BEIJING: Chinese scientists have claimed to have converted sand into fertile soil using a new method which they hope will be useful to fight desertification.
A team of researchers from Chongqing Jiaotong University has developed a paste made of plant cellulose that, when added to sand, helps it retain water, nutrients and air.
A 1.6-hectare sandy plot in Ulan Buh Desert in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, north China, has been transformed into fertile land, yielding rice, corn, tomatoes, watermelon and sunflowers, after being treated with the new method.
An issue of the English-language journal "Engineering," published by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), will publish the research by the Chongqing scientists Yi Zhijian and co-author Zhao Chaohua.
"The new method will hopefully help turn desert areas into an ideal habitat for plants," state run Xinhua quoted Yi as saying.
Chinese scientists successfully convert sand into soil - Times of India