Chemistry boon or bane

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Chemistry boon or bane

Christopher Teh Extraordinary minds discuss ideas We all have heard of the advice that water from washed rice is good for plants. But where's the evidence? They claim watering our household plants with water from our washed rice is effective, as good as or even better than using fertilizers.

But where is the scientific evidence that washed rice water is effective?

Chemistry boon or bane

Surprisingly, there has been no research done on Chemistry boon or bane effectiveness of using water from washed rice specifically on the growth of any plant. Most studies have been about the potential use of washed rice water as a beauty product or about the loss of human nutrients when rice is washed.

Studies such as by Malakar and Banarjee and those reviewed by Julianohave reported that washing rice can cause up to half of the water-soluble vitamins and minerals to be lost from the rice. The exact amount of these nutrient losses would depend on the type of rice, how much water was used in washing of the rice, and how rigorous was the washing done.

But what was lost from the rice is now gained by the water.

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Perhaps these leached nutrients now in the washed rice water could be beneficial to our houseplants. Methodology Water spinach Ipomoea reptansor more widely known as kangkung, was used a test crop. Kangkung was planted in mm Chemistry boon or bane and mm tall polybags, so each polybag had only one plant.

The RIC treatment meant that the kangkung plant in each polybag was watered daily with ml of water from washed rice, whereas the NPK treatment was where 5 g of NPK The CON treatment is the control, where the kangkung plants were only watered daily with ml of tap water per polybag, without any application of fertilizer or washed rice water.

Each treatment had five replications. The RIC and NPK treatments would determine whether washed rice water is as good as or more effective than applying fertilizer in increasing plant growth. The CON treatment is the baseline upon which the kangkung growth in the RIC and NPK treatments will be compared when kangkung is grown without any fertilizer or washed rice water applications.

In this experiment, my student always used the same white rice, and the rice to water ratio was 1.

Chemistry boon or bane

The washing of rice was always maintained in the same way. The experiment continued for five weeks, after which several plant growth parameters leaf number, plant height, fresh and dry plant weight, leaf area, and specific leaf area or leaf thickness and plant nutrient content N, K, Ca, and Mg were measured.

Additionally, soil properties such as pH, K, Ca, and Mg were measured. Unfortunately, due to faulty equipment, plant P, soil N, and soil P content could not be measured.

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Results Statistical analysis revealed that of all the plant growth parameters measured, only the number of leaves and fresh plant weight Fig. Kangkung has a high demand for N and even higher for K nutrient Susila et al.

Consequently, the supply of additional N and K nutrients from either washed rice water or fertilizer would be beneficial to kangkung and result in better plant growth such as producing more leaves and heavier plant biomass, as observed in this study.

This is because Ca and Mg are antagonistic with each other: The consequence of this pH increase is minimal because soil pH in the RIC treatment still remained rather low, below 5.

But perhaps over a longer run with regular additional watering with washed rice water, soil pH could further increase, making more soil nutrients available to the plant as the soil becomes increasingly less acidic over time.

So, what do all of these results mean? Results showed that using water from washed rice is as effective as NPK fertilizer in promoting plant growth, at least in terms of the number of plant leaves produced and the higher plant biomass fresh. The implication from this study means washed rice water can replace NPK fertilizer.

This study adds credence that, rather than discarding the water after we wash our rice, we can recycle or reuse the water by watering our houseplants with it, and this water is generally as effective as applying NPK fertilizer; thus, we save on fertilizer and energy use and money.

But perhaps with a larger sample size, these results would be statistically significant at a higher level or more plant growth parameters would be found to be statistically significant from using washed rice water.

Nonetheless, the belief that higher plant growth can be encouraged by using washed rice water is supported by the findings of higher N and K content in the plant as well as in the soil for K. Washed rice water do supply the essential nutrients of N and K, which are very much needed by the kangkung plant.

With the additional supply of N and K nutrients, it can be expected that kangkung as well as other plants would respond favorably by having increased plant growth and yield. Potential problems of using washed rice water Admittedly, using water from washed rice will always be for domestic, household use.

Using such enriched water for large-scale or commercial farming production systems would be impractical as it would require too much washing of rice! Nonetheless, domestic use of washed rice water, as stated earlier, is a good way to recycle water in the household rather than just discarding it down the drain.

Reusing water from washed rice can be a part of household campaign to save energy and water and to reduce wastages. Leaving the water out in the open would encourage fermentation and create unwanted sour-like smell, though it would interesting to compare between fermented and unfermented rice water on our houseplants.

The third potential problem is whether prolonged use of washed rice water on our plants would encourage the incidence and spread of pests like rodents and diseases.Molecular Model Kit with Molecule Modeling Software and User Guide - Organic, Inorganic Chemistry Set for Building Molecules - Dalton Labs Pcs Advanced Chem Biochemistry Student Edition.

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