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Abstract

Sapropel deposits are widely distributed around the globe. In the Americas area they are adjacent to the Great Lakes region, in Europe sapropel deposits can be spotted in the territory of Scandinavia, France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and in the northern regions of Ukraine. Use of sapropel as a fertilizer can enhance high and stable yields of crops. However, despite the proven effectiveness of long-term practical researches in this area, nowadays sapropel is almost not used. One of the reasons - lack of developed processing methods of extraction and processing, including dehydration. Material properties as an object of interaction with the working bodies, change of their settings in the processing are crucial in the choice of technologies, development, bringing up to the necessary parameters and subsequent use. Sapropel high humidity (95-98%) is one of the main factor that determines the quality of its properties after the interaction with working bodies. However, in the process of decreasing, in interaction with oxygen, there are significant changes in physical and mechanical properties of sapropel. Decisive in the direction selection process of lake sapropels’ use in the economic sector is their moisture exchange and thermodynamic parameters. The complexity of setting the water apart, if freshly extracted sapropels possess only 15-20% of it, shows their strong water-retaining capacity. The above mentioned phenomenon proves the need for their use as an organic fertilizer during the crops growing, as superficial loss of moisture in the soil creates a new global problem. On the basis of deep analysis of the sapropels’ properties, the authors suggest three areas of freshly extracted lake sapropel application in mixtures with leafy part of the crops: in biogas production with its further use as an organic fertilizer; making a compost mixture of organic origin which physical and mechanical properties are approximate as that of the soil; alternative solid fuels in the form of briquettes.
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