- Peat is vegetable
matter which has been partially carbonized due to the way in which it
- Moss is one of the
primary components of peat, although it may also contain other plant
matter such as grasses and shrubs.
- Peat forms in
wetlands or peatlands, variously called bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins,
mires, and peat swamp forests.
- Peatlands are
classified into two categories: bogs and fens.
- Peat material is
either fibric, hemic, or sapric.
- The life cycle of
peat moss is comprised of two distinct generations, the gametophyte and
- At the gametophyte
stage, the plant bears leaves, synthesizes chlorophyll, and is able to
reproduce sexually. The sporophyte generation consists mainly of a
capsule that encloses the spores.
- When peat is
harvested, it is cut out of the bog in long strips which are compressed
- The formation and
localization of peat is a dynamic, continuous process, influenced by a
number of factors, including climate and topography.
- There are a number of
uses for peat, although the two primary uses are as a type of fuel and
as a fertilizer.
- Peat has been used as
a source of fuel for domestic heating for centuries in Ireland. Peat is
used in various forms for heating Irish hearths and hearts.
- Peat can also be used
to make paper, pad livestock beds, or pack products for shipment.
- Peat fires are used
to dry malted barley for use in Scotch whisky distillation.
- Peat is also an
important raw material in horticulture, and it is used in medicine and
balneology to produce filters, textiles etc.
- The prevalent
low-technology method of obtaining peat thickness estimates involves
probing with a rod.
- It is felt that the
use of digital processing techniques and possibly the use of image
analysis techniques as used in the remote sensing analysis of imagery
could be methods whereby the peat radar signals could be enhanced and
analyzed, resulting in stratification information.
- Open planting was
found to be the best technique for rehabilitating highly degraded peat
swamp forests (PSF).
- A Research Group has
developed basic techniques for the restoration of cutover peat fields.
- Restrictions on
mining of peat moss in foreign countries coupled with the growing demand
for a natural substitute to it could pave the way for largescale export
of coir pith from India.
- The world demand for
coir pith is growing at the rate of 15 per cent per annum and over 75
per cent of the supply to the world market is currently emanating from
- According to a
report, out of the 77 coir-pith processing units in the country, 73 are
in Tamil Nadu and hence there is ample scope for setting up of such
processing units in other coir producing States.
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