Perlite is an amorphous glass compound that is mined and then popped. Upon heating, the fundamental structure of perlite changes and it dramatically increases in porosity making perlite perfect as a tiny water reservoir. Perlite has been used in potting soil for over 50years for this purpose and is designated organic by the US government.
The goal of our company, On Perlite Inc., is to spread perlite over all agricultural land in the Central Valley in California. Once mixed into the topsoil, because perlite absorbs water, there is less run-off of water during irrigation and less evaporation between irrigation times. Perlite absorbs excess water during irrigation and releases the stored water as the surrounding soil dries out. Less water can be used for irrigation and the frequency of irrigation can be reduced, resulting in at least 15% savings in water usage with the addition of perlite to topsoil. We are incorporating horticulture technology that has been used for over 50 years in home gardens and developing it into the next generation of solutions.