Liquid nano clay: A novel use of soil enriching technology
First application of liquid nano clay (LNC) in the Kingdom at SPARK.
In Aramco’s quest to pioneer efficient technologies that improve sustainability, are environment friendly, and support the company’s circular economy initiatives, the application of liquid nano clay (LNC) was chosen for use in the landscaping.
In essence, LNC is a proprietary innovation that strives to enrich desert sand to enhance its fertility. LNC is a material created from the mixing of clay nanoparticles with water and binding them to desert sand particles to allow the sand to act as a sponge. This enables the sand to retain water and nutrients, reducing the amount lost by filtration.
LNC works as follows:
• Water and clay are mixed in a patented mixing process creating the LNC
• The LNC mixture is then irrigated into the soil using traditional farming irrigation methods
• The LNC percolates through the soil up to a depth to 60 cm, attaching itself to the sand particles
• Without using LNC, water and nutrients would run through the sandy soil without being used by plants and fungus. Subsequently, when the LNC is applied, water and nutrients will stick to the clay. This creates a layer in the soil perfect for growth.
• LNC will allow plants to grow in areas that previously did not allow growth, therefore, the plants have a chance for survival.
LNC technology application at SPARK
The Aramco Project Management Team, in collaboration with the Consulting Services Department and Environmental Protection, is leading the drive to have the first-time usage of LNC in the Kingdom at the landscaping areas identified around the SPARK Phase 1 road corridors, parks and open spaces, inclusive of the administrative compound and the forthcoming Dry Port area, with a total area of 858,000 m2, designed for a daily irrigation water consumption of 4,300 m3.
Added value to SPARK
The technology brings many advantages to SPARK. With the goal to reduce the irrigated water consumption by 25%, utilizing the LNC technology, SPARK will save 1,075 m3 of water per day.
As the required water needs decreases, the size of the irrigation system and installations can be decreased up to 20% as well.
Also, allowing plants to grow, deserts can be reclaimed by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 15 tons/hectares yearly.
A layer of LNC will stop water and nutrients percolating through the soil and polluting the underlying water table.
LNC and other adopted technologies can strive to position SPARK as a fertile ground for innovation and as a highly recognized environmentally friendly worldwide industrial city.