Environment - Nano soil science


Cross-disciplinary research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is yielding new insight into the carbon cycle, contaminated soils and soil fertility. An ORNL team is using a novel combination of neutron reflectometry experiments and supercomputer simulations to provide a detailed view of the interactions between organic matter and minerals in soil. The research suggests that relationships among these compounds are governed by simpler principles than previously thought. “It changes the whole way we think about how carbon, nutrients and contaminants interact with soils, which therefore affects fertility, water quality, and the terrestrial carbon cycle,” said ORNL’s Loukas Petridis. “We don’t understand these topics very well because until now we haven’t had the techniques capable of getting data at this resolution.” The researchers’ study is published in Environmental Science and Technology.

 -  Morgan McCorkle,  865.574.7308 ,  January 07, 2014

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