Sunday, March 1, 2015

What are Real Humic Acids? sub-title: What are Supramolecular Humic Molecules?

They aren’t just dead decaying organic stuff.  

Humic molecules of soil, often called Humic Acids, are self-assembling structures resulting in bigger structures.  Self-assembly is all about individual parts coming together on their own to build precise things.  The final shape of the bigger structure is called a Supramolecular substance which Nature has programmed to be completely repeatable.  The material science of Supramolecular chemistry is based upon a response to Thermal Energy that’s part of the molecular characteristic of each molecule involved.  The molecules themselves are a ‘Anabolic’ (to build) product of soil chemistry, which is the opposite of composting and soil organic matter which are products of a  ‘Catabolic’ (breaking down) process. 

When dealing with the world of Soil Ecology and the Mechanism of Action provided to soils and the living systems of soil by the Supramolecular Humic Molecules, the series of words Supramolecular Self-Assembly sounds very complicated, but it represents is fairly simple concept.  Nature is a force of constant change and movement, where the wind blows, water flows, oceans have tides and molecules move.   When some molecules get larger they have the ability to stick to themselves allowing them to form larger assemblies of molecules that are not bonded to each other but do stick to one another.   Unlike the pieces of a puzzle that are also not stuck to one another, you must manipulate the pieces to put the puzzle together.  Not so with Supramolecular molecules, which will self-assembly without an outside influence, programmed by Nature.   The pieces of a puzzle, or the bricks of a house must be manipulated to put into place, but molecules with enough ‘Thermal Energy’ can move and be sticky enough that they will stick together forming larger and larger structures.    As the molecules get larger and larger, the force that allows them to stick together also gets larger and larger.  The larger the mass of the Supramolecular Humic structure the more powerful and effective it is in doing amazing things in the soil.  This is why the concept of a Fulvic acid molecule is flawed, as that substance is supposed to be a very small molecule!  Like building a house, if the bricks could move and stick together, then the house could spontaneously self-assemble.  If we could make bricks by controlling where to put  ‘Force Constants’  the bricks could self-assemble into functional structures, which is the notion of Supramolecular large molecules that self assembled spontaneously.    However just like the pieces of the puzzle or the individual bricks, the molecules of Humics must first be manufactured, either by Nature’s soil ecology or by Soil Secrets LLC.  This happens well enough in a healthy soil ecology, but in disturbed soil or fields of agriculture the precursor chemicals needed to build these molecules are most likely not available.  This is why fortifying the soil with them can provide huge benefits!   

When dealing with Soil Ecology, Agriculture and Horticulture, we are dealing with living systems that Nature has perfected with trial and error over the eons of time.  Living systems are the prototypical example of Supramolecular assemblies where individual cells will self-assemble.  When they divide they will self-assemble.  Encoded on the genome is the information that allows the cells to spontaneously assemble into functional entities.  So learning the rules of self-assembly is what science clings to, in defending and explaining evolution.   Through trial and error different molecular structures formed,  some which gave function and some which did not.   In the case of Humic molecules, if the individual molecules or the resulting larger Supramolecular Humic Substance failed to have function it would have no Mechanism of Action (benefit) to our soil’s ecology.   It’s not a perfect flawless system as there are often mistakes made where the larger self-assembled structures have either no function or in the case of biology may result in a disease caused by a miss-folded event.   

I’ve taken the time to explain the amazing science behind the bio-identical humic molecules of TerraPro, to help all of us appreciate what they are.  It explains the phenomena behind the dramatic reduction in soil compaction measured by Don DeBoer of Mid Valley Agriculture Services on a pistachio orchard in California (see our blog story: where penetrating 3 feet deep with a probe calibrated to measure the psi of the soil a reduction in psi was seen dropping from 300 to 75 in half a year.  At a psi of 300 the probe could only penetrate 1 inch but after treating the fields with 600 pounds of TerraPro per acre and waiting half a year the psi dropped to an average of 75 and the probe could penetrate 3 feet with only 75 pounds of applied pressure.  This exemplifies the power of Supramolecular Humic Molecules as I can’t think of anything else that can make that big of an impact on over 12 million pounds of earth using only 600 pounds of technical material.    Think of all the water savings that could be had on urban landscapes across the Western States  if water and oxygen could penetrate the soil 3 feet deep.  Imagine the impact on irrigated agriculture globally if the soil’s porosity could absorb water and manage its use slowly.  This is the potential of TerraPro’s supramolecular chemistry.

Michael Martin Meléndrez
Managing Member of Soil Secrets LLC
Albuquerque's Soil Conditioner Source
505 550-3246

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