New Video: 8 Essential Products for Wastewater Bioremediation

In this video, Heather Jennings, PE, Director of Probiotic Solutions®, provides an introduction to 8 essential products for wastewater bioremediation.

Stimulating the growth and development of the correct microbial populations for processing wastewater contaminants has been our core business for over 45 years. In that time, we’ve developed a suite of bioremediation products that are unsurpassed in the industry. The following 8 products are highlighted in the video:

[Read more…]

JoVE Video Journal Publication: Quantification of Humic and Fulvic Acids

Dr. Richard T. Lamar and Dr. Hiarhi Monda of our Humic Research Laboratory, with assistance from analytical chemist Ryan Fountain, have published a methodology video in the biochemistry section of the peer-reviewed online video journal, JoVE.

The video, Quantification of Humic and Fulvic Acids in Humate Ores, DOC, Humified Materials and Humic Substance-Containing Commercial Products, shows the step-by-step laboratory methodology (the New Standard Method) for gravimetric quantification of humic substances (e.g., humic and fulvic acids) on an ash-free basis, in dry and liquid materials from soft coals (i.e., oxidized and non-oxidized lignite and sub-bituminous coal), humate ores and shales, peats, composts and commercial fertilizers and soil amendments.

In the video introduction, Dr. Lamar states, “The New Standard Method for quantification of humic acids provides a more accurate and precise analysis compared to the existing regulatorily accepted methods, and it also provides a standard method for pure hydrophobic fulvic acid quantification. The advantage of this protocol is that it provides a gravimetric analysis of humic and hydrophobic fulvic acid concentrations on an ash-free basis, and the extraction process has been optimized to obtain the highest recoveries of both humic and fulvic acids from samples.

At the video’s conclusion, Dr. Monda states, “Following this procedure, the dry humic and fulvic acids obtained can be used for characterization purposes, such as the carbon-13 and the proton NMR electron resonance, and the ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry, among other useful techniques. This can be used for characterization of the humus chemistry, as well as being a useful tool to dig deep into the structure-activity relationship with plant fitness and the underlying plant defense mechanisms.

Direct link to video on the JoVE Website: https://www.jove.com/v/61233/quantification-humic-fulvic-acids-humate-ores-doc-humified-materials (A free subscription will be required to view the entire video on the JoVE Website.)

From the JoVE Website: Filmed at the world’s top scientific institutions, JoVE videos bring to life the intricate details of cutting-edge experiments enabling efficient learning and replication of new research methods and technologies. JoVE is a peer-reviewed scientific video journal that is indexed in PubMed and Web of Science.

BHN Hosts PFAS Training for Water and Wastewater Plant Operators

Bio Huma Netics hosted a 6-hour PFAS training seminar on February 23, 2022. Co-Sponsored by the Rural Water Association of Arizona, the event provided education on the problem of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in water.

Speakers at the event included Heather Jennings, PE, Director of Probiotic Solutions®, Cathy Swanson, West Regional Sales Manager and Groundwater Remediation Specialist at Purolite, and Marci Payne, Sales and Marketing Director at Legend Technical Services of Arizona. An Operator’s panel discussion was led by Jim Huchel, Wastewater Treatment Manager for the City of Flagstaff, and Henry Cornejo, Wastewater Treatment Program Manager at Rural Water Association of Arizona. Professional Development Hours were awarded to the 27 attendees.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFAS are widely used, long lasting manufactured chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time. Because of their widespread use and their persistence in the environment, many PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in water and a variety of food products. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to PFAS may be linked to a variety of harmful health effects in humans and animals.

The BHN Product Quality Assurance Process

In this video, we show the scientific steps we take to make sure that all our Huma Gro®, Fertilgold Organics®, and Probiotic Solutions® liquid products are built according to specifications, are consistent from batch to batch, and are of the highest quality.

Heather Jennings Is Featured Guest on “Better Together” Podcast

Paper360, a bimonthly magazine for the pulp & paper industry, produces a podcast called “Better Together: Conversations With Innovative Leaders.” At a recent podcast recorded live at SuperCorrExpo in Orlando, Fla., Heather Jennings, Director of Probiotic Solutions and Host of our own Water Break Podcast, was interviewed on the topic of diversity and innovation for the corrugated industry. Heather is Emeritus Chair of TAPPI’s Women in Industry Committee.

The mission of the TAPPI Women in Industry Committee is to “Inspire and support the development of women in the forest products, pulp, paper, tissue, packaging and associated industries by serving as a resource for education and networking opportunities, that result in more women leaders in the industry, fostering overall industry health.”

Here’s a link to the podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1295744/9397632-paper360-better-together-supercorrexpo-live-part-2.

The Water Break Podcast Hits 3,000 Downloads

Back in May of 2020, we started talking about doing a water-and-wastewater-focused podcast that Heather Jennings would host. Heather had never done anything like hosting a podcast, and she wasn’t sure that she should. “Do you think anyone would listen?” she asked.

We did, and we started mapping out the campaign. Heather insisted that the podcasts be educational in nature, with an emphasis on “bridging the gap between water plant operators and engineers.” As an engineer, she knew that a great deal of education was needed to bridge that gap. We all agreed that, to be viable, we needed to produce at least one podcast a month. This was a lot to ask of the host and all her potential guests, bringing up Heather’s second question: “Do you think anyone will agree to talk with me?”

Last week we recorded our 18th Water Break podcast in 18 months, and this week the statistics report from Blubrry, our podcast hosting service, let us know that we had reached the milestone of 3,000 downloads. We realize that 3,000 isn’t a huge number when compared with more commercial podcasts, but for an educational podcast in the water and wastewater treatment niche, it’s a great accomplishment.

Something else that amazes us is the world-wide reach that podcasting can have. We knew that our largest audiences would be in the U.S. and Canada, but who would have thought that our third-largest audience would be in India, and our fourth and fifth in South Africa and Saudi Arabia. All told, we’ve had listeners from 57 countries, with some surprises such as Bangladesh and Northern Mariana Islands.

And so far, there have been 27 guests willing to voluntarily share their knowledge, experience, and lessons learned with the rest of the water-and-wastewater-treatment community through this podcast. They do it because they believe that water treatment is a calling, an opportunity to do something good for our local environments and our planet as a whole. But before you start thinking that these people and topics are TOO serious, you need only listen to a couple of the episodes to hear the joy and laughter that comes out. Who knew wastewater treatment could be so funny? (Apparently, anyone who has ever worked in a wastewater treatment plant!)

We take this opportunity to thank all those guests who have helped to provide over 3,000 hours of free education about water and wastewater processes and all those guests who will continue to share their knowledge through this podcast in the future.

Congratulations to everyone who has participated in helping The Water Break Podcast achieve 3,000 downloads!

To view and listen to the 18 podcast episodes, click here, or subscribe to The Water Break Podcast through your favorite podcasting service.

Global Fertilizer Day Is October 13

Join us in celebrating the world’s farmers. They have set themselves the almost impossible task of feeding more and more people while using less land and fewer resources.

In the next 30 years, the world’s population will increase by almost 50%. Add to that the fact that in the last 40 years, the world has lost a third of its arable land due to erosion or pollution, and additional millions of acres of farmland are being lost each year to industrialization and urbanization. Already, an estimated 25,000 people are dying from hunger each day. With little possibility of further expansion of agricultural land, there is pressure to produce more food on the existing arable land by using soil treatment products and fertilizers.

Fertilizer producers continue to stand ready to help farmers be more effective and efficient in food production. Agricultural fertilizers currently account for 50% of global food production. As fertilizers and farming practices improve, the goal of producing more with less is already being realized. Farmers today grow a bushel of corn using 45% less nitrogen and 59% less phosphate than they did in 1980. Yet, yields continue to improve. Between 1948 and 2015, the average U.S. soybean yield doubled from about 21 to 48 bushels per acre, while the average corn yield grew much more, from 43 to 168 bushels per acre.

Bio Huma Netics—through its fertilizer brands of Huma Gro® and Fertilgold® Organics, along with its natural humates from Mesa Verde Humates®—is committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with farmers as they strive to feed the world’s population by growing more with less.

Read more about Global Fertilizer Day at https://www.tfi.org/GlobalFertilizerDay#get-involved.

Humic Acid Biostimulant Research by BHN Humic R&D Lab Scientists Published in Int’l Agronomic Journal

In its May 2021 issue, Frontiers in Plant Science published a research article by BHN Humic R&D Lab scientists Dr. Hiarhi Monda, Ryan Fountain, and Dr. Richard T. Lamar in collaboration with Dr. Amy McKenna of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Ion Cyclotron Resonance Facility, Tallahassee, Fla.

The research, titled “Bioactivity of Humic Acids Extracted from Shale Ore: Molecular Characterization and Structure-Activity Relationship With Tomato Plant Yield Under Nutritional Stress,” revealed an unprecedented level of molecular characterization made possible by means of ultra-high resolution ion cyclotron mass spectrometry, providing a more comprehensive understanding of individual components of humic substances involved in enhancing plant productivity.

A detailed characterization of chemical composition becomes critical as new government regulations of biostimulant products will require the elucidation of the mode of action in order to supply farmers with effective product claims based on science.

The objective of this study was to investigate in detail the chemical features of humic acids (HAs) extracted from sedimentary ore with the aim of exploring the potential relationship of chemical functions with biostimulant activity and to evaluate the extent to which the priming effect of HAs on tomato plants under nutritional stress was reflected on the yield gains. 

The results of this study proved the biostimulant efficacy of humic acid application that improved nutrient use efficiency and at the same time alleviated the nutritional stress condition. All tomato plants treated with humic acids showed faster adaptation to stress conditions, particularly when nutrient deficiency occurred. Plant growth and tomato yield increased when provided with humic acids under low nutritional doses, and tomato fruit quality was improved under all humic acid treatments.

The increased antioxidants production under humic application has been correlated to the presence of specific molecules in the humic extract. These molecules, such as quinones and flavonoids, can act as both antioxidants and pro-oxidants that can trigger the plant defensive system, ultimately leading to a fast and effective response to nutrient deficiency with a consequent enhancement of plant morphology and productivity.

Among the study’s conclusions are that plant pre-conditioning with humic substances might represent an important determinant in the adaptive plant defense response and an effective strategy to improve nutrients management and plant yield.

The complete open-access article is available at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2021.660224/full.

Video: Earth Day, 2021

Over 50 years ago, on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to protest environmental destruction and to celebrate the wonders of Planet Earth. The basic message was that we had to find new ways to live our lives, raise our food, and conduct our businesses that were environmentally friendly and sustainable—that would not waste resources or pollute the air, the water, or the soil. [Read more…]

Interview with The Fertilizer Institute’s CEO, Corey Rosenbusch

In this (socially distanced) wide-ranging video interview at BHN headquarters, BHN President & CEO Lyndon Smith and The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI’s) President & CEO Corey Rosenbusch discuss TFI’s mission and vision, TFI member benefits, and challenges facing the fertilizer industry. Topics include TFI legislative and regulatory activities, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship initiative, the Responsible Ag program, new activities with the Biostimulant Coalition, the TFI Sustainability Committee, the TFI State of the Fertilizer Industry Report, and upcoming TFI conferences.

More about TFI can be found at www.tfi.org. The TFI 2019 State of the Fertilizer Industry Report can be found at https://www.fertilizerreport.org/. The online home of 4R Nutrient Stewardship is https://nutrientstewardship.org/4rs/.

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