Thanks to its incomparable properties, peat moss is used in agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Peat is used mainly in horticulture as a growing medium.
Peat stimulates plant growth by improving seepage and root development, increasing soil buffering and preventing the leaching of nutrients. Peat’s ability to loosen clay soils and increase water infiltration makes it a choice ingredient in potting soils, many of which are peat-based.
However, peat is a versatile material whose applications extend to other industries. For example, its absorbent properties make it an effective environmental protection tool. Peat also has a wide variety of therapeutic and medicinal applications, and can even be used as bedding or as a construction material!
Peat can be used as an absorbent to clean up hydrocarbon spills both on land and at sea. By undergoing a thermal shock, peat can be made water-repellent (the procedure gives peat the ability to repel water while still absorbing hydrocarbons). Peat’s water-repellent property allows it to hold off water for 48 hours.
Peat can therefore be useful in gas stations, for road transport applications and in fire departments. Product developed in Quebec: Natursorb
Agroenvironemental technology is an emerging sector of activity in Quebec which, combined with peat soil development, generates opportunities in a wide variety of fields such as biofiltration, composting, agriculture and specialized horticulture (ex: mycorrhizal fungi).
Transport, product processing and the restoration of peatland are areas where the most advanced technological developments are put to use.
Biological air cleaning processes, and biofiltration in particular, are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency, environmental sustainability and low cost. Biofiltration consists in using the microorganisms present on filtering media such as peat to transform the molecules that cause odours and release gaseous pollutants (NH3, H2S, CH4, etc.). This type of biofilter can be used in composting sites, agricultural processing plants, etc.
Peat can also be used for body care. For example, for those with seafood allergies, peat is a good substitute for seaweed wraps.
Since peat mud has a high thermal capacity, it is ideal for massage therapy: it promotes relaxation and stimulates the bloodstream. In addition, the cutaneous application of peat mud, either in wraps or poultices, is highly indicated for local therapy. The application time is about 15 minutes, and beneficial warmth will be felt after the treatment. Peat mud compresses are a powerful therapy when compared with other local application therapies (clay and algae).
In addition to their well-known physical benefits (including their effect on temperature), peat mud applications have proven biochemical and pharmacological properties. Humic substances can stimulate spontaneous muscle contraction and induce vasodilatation. By stimulating the bloodstream, peat mud has clear medical benefits for the treatment of certain conditions.
Also worthy of note is the fact that peat mud wraps and poultices provide the benefits of trace minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, polyphenols, lipids and humic acid.
Sphagnum peat moss also has unique properties that make it an effective biofilter in wastewater treatment systems, such as those developed by Premier Tech Aqua Premier Tech Aqua.Since sphagnum peat moss is a stable and very porous fibrous material, it can filter and retain the effluent that percolates through it. It also accelerates the biodegradation of wastewater residues that come into contact with the microorganisms of the biofilter.
Treating wastewater with peat is an eco-friendly solution to a problem that could potentially be harmful to the environment.