East Zone A*Star Science Fair 2010 Investigation of Natural against Chemical fertilizer in stimulating green bean plant growth Done By: Fabian, Fithri, RuiQi, ChoonChia Pasir Ris Secondary School
Introduction Our experiment is to find out what type of substance, either artificial or natural, is able to promote the growth of green bean plants. The purpose of our project is to find out whether, generally, artificial or natural substances are better in promoting green bean plant growth. If the results show that the natural substances are generally more effective in promoting green bean plant growth, than we might be saving the Earth as the natural substances are waste that we don't use. The natural substances are bread crust, carrot pulp, raw egg shells and dried leaves. Also, we are trying to find which type of substance is the best in promoting green bean plant growth. 5 Experiments is being carried out. The average initial, Final and the difference of the two is taken as the result of the overall experiment. This minimize experimental errors and ensure accuracy of the results.Germination is given two days, Experiment will also be left for two days and then the checking of results Experiments dates are: Germination on 04/06/10 and start on 07/06/10 and results checking on 09/06/10 Germination on 11/06/10 and start on 14/06/10 and results checking on 16/06/10 Germination on 11/06/10 and start on 14/06/10 and results checking on 16/06/10 Germination on 21/06/10 and start on 23/06/10 and results checking on 25/06/10 Germination on 21/06/10 and start on23/06/10 and results checking on 25/06/10
Research Info of green bean (mung beans) plants and its uses The mungbean, Vignaradiata (L.) Wilczek has been grown in India since ancient times. It is still widely grown in southeast Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. It was apparently grown in the United States as early as 1835 as the Chickasaw pea. It is also referred to as green gram, golden gram and chop suey bean. Mungbeans are grown widely for use as a human food (as dry beans or fresh sprouts), but can be used as a green manure crop and as forage for livestock. Virtually all the domestic production of mungbean is in Oklahoma. Fifteen to twenty million pounds of mungbean are consumed annually in the United States and nearly 75 percent of this is imported. Mungbean seeds are sprouted for fresh use or canned for shipment to restaurants. Sprouts are high in protein (21%–28%), calcium, phosphorus and certain vitamins. Because they are easily digested they replace scarce animal protein in human diets in tropical areas of the world. Because of their major use as sprouts, a high quality seed with excellent germination is required. The food industry likes to obtain about 9 or 10 grams of fresh sprouts for each gram of seed. Larger seed with a glassy, green color seems to be preferred. If the mungbean seed does not meet sprouting standards it can be used as a livestock food with about 1.5 ton of mungbean being equivalent to 1.0 tons of soybean meal for protein content. Feeding trials have been conducted at Oklahoma State University for swine and young calves with good results.
Research Our hypothesis We believe that natural fertilizers stimulate growth better than chemical fertilizers. Research has shown that in the best organic fertilizers, everything is in correct proportions to feed and sustain the next generation of life.In order for a plant to be properly fed, whether with chemical or natural fertilizer, the microbial life in the soil must first process the fertilizer into a substance and release it in the correct amounts that are perfect for a plant to absorb. In order for the microbes to perform this service, they must have energy. Microbes are not in the presence of sunlight, nor do they have chlorophyll like higher plants, so the microbes must get their energy from decaying plant or animal matter in the soil. Organic fertilizers contain the energy and the many other things that continually build soil fertility, crumb structure, increased water holding capacity, food for all the beneficial soil life, condition the soil that cause a plant to grow healthy and perfect. How would this experiment benefit man kind? Man-made fertilizers are made from materials (natural gas, fossil fuels etc) that are limited, and over producing these synthetic fertilizers may cause these materials to be depleted faster. So with alternatives such as carrot pulp or chemicals, we are able to reduce the usage of synthetic fertilizers. Then these materials can be further conserved for future needs.
Research Reasons for using natural and chemical fertilizers for experiment We wanted to experiment with natural and chemical fertilizers to see the effectiveness of each of the fertilizers on the green bean plant or also known as the mung bean. Even though the natural fertilizer is more cost effective and it can be prepared naturally from decaying matter, we wanted to see which was more effective in stimulating the growth of plants from this experiment. Aim of the project for industry and environment If the fertilizers show that it stimulates growth of mung beans, industries can replace meat content in certain products with it since it is high in protein. It is easily digested, industries can use to replace meat content in for the elderly or vegetarians. Mung beans can be used to feed livestock such as swine and young calves, to see the same quality in the meat. This way, green pastures used for grazing can be replaced by mung beans and thus, preserving the limited amount of land to reduce pollution.
Procedures Germination Stage: Put a piece of cotton wool onto a tray Wet the cotton wool in the tray and make sure there are excess water left on the tray Pour some green bean seeds onto the cotton wool and make sure the seeds are dispersed so that they will not compete for sunlight and affects the results Leave near the window panel in the bio-lab and leave it for 2 days and must be watered daily Experiment Stage: Measure 100.0 g of soil and place it in a plastic cup Wash the burette thoroughly with tap water 2 times Wash the burette again with distilled water 1 time Pour some Potassium Bromide (KBr(aq)) into a 100ml beaker Pour the Potassium Bromide (KBr(aq)) from the beaker into the burette by connecting a filter funnel and allow it to flow out of the burette into a beaker and empty the beaker Pour some Potassium Bromide (KBr(aq)) again into another beaker Pour the Potassium Bromide (KBr(aq)) from the beaker into the burette by connecting a filter funnel Allow some Potassium Bromide (KBr(aq)) to flow out to the sink Measure 10.00ml of Potassium Bromide (KBr(aq)) by taking the initial reading minus off the final reading Pour the 10.00ml of Potassium Bromide (KBr(aq)) into the cup of 100.0g of soil Uproot 2 germinated seedlings and place it into the cup of 100.0g of soil Repeat step 2 to step 10 to measure 20.00ml of distilled water Pour the 20.00ml of distilled water into the cup of 100.0g of soil to water the plant Label using scotch tape on the cup Leave it in the bio-lab for 2 days near the window panels and then check results Repeat step 1 to step 15 for the rest of the substance
Changes made from the original project We changed the balsam plant to a green bean plant because of certain reasons. Firstly, there are many kinds of balsam plants and it is difficult for us to find a balsam plant in Singapore. In contrast, the green bean plant is cheaper and much more readily available. Secondly, the balsam plant requires around 9 days to germinate whereas the green bean plant only needs around 4-5 days to germinate. So, the shorter germination period helps us save time because of time constraint. We also changed the some of the chemicals. Firstly, we took out lemon juice, vinegar, citrus acid, clove oil, hydrochloric acid, lime water, calcium hydroxide, concentrated sulfuric acid, magnesium hydroxide, iron hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide as they either not available or are very acidic, which we knew, from past experience and research, that some of the above mentioned chemicals, namely lemon juice, vinegar, clove oil and others, are not going to promote plant growth of the green bean plants. We changed to chemical which are all salts like Magnesium sulfate, Iron (III) Nitrate and etc. This allows us to save time by not doing expected results while we can get new sets of results and benefits of these salts to the earth. We also included in some natural fertilizers that we reckon is able to promote growth of green bean plants. The natural fertilizers are as follows: bread crust, raw egg shells, dried leaves, carrot pulp and, instead of lemon juice, lemon peel. The underlying reason for using these natural fertilizer instead is for the sake of being environmentally-friendly. The reason why this shows we are trying to be environmentally-friendly by using these materials is because the mentioned substances are generally waste that people throw. For instance, the egg shells that is being thrown after cracking it to fry it or when a person throws away the lemon peel so as to squeeze out the juice. It gives us new results and more choice to choose from if any of them would turn out to be a good stimulator of green bean plant.
Picture Results Substance Before After Substance Before After Raw Egg Shells Potassium Bromide(0.2M) Sodium Chloride(0.2M) Carrot Pulp Sodium Sulfate(0.2M) Lemon Peel Sodium Nitrate(0.2M) Bread Crust Iron (III) Nitrate(0.2M) Chemical Fertilizer Magnesium Sulfate(0.1M) Distilled Water Dried Leaves
Discussions Possible source of errors: The amount of fertilizer of 1.0g may not be enough to see the effect of artificial chemical on the green bean plant The two days to leave the set-up may not be enough to see the long term effect The sunlight distribution on different days on the same spot may be different thus will affect the growth rate as rain distribution of Singapore in the month of june fluctuates Some of the roots may be broken when retrieving to check result The dried leaves may not be decompose enough to see its effect There may be chemical left on the beaker thus 10.00ml may be left to 9.85ml or any other amount Changes that should be made but not done: For good bean plant growth, preparing the soil is very important. As beans growwell in rich well drained soil, we should add compost to the soil. Also, we should place the seeds at a distance of 3 cm in neat rows which are 3 inches apart. This is because since we live in a region with considerably high humidity, then it is better to have longer distance between the plants so that there is proper air circulation. For proper bean growth, leaving enough room between the rows is of utmost importance as they can grow without being overcrowded.we should also leave them near sunlit areas as they require quite a good amount of sunlight for proper bean plant growth. After we are done planting the seeds, we should water the beans everyday until we see the seedlings developing. We should have wait for a week to wait for it to grow. At this point, we will then start measuring the mass and length of the plants. After that, we will start inserting in the fertilizers and chemicals. The amount should be increased from 1g to 20g and 10ml to 20ml (...since 1g = 1ml). Also, the amount of distilled water that will be given to each of the plants should be increased from 20ml to 30ml on the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th day when the seedling is growing.
Discussions What and why is the control set-up for in the experiment? The control for the experiment was a mung bean plant which was not administered with any type of fertilizers and was watered with distilled water. The control was set-up so that the growth of a normal plant could be compared with the results of the mung bean plants administered with fertilizers. If the plant administered with fertilizers did grow better than a plant without any fertilizers, it shows that the organic fertilizer does what its suppose to: stimulate growth in plants instead of killing it.
Conclusion Further investigation Investigation of different pHs of the soil that helps to promote green bean plant growth: The alkalinity or acidity of the soil affects the growth rate of plants. So, we are trying to find which pH is most suitable for the balsam plant to grow in. The relationship between this experiment and our experiment is that some of our chemical or natural fertilizers contain different pH levels, which affects the growth rate of the plants. Usefulness and application of the results from this experiment If our hypothesis is proven true, natural fertilizers can be used as a cheap, effective and yet eco-friendly alternative. Since natural fertilizers are bio-degradable, it will not caused pollution even if leeching occurs. Since natural fertilizers are cheap and some are even found from sources which are free, it can reduce vegetables prices in the market and yet still produce the same quality of vegetables as the ones cultivated with chemical fertilizers.
Conclusion What they contain that help stimulate growth? Magnesium sulfate
Helps plants absorb phosphorus (which contributes to plant growth, flowering and disease resistance) and Increases a plants' ability to synthesize food by helping plants absorb and use important elements. .
is an excellent source of sulfur (which is important in metabolic reactions), increasing the plants’ resistance to disease, drought and insect and dissolves fast in water
Magnesium helps form chlorophyll in plants and is essential for photosynthesis while Sulfur helps activate many plant proteins and enzymes needed for growth. It helps plants resist the cold, assists in root production and seed growth
Contains phosphorus and Vitamin A
Conclusion How the results can be applied worldwide If indeed our experiment shows that natural fertilizers is more effective in stimulating the growth of the mung bean plant, it can be advantageous to the world and stop pollution. For example, organic fertilizer creates an environment that encourages beneficial soil organisms such as earthworms. Another advantage is that organic fertilizers take longer to breakdown and release nutrients. This creates a slow-release situation that provides nutrients over a longer period of time and can also help in reducing the loss of nutrients to leeching. A third advantage to organic materials is found in free and inexpensive sources. Cultivators and industrial farmers will also be able to reduce the amount of chemical fertilizer used and hence this reduces pollution. Chemical fertilizers contain nutrients that have been broken down already into the most basic of its components for easy absorption by the plants. Yet, it can also be washed away easily when watering or irrigating the plants. This is called leeching. Leeching happens very often when watering plants. Hence, a lot of the fertilizer goes to waste. Nitrogen is one of the elements that easily get washed away since it usually settles below the roots of the plants quickly. This is called leeching, and it happens very often.
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