Humic substances are a black to brown, highly functionalized carbon-rich macro-molecule.
Bioconversion is accomplished by adapting micro-organisms (derived from termites) to coal in the presence of other appropriate nutrient components. Bioconversion is achieved in a three-step process. First, in the hydrolytic and fermentation process, microbes convert the coal into volatile organic liquids. Second, the liquid, along with gases produced, are contacted with methane producing microbes that hydrogenate the acetate and CO2 into methane. Third, the methane is then separated and unconverted residual coal residue is converted into humic acid for formulating into agricultural and environmental products.
Humic substances are naturally occurring brown and black plant organic matter. They are comprised of humic acid, fulvic acid, and humin, which together are commonly referred to as “humus.” The importance of humus in agriculture has been known for centuries. Today, with the assistance of biotechnology, humic matter can play a major role in sequestering carbon. This averts the adverse consequences of climate change due to the excessive buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) caused by the combustion of carbon fuels.
Humic substances are not only the largest component of soil organic matter, but they account for as much as 95% of the total dissolved organic matter in natural waters. Humic substances act as buffers and help counteract the adverse effects of acid rain on our environment. Most importantly, humic substances are a sizeable part of Earth’s enormous carbon pool.
Humic acids are the major component of humic substances. Humic acid is a highly functionalized carbon-rich macro-molecule. It contains more carbon than all living things. Humic acid exists in plants, soils, water, sewage biosolids and compost, and can be isolated from soft coals. Humic acid firmly retains water and is the buffer and matrix of many chemical and biochemical reactions in soils.
Bioconversion is accomplished by adapting micro-organisms (derived from termites) to coal in the presence of other appropriate nutrient components. Bioconversion is achieved in a three-step process. Step 1: In the hydrolytic and fermentation process, microbes convert coal into volatile organic liquids. Step 2: The liquid, along with gases that are produced, are contacted with methane-producing microbes that hydrogenate the acetate and CO2 into methane. Step 3: Methane is then separated and unconverted residual coal residue is converted into humic acid that is formulated into agricultural and environmental products.
Termites are nature’s engineers. Our microbes have been bio-engineered from the gut of termites. Microbes were first discovered in 1675 and are very diverse. Microorganisms are vital to the environment, as they participate in the Earth's element cycles such as the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle, as well as fulfilling other vital roles in virtually all ecosystems, including recycling other organisms' dead remains and waste products through decomposition.
Plants and coal are the products of photosynthesis. The carbon they contain was once CO2 in the air. Burning plant bio-waste or coal returns the CO2 to the air and defeats attempts at carbon sequestration as a remedy for global warming.
On the other hand, conversion of bio-waste and low rank coal into humic acid retains the carbon plants and coal hold while providing materials with truly remarkable properties. Plants need air, water and soil to grow, and the soil they need contains humic acid that:
• creates and maintains soil structure
• retains water
• binds and releases plant nutrients
• sequesters toxic metals and other contaminants
• serves as a matrix for soil chemical and biochemical reactions
Because it is a multifunctional material, humic acid has the ability to remove both inorganic and organic contaminants from wastewater. This approach has been used by the Company’s clients for more than 15 years to decontaminate and recycle wastewater for agricultural use in several countries where the only alternative is lifeless drought.
The patented ARCTECH Process is a breakthrough approach for converting coal into methane gas and humic acid products. Natural microorganisms are adapted to digest coal under anaerobic conditions (i.e., living or active in the absence of free oxygen), resulting in a biogas mixture of methane and CO2. Methane gas can be separated from the CO2 to produce a gas equivalent to natural gas. Unconverted coal from the anaerobic digester is subjected to a biochemical process for the extraction of high value, carbon-rich humic acid products. Technologically, this process is similar to that used in oil refineries. A barrel of crude oil, as a result of cracking and refining, provides various byproducts valued several times higher than the price of the crude itself. Similar to the cracking and refining of oil, the ARCTECH Process results in the complete utilization of coal without any waste byproducts.