loading

The pH of soil is incredibly important. It determines which nutrients are available and which types of plants can grow there. Soil acidification is a naturally occurring process. However, it is harmful when it happens too quickly. Soil acidification is bad for plants because the pH is too high and can cause them to die. Some of the causes of soil acidification include acid rain and ammonium-based fertilizers, to name a few. Due to an increase in the CO2 in the atmosphere, acid rain is acidifying soil and killing plants needed to feed the human race. Acid rain is becoming more prevalent in densely populated areas. Ammonium-based fertilizers are useful only when the plant takes in the nitrogen provided. If the nitrogen is "leached" from the plant, however, the acidity of the soil increases, as shown by the diagram above. To solve this, use a sensor to determine the pH of the soil. In this case, we are using a color sensor and hydrangeas due to the absence of an economical, programmable pH sensor. The hydrangeas change color based on the pH of the soil. If the flowers are blue, the soil is acidic and the BASIC stamp will turn on a pump and pump lime (a base) through tubes onto the soil. Currently, there are other methods to solve this problem, such as using a pH sensor and liming the soil. Only thing to improve current methods is perhaps by method of dispersal, to be more efficient. This project will help save crops and feed the human race.

Step 1: Materials

  • Lime
  • Soil
  • BASIC Stamp
  • Wires
  • Containers
  • Pipes
  • Pump
  • Resistors
  • Color sensor
  • Hydrangeas (for the purpose of testing the device, colored cards will be used)
  • PowerSwitch Tail II

Step 2: Sample Circuit Diagram

Step 3: Sample Code

' {$STAMP BS2}

' {$PBASIC 2.0} Out CON 7

S3 CON 0

S2 CON 1

LED CON 5

pRED CON 15

pGREEN CON 12

pBLUE CON 9

RED VAR Word

GREEN VAR Word

BLUE VAR Word

Start: HIGH LED

MainLp:

GOSUB Color DEBUG "R", DEC3 RED DEBUG " G", DEC3 GREEN DEBUG " B", DEC3 BLUE DEBUG CR GOTO MainLp Color:

LOW S2 LOW S3 COUNT Out, pRED, RED HIGH S3 COUNT Out, pBLUE, BLUE HIGH S2 COUNT Out, pGREEN, GREEN

RETURN

IF Red = 200 TO 260, Green = 100 TO 200, Blue = 100 TO 200 THEN LOW 1

IF Red = 0, Green = 0, Blue = 100 TO 260 THEN HIGH 1

IF Red = 160 TO 80, Green = 20 TO 50, Blue = 130 TO 260 THEN LOW 1

Step 4: Setup

  1. Collect materials.
  2. Lay down dirt evenly in container.
  3. Connect color sensor and pump to the BASIC Stamp following the circuit diagram.
  4. Puncture holes on side of watertight box, large and plentiful enough for the wires connected to the color sensor and pump.
  5. Place machine in a watertight box, leaving the color sensor and pump outside of the box.
  6. Secure the color sensor on the edge of the container full of dirt.
  7. Puncture holes on pipe that will go down the middle of the container full of dirt.
  8. Connect the pipes and place them around the edge of the dirt-filled container.
  9. Fill reservoir with watered-down lime.
  10. Connect pump to pipes and reservoir.

Step 5: Testing

  1. Make sure all components are correctly connected.
  2. Turn on power.
  3. Place colored stick in front of color sensor briefly.
  4. If stick is blue, the pump should not turn on. If stick is pink, the pump should turn on.
  5. Repeat for multiple, different colored sticks.

Step 6: Sample Results

No sample results available as crucial piece was missing.

Step 7: References

"Demographics." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 4 Apr. 2013. Web. 18 May 2015.

Gazey, Chris, and Liam Ryan. "Causes of Soil Acidity." Department of Agriculture and Food. 9 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 May 2015.

"Soil Acidity and Liming." College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. University of Hawaii. Web. 27 May 2015.

"Understanding and Correcting Soil Acidity." The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. 1999. Web. 18 May 2015.

Wortmann, Charles, Martha Mamo, and Charles Shapiro. "Management Strategies to Reduce the Rate of Soil Acidification." University of Nebraska, 1 Feb. 2003. Web. 18 May 2015.

<p>This looks very interesting!</p><p>Some additional photos of the system and testing process would really help show how this all goes together.</p>

About This Instructable

447views

2favorites

More by jenricano:A Solution to Soil Acidification 
Add instructable to: