Sunday, August 26, 2012

WHAT IS COCOAPEAT?

What is Coco Peat ?
Cocopeat is a natural fibre made out of coconut husks. This product widely used in agriculture as planting media and many other purposes. First time I hear about cocopeat during my visits to an oil palm nursery in Kluang, Johor way back in 1981.  The extraction of the coconut fibre from husks gives us this by-product called cocopeat. Cocopeat is a 100% natural growing medium. This cocopeat dried in the natural sun, are processed to produce different items namely cocopeat block, cocopeat briquettes, cocopeat tablets etc. This makes an excellent growing medium for hydrophonics or container plant growing. Clean coir has natural rooting hormones and anti-fungal properties. This article I would like to share my knowledge abou Cocopeat ant the procrsses to make cocopeat from coconut husks.


Benefits of the Coir (Cocopeat) as a growing media
Cocopeat is an organic material and its production is part of the many uses of the coconut. When using Cocopeat for hydroponic growing as a result that the environment is not harmed. Cocopeat is an excellent substrate for root development and therefore transplanting can be made directly into the Cocopeat with no need for any further treatment or agent. Unlike other soilless cultures, Cocopeat ability to holds high air capacity even when completely saturated. The drying duration of Cocopeat is slower than many hydroponics mediums (not including Crush coir- cocopeat material), even though Cocopeat holds more air when completely saturated. With time the Cocopeat develops a high buffer capacity that will enable the plants to overcome a short time deficiency of fertilizers and water. The ability to choose a different fraction or mixture of cocopeat enables the grower to choose the most suitable growing media that will give the best results in a given climate. Cocopeat in Malaysia are domestically produce and imported the bests quality from neighbouring country fo commercial use. 

Quality
To ensure the quality of cocopeat during the processing line, a team of controllers work with common procedures at the production sites. They must checks are made throughout the manufacturing process right up to dispatch. To ensure production homogeneity mosts site in Malaysia has a laboratory that carries out regular tests throughout the production process. The existing policy is to produce CocoPeat as per customer specification. The making of cocopeat to deliver agreed quality and quantity to the regular customers on time. Most cocopeat producers commit able to themselves to implement the Quality Management System and to continually seek improvements in the system's operation. Below is the lab analysis of the local cocopeat:



Analysis

pH   
:
5.5 - 6.5
Electrical conductivity ┬ÁS/cm
:
250-500
Lignin (w/w dry basis %)
:
65 - 70
Air filled porosity (v/v%)
:
10 - 12
Cationic Exchange capacity (m.eq/100 g)
:
60 - 130
Water holding capacity (of dry weight)
:
7 - 8 times
Total organic matter (w/w dry basis %)
:
94 - 98
Organic carbon (w/w basis %) 
:
45 - 50
Total pore space (v/v %)
:
94 - 96
Ash (dry basis %) 
:
3 - 6
Carbon Nitrogen Ratio 
:
80 :1
Cellulose (w/w dry basis %) 
:
20 - 30
Appearance 
:
Earthen,Granular with  Short fibres
Colour 
:
Light to dark brown



Process of Cocopeat 
Most cocopeat products are based on the same thing: coconut husks. By using a variety of processing methods, the production of local cocopeat consists from three materials: (1) Coco peat, (2) Coco chips and (3) Coco fibre. Coco peat process started which once the husks have been received in the production plants they are stored centrally for at least six weeks, after which further processing can begin. The husks are beaten or decorticated to remove the fibres, which leaves the process with cocopeat. The coco peat is transported to the storage bunkers immediately after the fibres have been removed. There it is stored and so begins the ageing process in which the coco peat is stabilised. This process takes at least four months. Once it is over, the activity is to sieve the cocopeat to remove the last remaining fibres. The coco peat is then dried and taken to the pressing shop, where it is compressed into 5kg blocks and briquettes. After this, the products are shipped in sea containers.

Washing
Raw material is washed properly with clean water and EC is checked at every level of washing. Even level of washing on the raw material is another important factor which is kept in mind during the process.  Washed material is sent for drying only after it confirms with all the required parameters set by the Quality Control Department. It is at this step that extreme care is taken to ensure that the quality is as per expectation.


Drying
The washed material is spread for drying in the cement yards or using mechanized diesel dryer. Moisture is tested at this stage to ensure it is below the required level and that the material will be suitable for compression after screening. 

Compaction
The peat is compressed for bailing. This is accomplished by 5 kg block making machine and 650 gram briquette making machine. The product is frequently checked for buyer packing expectation. Packing The final product is packed as per customer's specifications as laid down in the order. While loading pallets, all precautionary measures are taken in consideration of container's tough and long journey in the seawater.

By,
M Anem
Batu Pahat, Johor,
Malaysia
(27 August 2012)
 

1 comment:

  1. This blog is nice.Metal Cans, Metal Closures & Steel Drums, and also complete packaging lines for powder, liquid & paste in rigid containers of Plant and Machinery are manufactured in Recon Machine Tools Pvt Ltd. Can Making Machinery.

    ReplyDelete