Engineering Materials

Corn, Wheat & Rice Trash Make Concrete Stronger

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Re: Replenish the Soil?
JGetaz   4/19/2013 4:47:14 PM
I had read the DuPont article and I re-read it. I have four comments.
I own some DuPont stock so I wish them well.
I design concrete structures and I like what pozzolans do, so I'm happy to have more sources.
They and you talk to farmers other than those I see either making silage from cornstalks or plowing it under - or both, which is the primary similarity - they don't leave much in the field. I don't see any having trouble getting rid of such "waste." I've never talked to any who had any such "waste," either. They will often plant a rye cover crop over the winter for erosion control and to have something green to turn under in the spring, so the corn from last year doesn't "interfere with corn planting." Maybe this is it: they rotate their crops every few years; from the comment that the stover can "house insects and diseases that damage corn plants" it sounds like the Iowa farmers just grow corn.
I mentioned this to my 12th-grade daughter who had an immediate and strong reaction: "Anyone who takes AP Environmental Science knows that one wants to use any organic matter they have in their soil." She has that class this year.

Charles Murray
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Re: Concrete fillers
Charles Murray   4/20/2013 10:29:22 AM
I can back up J-Allen's story. When I was in engineering school, our civil engineering students also had a concrete canoe contest. Either it's a common practice for civil engineering students, or J-Allen and I went to the same school (University of Illinois at Chicago).

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Replenish the Soil?
Ann R. Thryft   4/22/2013 12:58:33 PM
Yes, the farmers just grow corn. And second, it's well known that not all organic matter is good to plow under--some actually leaches nutrients from the soil.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Re: Interesting use of these resources
Ann R. Thryft   4/23/2013 12:38:26 PM
You're welcome, Elizabeth. And I agree about the reuse model.

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