influence on the whole system of Water, Plant, and Soil.

This is a molecule of Humic Acid. The illustration above is just one fragment of a huge molecule. These fragments are connected to each other in long chains and the total weight of the molecules, naturally depending on the chain length, is in the range 35,000 to 80,000 Daltons.

This is a Quinoid group. Here we can see four single and four double connections (bonds). However, this pattern is just a basic description. In reality this part of a molecule is an electron cloud with valency electrons positioned at definite energy levels. Receiving a quantum of solar energy these electrons move to a higher energy level. This constantly repeated action provides for the accumulation of solar energy. During the night these electrons return to their previous positions, providing cells with the accumulated energy during daylight time. This is how Humates increase the cell energy balance.
This leads to an intensification of exchange processes. In turn, this results in the rapid development of a root system, the formation of special ferments that increase plants’ resistance to unfavorable stress factors (such as drought and frost), improved nitrogen assimilation (but an inhibition of the formation of nitrates), and at the same time facilitates the synthesis of chlorophyll, sugars, vitamins, essential amino-acids, oils, etc.

This group is called Peptide group

The structure of this group is very close to the lipid structure surrounding cell walls. Therefore it can easily interact with the cell membrane, forming a protective net around it. During its growth and development a cell is always exposed to stress, such as attacks of peroxide compounds, toxins, and free radicals, etc. Scientific research has proved that 30% of a cell’s energy is always used for its protection, but under the circumstances this protective film created by Humic Acids, a plant cell is able to block most of those attacks and use close to 100% of its energy for positive growth and development.

This group is called Carbohydrates or Sugars.

These groups together with Peptides are fine food for microorganisms. Active development of soil microflora provides health of the soil and sometimes accumulation of soil’s Humus. The table below shows the effect on simulation and growth of all useful microorganisms both in presence and in absence of plants.

Influence of concentration of Humic Acids on microorganisms development.
Pattern of experiment Ammonia forming Clostridium Nitrifying Denitrifying Azobacteria Fungi Actinomycetes Weight of the upper plant part
Fallow trays
Control 20 25 15 47 75 8 550 -
180 mg/kg 700 70 90 70 210 0.5 3200 -
Trays with plants
Control 700 25 47 25 1230 5 6800 3.89
900 mg/kg 1100 110 53 110 6000 7 10200 4.91

The Peripheral part of this molecule has Carboxyl and Hydroxyl Groups

These groups are responsible for several important functions.

First, these groups have an affinity to water; this feature provides the solubility of Humic Acid molecules in water. Diluted solutions of Humic Acids restructure water, in a way that gives it the properties and structure of melted water. There is much to say about the structure of water, but this subject deserves a separate lecture. The most important thing to note today is that melted water is very close in structure to plant’s cell water. Moisture is a vital part of a cell’s “juice”, and therefore restructured water can more easily penetrate the plant cell and be more useful for a plant’s development. In connection with this we have used NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance testing) to discover that the optimal concentration of humic acids is between 0.008% and 0.01% to achieve the melted water state.

Secondly, please note that these groups are capable of substituting their hydrogen atoms for ions of metals. How does this happen? If we use single valency metals, such as sodium or potassium, we produce water soluble Sodium / Potassium Humates.
_ +
- СООН + KOH - COOK + H20 -COO……K

During dissociation, potassium moves into a water phase, but ions of Humate acquire a negative charge. Mutual resistance of negative charges unrolls the tight molecule of Humic Acid into a long chain, giving it high biological and chemical activity. Therefore we recommend using salts of Humic Acids or Humates, instead of raw Humic Acids, presented in lignites, also known Leonardites.

What happens if we use double valency metals, like calcium or magnesium?
Calcium and Magnesium Humates are insoluble in water unlike Sodium and Potassium Humates.

When Humic Acids interact with multi valency metals, such as Iron, Zinc, Copper and others they form new type of compounds, called Chelates. In addition to the usual valency connections they form coordination bonds.

- СО + Fe -CO Fe


Chelates of poly-valency metals can, under particular circumstances, be soluble in water, while in their usual condition they are insoluble. This gives us an important tool of management. From one hand we can provide plants with necessary metals: iron, copper, zinc, boron, magnesium, molybdenum and cobalt in their soluble forms, and on the other hand we can simultaneously protect plants from harmful elements like mercury, lead, cadmium, radionuclides and others, by converting them into insoluble forms.

Consequently, Humates can play the role of transporting valuable micronutrients into a plant and also can be a protective agent by locking up harmful ones. To illustrate, satellite photography has proved that regions rich in humus and Humic Acids manage to keep environmental balance in spite of intensive industrial pressure.

Humic Acids and Humates also play an important role during interaction with soils.

One example would be the ability of Humates to lock up ions of Iron and Aluminum. Their excessive amounts block phosphorus assimilation. During their interaction with Humates Iron forms compounds available to plants, but Aluminum is connected into insoluble forms. This process neutralizes the harmful action of these metals on phosphates.

The colloid structure of Humic Acids and the high degree of hydrophility of their functional groups leads to gel formation. This explains their ability to increase the water holding capacity of soils. This is very important for arid regions.

 COO….H…….OH – H………OH-

HO…….H –OH ………H….OOC-

COO….H…….OH – H………OH

Water is tightly kept between Humic Acid molecules with the help of hydrogen bonds, and this allows the storage of moisture during dry periods.
By reacting with calcium, magnesium, aluminum, and iron, which are always present in soil, Humates form organic mineral bridges, connecting the soil’s particles in proper structure, helping to resist erosion, keep more oxygen and moisture, and create a favorable environment for microflora development. The intensification of soil’s microbial activity after applications of humates has been documented by many research works. It is also a well known fact that the active and intense work of soil microbes is the key to Humus formation.
The above information is just a small part of the information on the potential mechanics of Humate and its influence on the whole system of water, plants, and soil. However, it is sufficient to illustrate that humates are a valid and important tool for maximizing plant health and overcoming the growing number of environmental concerns that affect everything we grow.
On a final note, to truly understand the above information it is very important that the definition and difference between the terms Humate and Humic Acid be understood! Most of the time in the United States the term Humate is incorrectly used by people who distribute raw lignite or Leonardite. The problem is the following: in their natural forms, Humic Acids (being a part of lignites or peat) are always connected into insoluble forms of calcium, magnesium, aluminum, or other forms, and in this state they have very low biological activity. The recommended application norms of these products range from 200 to 2000 pounds an acre. It is simply not practical or economical to use humic acids in this way. They need to be converted into soluble Humates, soluble Chelates or pure Humic Acids to release their biological activity. Only after this conversion are they capable of performing the above described actions.

Please note other names for humic acids and cape aquatic humates;

in German these products are known as Wasserhumates,Huminsäure while in Chinese known as 海角水生humates or 胡敏酸

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