The initial step is to identify degraded areas to apply the biomatrix. Satellite as well as geospatial data is analyzed to reveal only areas which meet the biological mix's requirements. Climatological and geophysical variables, as well as exclusions factors are considered, to classify the suitable areas and to maximize the success of the treatment. Not only are the most suitable areas identified, but also the type of treatment and the best time window to apply it. Therefore, climatological patterns are examined and to detect when irrigation of the treated areas is necessary.
The second step is to analyze physico-chemical and biological soil parameters to characterize the target area. The water retention capacity (pF), soil particle size distributions (soil texture) and porosity, pH values, cation exchange capacity (CEC), nitrogen contents and soil organic carbon (SOC) content are examples of physico-chemical parameters that describe the degradation status and thus susceptibility to erosion and the status of available soil nutrients for plant growth.
Furthermore, the analysis of biological parameters on the genomic level helps to identify endemic species and consortia that are naturally present in the target area.
The values provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of the soils and serve as a starting point for the customization of the biomass mix.
The third step is the local production of the unique biomass mix in scalable, energy- and cost-efficient raceway pond cultures. The biocrust mix is free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), pathogens and toxins which is monitored throughout the cultivation process. The prior analysis allows to adapt the crust formers to the local conditions on site and leads to faster colonization of degraded soils. Power for cultivation is emission-free generated in-situ by photovoltaic and/or wind energy. During cultivation, CO2 is captured from the atmosphere, thus generating a carbon sink already during production.
In a fourth step the soil is treated with the final formulated mix. A dedicated layering is done to ensure optimal colonization and growth of the cultures. The formulation of the matrix supports high resistance against desiccation and facilitates crust formation within considerable time.
As a final step, the success of the treatment can be monitored using earth observation data, where specific spectral signatures unique to the developed soil crusts are observed. The spectral profiles of the biomatrix in the visible near-infrared and shortwave infrared are acquired through spectrometer readings. Additionally, the vegetation success of the treated areas will be monitored over time.
Selected key success parameters are analyzed which indicate the stage of transformation from the initial condition of the soils. These include but are not limited to the water retention capacity, mechanical stability, nitrogen content and C/N ratio, SOC and others. Aside from this, crust communities are characterized on the genomic level to monitor long-term stability and the sere in ecological development from pioneer to climax community.