Skip to main content

What are Real Humic Acids? sub-title: What are Supramolecular Humic Molecules?

They aren’t just dead decaying organic stuff.  

Humic molecules of soil, often called Humic Acids, are self-assembling structures resulting in bigger structures.  Self-assembly is all about individual parts coming together on their own to build precise things.  The final shape of the bigger structure is called a Supramolecular substance which Nature has programmed to be completely repeatable.  The material science of Supramolecular chemistry is based upon a response to Thermal Energy that’s part of the molecular characteristic of each molecule involved.  The molecules themselves are a ‘Anabolic’ (to build) product of soil chemistry, which is the opposite of composting and soil organic matter which are products of a  ‘Catabolic’ (breaking down) process. 

When dealing with the world of Soil Ecology and the Mechanism of Action provided to soils and the living systems of soil by the Supramolecular Humic Molecules, the series of words Supramolecular Self-Assembly sounds very complicated, but it represents is fairly simple concept.  Nature is a force of constant change and movement, where the wind blows, water flows, oceans have tides and molecules move.   When some molecules get larger they have the ability to stick to themselves allowing them to form larger assemblies of molecules that are not bonded to each other but do stick to one another.   Unlike the pieces of a puzzle that are also not stuck to one another, you must manipulate the pieces to put the puzzle together.  Not so with Supramolecular molecules, which will self-assembly without an outside influence, programmed by Nature.   The pieces of a puzzle, or the bricks of a house must be manipulated to put into place, but molecules with enough ‘Thermal Energy’ can move and be sticky enough that they will stick together forming larger and larger structures.    As the molecules get larger and larger, the force that allows them to stick together also gets larger and larger.  The larger the mass of the Supramolecular Humic structure the more powerful and effective it is in doing amazing things in the soil.  This is why the concept of a Fulvic acid molecule is flawed, as that substance is supposed to be a very small molecule!  Like building a house, if the bricks could move and stick together, then the house could spontaneously self-assemble.  If we could make bricks by controlling where to put  ‘Force Constants’  the bricks could self-assemble into functional structures, which is the notion of Supramolecular large molecules that self assembled spontaneously.    However just like the pieces of the puzzle or the individual bricks, the molecules of Humics must first be manufactured, either by Nature’s soil ecology or by Soil Secrets LLC.  This happens well enough in a healthy soil ecology, but in disturbed soil or fields of agriculture the precursor chemicals needed to build these molecules are most likely not available.  This is why fortifying the soil with them can provide huge benefits!   

When dealing with Soil Ecology, Agriculture and Horticulture, we are dealing with living systems that Nature has perfected with trial and error over the eons of time.  Living systems are the prototypical example of Supramolecular assemblies where individual cells will self-assemble.  When they divide they will self-assemble.  Encoded on the genome is the information that allows the cells to spontaneously assemble into functional entities.  So learning the rules of self-assembly is what science clings to, in defending and explaining evolution.   Through trial and error different molecular structures formed,  some which gave function and some which did not.   In the case of Humic molecules, if the individual molecules or the resulting larger Supramolecular Humic Substance failed to have function it would have no Mechanism of Action (benefit) to our soil’s ecology.   It’s not a perfect flawless system as there are often mistakes made where the larger self-assembled structures have either no function or in the case of biology may result in a disease caused by a miss-folded event.   

I’ve taken the time to explain the amazing science behind the bio-identical humic molecules of TerraPro, to help all of us appreciate what they are.  It explains the phenomena behind the dramatic reduction in soil compaction measured by Don DeBoer of Mid Valley Agriculture Services on a pistachio orchard in California (see our blog story: where penetrating 3 feet deep with a probe calibrated to measure the psi of the soil a reduction in psi was seen dropping from 300 to 75 in half a year.  At a psi of 300 the probe could only penetrate 1 inch but after treating the fields with 600 pounds of TerraPro per acre and waiting half a year the psi dropped to an average of 75 and the probe could penetrate 3 feet with only 75 pounds of applied pressure.  This exemplifies the power of Supramolecular Humic Molecules as I can’t think of anything else that can make that big of an impact on over 12 million pounds of earth using only 600 pounds of technical material.    Think of all the water savings that could be had on urban landscapes across the Western States  if water and oxygen could penetrate the soil 3 feet deep.  Imagine the impact on irrigated agriculture globally if the soil’s porosity could absorb water and manage its use slowly.  This is the potential of TerraPro’s supramolecular chemistry.

Michael Martin Meléndrez
Managing Member of Soil Secrets LLC

Albuquerque's Soil Conditioner Source
505 550-3246


Popular posts from this blog

Understanding the Importance of Cation Exchange Capacity

I was recently asked to provide a simplified explanation on the importance of Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) values. My Response:  CEC is the ability of a soil to hold onto plant nutrients.   The finer the particle size the higher CEC value, generally speaking. For example sand particles are course and visible to the naked eye, where as clay particles are fine and are not visible to the naked eye. So clay will have a higher CEC value than sand. It is obvious to most of us that sand cannot hold onto water or nutrients as well as a soil with a finer texture. Therefore, soils rich in Clay and Loam size particles are universally recognized as being better for farming - CEC explains this.  The numerical value for CEC represents how much nutrition can be held by a given amount of soil. For example one pound of a clay loam soil with a CEC value of 20 will hold 4 times as many nutrients as a sandy soil with a CEC value of 5. 20/4 = 5 .  It's all about math, for example Nitrogen in

Growing Pecan Trees in Western Alkaline Soil

It's common to see nutrient and water inhibition compromise the production of pecans in the arid western states, particularly where the soils are high pH, which can tie up nutrients such as zinc, iron, phosphorus and more. Keeping soils moist is also a problem because the regions were we grow pecan are not wet bottomland soils where pecan is native, but are high and dry desert soils where irrigation is essential. If the irrigation water is high in dissolved solids, the problem is made worse. There are many good things Soil Secrets can offer pecan growers that can overcome these obstacles, by improving the moisture management of the soil, improving nutrient solutioning and availability of both the native minerals as well as the purchased minerals, and improving the porosity of the soil so that water and oxygen can penetrate meters deep without the need to subsoil with machinery. How's this done? By using the power of Nature's own bio-chemical called the Carbon Matrix. Starti

Food Nutrient Density and Why our BIOpack is so important

Can you  tell the difference?  The first image shows a field that was not sprayed with your Consortium Soil Probiotic called BIOpack.  The second image field was sprayed.  Look at the difference in color and the overall biomass increase   the treated field.    BIOpack is ATCC Certified (American Type Culture Collection) and  USDA  Biobased Certified.  All 20 species included in the BIOpack are exact species that will perform a known Mode of Action which will provide a specific benefit to the crop you are growing.   For example if your lawn, trees, or crop are not getting enough iron pulled out of the soil to satisfy the needs of the crop or plant, than BIOpack can fix that problem by provided a microbe for that particular nutrient.   Bottomline is that BIOpack will improve the Nutrient Density of any crop you grow as it improves the solutioning of the mineral element in the soil from a normally not water soluble into a water solution so the plant can drink it.   This is important