We assist higher crop nutrition as our products are based on humic and fulvic acid.
Ecofarma was founded after agronomists from Sweden and South Africa developed theories on the effects of humic and fulvic substances in agriculture and the benefits they could have. Since its establishment, Ecofarma was created with the aim of developing the usage of humic and fulvic acids in an expansive yet cost effective way.
Ecofarma’s products, which are based on humates, allow farmers to create biologically operable farmland proficient enough to amass, bind and transform higher nutrient levels in plants, subsequently creating profitable conditions and environmentally-friendly cultivation.
The humates used in Ecofarma products are extracted using our patent process; they are an excellent source of Carbon for soils and plants and operate as an outstanding chelating agent for cations. The fulvates extracted using a similar patent process enhance bioavailability of nutrients and act as a transporter of nutrients into plant cells, thereafter creating a satisfying environment for soil organisms.
In the chemistry of turning plant material into coal, the first stage is biochemical decomposition (humification). Bacterial breakdown of the soluble components, mainly cellulose, results in enrichment of the more resistant, waxy leaf coatings, spores, pollen, fruit and algal remains. Decomposition also expels some gasses originally contained in the rotting matter – principally water, Carbon Dioxide and methane – leaving organic residues rich in Carbon.
The second stage starts when the plant deposits are progressively buried beneath substantial amounts of mud, sand and silt. As depth of burial increases, so too does pressure (compaction).
As a result of the earth’s internal heat flow, temperature also increases with depth. Progressive physical and chemical changes are brought about by the increased temperature and pressure (coalification). The degrees of change result in distinguishable stages of coal quality, or rank, which reflect the maturity of the coal. The different quality stages are lignite, bituminous, anthracite and graphite.
These four main levels of ranks – lignite, bituminous, anthracite and graphite – have a certain set of physical parameters which are chiefly controlled by moisture, volatile content, ash and fixed Carbon content, as well as different swelling characteristics.
Coal in South Africa
South African coals contain only small amounts of spore coats, leaf cuticles and other remains and seeds, which form parts of rarely found blackdurain and clarain. Coals found in South Africa are also mixtures of vitrain and grey durain and they vary from coals with a preponderance of vitrain (bright coal) through various banded mixtures with grey durain to pure durain.
Ecofarma has researched coal reserves in South Africa and has subsequently identified reserves with high vitrinite content of about 90% versus brown coal or lodranite which has a typical 50% vitrinite content. The results based on this research is the main reason why Ecofarma uses the vitrinite because of its composition, Carbon content, consistency in quality and availability. Through this we are able to deliver the highest content of humates through extraction.
Composition of Coal
To understand the distribution of varying densities within the overall coal composition, a breakdown of the coal’s constituents needs to be understood. The natural constituents can be divided into two main groups:
- The Organic Fraction, which can be further subdivided into microscopically identifiable macerals, namely the liptinite, vitrinite and inertinite.
- The Inorganic Fraction, which is comprised of sediment and minerals, commonly identified as ash subsequent to combustion.
Microscopically Identified Macerals
Liptinite (Exinite): The liptinite macerals are derived from the waxy and resinous parts of plants such as spores cuticles, and resins, which are resistant to weathering and diagenesis. When liptinite macerals are present in coal, they tend to retain their original plant form and thus they are usually “plant fossils” or phyterals. They are classified as sporinite, cutinite, resinite and alginite.
Vitrinite: The vitrinite macerals are derived from the cell wall material of plants, which are chemically composed of the polymers, cellulose and lignin. The vitrinite group is the most abundant group and commonly make up 50% to 90% of coals. Vitrinite-rich bands of coal are termed vitrain and vitrinite – and exinite-rich coals are termed clarain.
Inertinite: The inertinite macerals are derived from plant material that has been strongly altered and degraded in the peat stage of coal formation. E.g. fossil charcoal is the inertinite maceral, fusinite. The inertinite macerals have the highest reflectance of all the macerals and are distinguished by their relative reflectance’s and structures. They include such types as fusinite, semifusinite, macrinite, micrinite and sclerotinite. Inertinite-rich bands of coal are termed durain.