Lake blue clay – sapropel – flax shive briquettes for water absorption and desorption
Rezekne Academy of Technologies, Faculty of Engineering, Atbrīvošanas aleja 115/K-4, LV-4601 Rēzekne, Latvia
Latvian lakes are rich in sapropel sediments and below the sapropel layer there is another valuable natural resource, namely blue clay. Flax shives are formed in large quantities as a waste in flax processing factories. The problem involves processing and rational use of these resources. The paper studies the obtaining of briquettes from flax shives using sapropel and lake clay as a binding material. Briquettes are intended for use in cases when problems with regular plant watering occur. For example, provision of plants with water in greenhouses, indoor spaces for a long period of time without human presence. Briquettes are placed into the soil next to the plant roots. Briquettes are initially moistened and absorb a significant amount of water (moisture content to be expressed in comparison to the sample’s dry weight 250–380%). The presence of clay in them contributes to slow drying of briquettes and provides a long lasting supply of moisture to the plant roots. The paper deals with the issues of the optimal composition of components and the amount of pressure for the production of briquettes, as well as water absorption and desorption properties of briquettes. The aim of the study is to develop a production method of clay – sapropel – flax shive briquettes with good water absorption and desorption properties.