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Powder Turns Water Into Gel To Fight Droughts

Powder Turns Water Into Gel To Fight Droughts
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Agricultural wonder can expand to 500 times it's original size and store water for up to a year.

Ross Brooks
  • 18 july 2013

Solid Rain is a Mexican-made product that looks like salt and sells for $25 a pound. It’s makers claim that the product is capable of solving the world’s drought problems.

The product’s creator is a chemical engineer by the name of Sergio Jésus Rico Velasco, a man who’s spent decades trying to mitigate the drought problems that Mexico suffers from.

Inspired by baby diapers – Solid Rain is actually a highly absorbent polymer called potassium polyacrylate, which soaks in water up to 500 times its original size. 10 grams is all it takes to soak up a litre of water, transforming it into a thick, translucent gel.

The water can stay in this state for up to a year, not being effected by evaporation or having any other way to escape except when it is consumed by a plant’s roots.

solid-rain-drought-powder-mexico

A study by the Mexican government showed that farm plots yielded 300 percent more crops when Solid Rain was used. Three examples include oatmeal, which yielded 5000 kg per hectare with Solid Rain, versus 2500 kg per hectare without, sunflowers . 3000kg with versus 1000kg without, and bean which yielded a staggering 3000kg with versus 450kg without.

Solid Rain has been nominated twice for a Global Water Award by the Stockholm International Water Institute, it received the Ecology and Environment award from the Fundacion Miguel Aleman, and it’s been used in Mexico for a decade.

Recently gaining FDA approval in the US, the product has struggled to make a name for itself, in part because most of the marketing is word of mouth, and also the flooding that has made it less relevant at this point in time within the US.

Apart from farming, it can also be used to reduce the amount of watering need for lawns, gardens, flowers and countless other home-based plants. Considering the cost, it’s definitely worth trying out Solid Rain and helping the company market itself for what it is, a potential solution to drought all across the world.

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Solid Rain

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