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Antipolo Immaculate Conception School

SODIUM POLYACRYLATE IN DIAPER GEL AS STAND-IN


ORGANIC FERTILIZER

An Investigatory Project Proposal


Presented to Mr. Rene s. Ferrer

In Partial Fulfilment
Of the Requirements for the
Fourth Grading Period in Science X
Academic Year 2015-2016

STEPHEN JUSTINE S. DELIMA


CRISTINA M. LEGASPINA
CLAIRE F. PEREZ
JAMES EDWARD E. ZERRUDO
2016

ACKNOWLEDEGEMENT
The researchers were indebted to and would like to extend their warmest
and heart-felt gratitude and appreciation to the following individuals who helped
them in making this study successful:
Classmates, for sharing their expertise, invaluable support, and generosity in
helping the researchers pursue this investigative paper.
Mr. Rene Ferrer, for his guidance, encouragement, and for unselfishly sharing
her professional expertise, patience and dedication in giving inputs in turning this paper
into a worthwhile one and to pursue this study.
Family & Friends, for their generous guide to the researchers in creating a very
significant study and patience in the culmination of genuine values and discipline in
making this paper.
Among all, to the Almighty Heavenly God, for providing the researchers the
knowledge, strength, wisdom and clarity which made this study successful.

DEDICATION
To our loving parents, for their patience when we became impossible as we
write this paper, and inspiring us when things seem to reach the point of being
impossible.
Above all, to the Almighty God, for giving us Strength of Mind, Courage and
Perseverance.

To you we give all what we are, and what we will be!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Fly leaf.............................................................................................................................1
Acknowldegement..........................................................................................................2
Dedication.......................................................................................................................3
Table of Contents...........................................................................................................4
Abstract...........................................................................................................................5
Chapter I
Introduction..........................................................................................................6
Background of the study.....................................................................................9
Conceptual Framework of the Study...............................................................10
Research Paradigm...........................................................................................11
Significance of the Study..................................................................................13
Hypotheses of the Study...................................................................................14
Chapter II
Conceptual Literature........................................................................................15
Related Study.....................................................................................................18
Chapter III
Methodology.......................................................................................................23
Chapter IV
Documentation...................................................................................................29
Chapter V
Conclusion and Recommendation...................................................................36
Chapter VI
Bibliography.......................................................................................................38

ABSTRACT
The increasing impacts on the environment due to agricultural practices in the
country have gradually affected the quality of the soil in terms of structure and
biological equilibrium, which has required the development of alternative practices to
minimize and mitigate those impacts, parallel to the improvement on the yield per
cultivated area and economical benefits for producers and farmers. In addition, the
amount of food that society of today require for processing and supply of the industry
has encouraged the creation of new options for agricultural practices, tending to be:
i) less invasive to the environment
ii) cheaper than conventional techniques
iii) able to increase efficiency at low costs
iv) able to obtain better characteristics on harvests and
v) ease of use and implementation with no excessive technical requirements.
As a result, technologies such as bio fertilization have emerged in order to
minimize environmental impacts and take advantage of the resources available in the
field. The main scope of this paper is to assess researches performed with the use of bio
fertilization, mentioning their advantages and limitations, reviewing some results on
efficiency and benefits acquired in recent years and highlighting their potential for
better agricultural practices community-wide.

CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND

Introduction
The growing need for supply of agronomic products for food and consumer goods
processing by the modern society has caused substantial increases in agrarian activities
in recent decades. As a result, the need for implementation of methods that allow,
among other things, to improve the efficiency of crops, mitigate adverse impacts on the
soil, reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, and increase revenues per cultivated area,
have been addressed. For this reason, the implementation of conservative agriculture
(CA) models has been a cornerstone of farming practices globally (Benitez et al 2002;
Morte et al 2003). The CA focuses on reducing adverse impacts on the environment,
increasing crop yields and inputs, and implementing sustainable techniques for
development of agriculture.
Biological fertilization is based on the use of natural inputs including fertilizers,
decaying remains of organic matter, crops excess, domestic sewage, animal manure, and
microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria (Chirinos et al 2006). They are used to
improve fixation of nutrients in the rhizosphere, produce growth stimulants for plants,
improve soil stability, provide biological control, biodegrade substances, recycle
nutrients, promote mycorrhiza symbiosis, and develop bioremediation processes in soils

contaminated with toxic, xenobiotic and recalcitrant substances (Morte et al 2003;


Corpoica 2007; Rivera-Cruz et al 2008; Alvarez et al 2007).
Additionally, the use of bio-fertilizers can improve productivity per area in a
relatively short time, consume smaller amounts of energy, mitigate contamination of
soil and water, increase soil fertility, and promote antagonism and biological control of
phytopathogenic organisms (Chirinos et al 2006; Corpoica 2007; Porcuna et al 2002).
The aforementioned aspects are translated into profitable benefits for farmers as a result
of lower costs associated with the process of fertilization and higher crop yields
(Fundases 2005; Gonzalez et al 2002). In this sense, biologic fertilizers application can
bring benefits from an economic, social, and environmental point of view. However, the
implementation of fertilization techniques requires feasibility studies, monitoring of
environment variables involved in metabolic processes, acquisition of biological inputs,
capital investment, time, and trained personnel (Plaster 2000; Vanegas 2003; Alegre
2000; Fresco 2003). In order to achieve a sustainable agriculture is necessary the
implementation of plans, programs, projects and initiatives directed toward the
minimization of environmental impacts and consequent benefits for farmers and
producers.
As a result of recent investigations performed to effectively assess the
implementation of biological fertilizers under varying conditions, a review on their
benefits and limitations is required to provide a valid background for academics,
farmers and producers to perform future research complementing current work that
deeply assess economical, environmental and social aspects related to the agricultural
expansion worldwide. This paper focuses on the review of current research resulting
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from the use of biological fertilizers in different regions of the world to obtain a
framework that facilitates the development of future investigations in the agricultural
sector and, consequently, promote the reduction of environmental impacts associated to
the permanent use of chemical fertilization. Firstly in this article, an introduction to bio
fertilization techniques is addressed to understand the fundamentals that explain their
functioning. Next in the paper, benefits and limitations of bio fertilizers are mentioned
followed by current researches results from the use of the techniques in various
geographical backgrounds. Finally, conclusions and recommendations complete the
paper.

Background of the Study


Many are of sure cognizance that fertilizers are used for proper and healthy
growth of plants, but are they really healthy? What exactly are fertilizers? Well, a
fertilizer is a substance, be it synthetic or organic, which is added to the soil in order to
increase the supply of essential nutrients that boost the growth of plants and vegetation
in that soil. With the rapid increase in population globally, the demand of food and
agricultural yield has been rising tremendously. This is the reason why statistics show
that almost 40-60% of agricultural crops mainly from lowlands and highly urbanized
areas such as Metro Manila are grown with the use of different types of fertilizers. Not
only this, more than 50% people feed on crops that are grown as a result of using
synthetic fertilizers. On the other hand, there are organic fertilizers that consist of
manures and animal wastes.

Conceptual Framework of the Study

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Research Paradigm
The study intends to get the level of satisfaction while using the diaper gel
polymer as a substitute organic fertilizer purposive for crops and certain fruit-bearing
plants standing mostly on household backyards.
Specifically, it tries to seek answers the following sub-problems:
1. What are the components present in diaper gels being responsible for massive
absorption of nutrients in soil?
2. What is the level of satisfaction of using the diaper gel as stand-in organic fertilizer
in the following variables:
1.1 speedy growth
1.2 plant potency
1.3 yielded crops or fruit
1.4 congeniality to other soil types
1.5 affordability
1.6 hypo-allergenic
1.7 environment-friendly
1.8 economical

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3. What is the Antipolo City Sanitation and Health Services Officers level of
satisfaction on the use of diaper gel polymer as a substitute organic fertilizer.
4. Is there a significant difference between the level of satisfaction of the
consumers, as to City Sanitation and Health Services Office in utilizing stand-in
polymer based organic fertilizer?

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Significance of the Study


The use of organic fertilizer in sustainable gardens and farms will quickly gain its
popularity which is evident in the number of increased acres of organic agriculture,
chiefly in Cordillera Administrative Region and urban Manila as well, having 59 million
in 2015 to nearly 81 million in 2016, especially as their mitigating effects on the
environment are demonstrated through more and more studies. While the use of
synthetics amendments is both dangerous and expensive and might as well be not
considered sustainable.

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Hypotheses of the Study

NULL HYPOTHESIS
There is no significant difference on the level of satisfaction of the
consumers, as to Antipolo City Sanitation and Health Services Office in utilizing standin polymer based organic fertilizer.

ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS
There is a significant difference on the level of satisfaction of the
consumers, as to Antipolo City Sanitation and Health Services Office in utilizing
stand-in polymer based organic fertilizer.

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CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF CONCEPTUAL LITERATURE AND
RELATED STUDY

Conceptual Literature
Mother nature has always taught us to balance out everything, and still continues
to do so. If you eat a lot, your body naturally bloats up and tells you to exercise and come
back to shape. When you exercise too much, your body tells you to slow down and relax.
If there is rain, you also get the Sun, each and everything works fine till a balance is
maintained. And we all know the consequences of imbalance. A classic example for the
same would be the rise in global warming due to various reasons, including
deforestation. Same is the case with fertilizers. The problem is that humans tend to use
too much of fertilizers in the soil because they have to cater to the global demand of
food. As mentioned already, more than half of the total yield production is out of
synthetic or inorganic fertilizers which contains components like nitrogen, potassium,
sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and so on. These chemicals and minerals, although help in
boosting the growth of plants, they also have their drastic side effects in the long run.

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Mentioned below are some key points defining the effects of using fertilizers on the
environment.

Depletes the Quality of the Soil


Though this may sound ironic to you, the fact is that using too much of fertilizers
in the soil can alter the fertility of the soil by increasing the acid levels in the soil. Which
is why it is recommended to get a soil test done at least once in every 3 years so that you
can keep a track whether or not you are using the right amount of fertilizers. The levels
of soil pH varies from 0-14, wherein 0 is considered to be the most acidic and 14 being
the most basic. 7 is considered to be neutral. The ideal soil pH varies from plant to plant
and can be altered by bringing in some changes. Bottom line for using too much of
fertilizers in the soil is that, though it may seem to work currently, there are high
chances that you may not use it for plant yielding in the long run. Alters the Biology of
Water Bodies
When you use too much of fertilizers in the soil, it leads to eutrophication.
Fertilizers contain substances like nitrates and phosphates that are flooded into lakes
and oceans through rains and sewage. These substances prove to become toxic for the
aquatic life, thereby, increasing the excessive growth of algae in the water bodies and
decreasing the levels of oxygen. This leads to a toxic environment and leads to death of
fish and other aquatic fauna and flora. Indirectly, it contributes to an imbalance in the
food chain as the different kinds of fishes in the water bodies tend to be the main food

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source of various birds and animals in the environment. You would be surprised to
know that more than 50% of the lakes in the United States are eutrophic!

Effects on Human Health


The nitrogen and other chemicals present in the fertilizers can also affect the
ground waters and waters that are used for the purpose of drinking. One of the most
common result for this can be the development of blue baby syndrome which occurs in
infants whose incapable enough of standing through sensitive air conditions.

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Related study
With the advent of the so-called Green Revolution in the second half of the 20th
centurywhen farmers began to use technological advances to boost yieldssynthetic
fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides became commonplace around the world not only on
farms, but in backyard gardens and on front lawns as well.
These chemicals, many of which were developed in the lab and are petroleumbased, have allowed farmers and gardeners of every stripe to exercise greater control
over the plants they want to grow by enriching the immediate environment and warding
off pests. But such benefits havent come without environmental costsnamely the
wholesale pollution of most of our streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and even coastal areas,
as these synthetic chemicals run-off into the nearby waterways.
When the excess nutrients from all the fertilizer we use runs off into our
waterways, they cause algae blooms sometimes big enough to make waterways
impassable. When the algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process
that removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic species cant survive in
these so-called dead zones and so they die or move on to greener underwater pastures.

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A related issue is the poisoning of aquatic life. According to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control (CDC), Americans alone churn through 75 million pounds of pesticides
each year to keep the bugs off their peapods and petunias. When those chemicals get
into waterways, fish ingest them and become diseased. Humans who eat diseased fish
can themselves become ill, completing the circle wrought by pollution.
A 2007 study of pollution in rivers around Portland, Oregon found that wild
salmon there are swimming around with dozens of synthetic chemicals in their systems.
Another recent study from Indiana found that a variety of corn genetically engineered to
produce the insecticide Bt is having toxic effects on non-target aquatic insects, including
caddis flies, a major food source for fish and frogs.
The solution, of course, is to go organic, both at home and on the farm. According
to the Organic Trade Association, organic farmers and gardeners use composted manure
and other natural materials, as well as crop rotation, to help improve soil fertility, rather
than synthetic fertilizers that can result in an overabundance of nutrients. As a result,
these practices protect ground water supplies and avoid runoff of chemicals that can
cause dead zones and poisoned aquatic life.
There is now a large variety of organic fertilizer available commercially, as well as
many ways to keep pests at bay without resorting to harsh synthetic chemicals. A wealth
of information on growing greener can be found online: Check out
OrganicGardeningGuru.com and the U.S. Department of Agricultures Alternative
Farming System Information Center, for starters. Those interested in face-to-face advice
should consult with a master gardener at a local nursery that specializes in organic
gardening.
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Chemical Fertilizer vs Organic Fertilizer


Nitrogen fertilizers break down into nitrates upon application. Nitrates are
necessary for the plants growth but an excess will leach into groundwater supplies and
can contaminate sources miles away. Because nitrogen leaches through the soil more
quickly, over-application is abundant. These chemical fertilizers have a hugely negative
effect on plant and aquatic life, as well as human health.
Numerous studies have shown the negative effects chemical fertilizers have on
our environment and health. One study from Stanford University is a great example of
the difference between the use of chemical and organic fertilizers.
According to its findings, soil fertilized with organic fertilizer contained naturally
occurring microbes that turned any excess nitrogen into a benign gas, dinitrogen. These
microbes are found less frequently and were less active in soil fertilized with chemicals.
The more leaching of nitrogen, the greater application is applied, the fewer microbes
and the more poisoning of land and water.
And when comparing chemical fertilizers vs organic fertilizers it's important to
mention one study from the University of California, Berkeley that states sustainable
farming can indeed "feed the world", despite what proponents and manufacturers of

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chemical fertilizers would have us believe. It produces as high harvest rates, using less
inputs and virtually eliminates the pollution or contamination that leads to health and
environmental issues.

Most Sustainable Organic Fertilizer


There are many kinds of organic fertilizer and the options can be overwhelming.
But as mentioned before, organic doesn't always mean sustainable. The best tip to keep
in mind for home gardening is to avoid purchasing your amendments from the store.
Purchasing a garden amendment still contributes to waste, instead of eliminating it.
Alternatively, creating a closed-cycle within your home or community accomplishes two
tasks at once.

Compost: You really can't get enough of this. Made from your own yard and
kitchen scraps, compost creates a fully closed-cycled system within your home. Little is
wasted and its benefits are unsurpassed as both a soil amendment and mulch. Compost
in greater amounts can also be acquired from local farmers or for free from communities
with a composting program.
It contains a lower nitrogen level, so use it in conjunction with the techniques
below. It can be applied as frequently and as thickly as you'd like or feel you need, but
twice a year (spring and fall) and one inch thick is generally preferred. Read more about
home composting here.
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Grass clippings: They decompose quickly and provide the soil with nitrogen
and other nutrients (between 2-5% depending on the season). They also diminish weeds
and act as mulch, conserving water. They can be acquired for free from neighbor's lawns
but avoid clippings from weedless lawns, as they likely contain herbicides that can
damage your soil's microbial activity.
Add approximately a two inch layer of grass clippings in the spring, when the
nitrogen levels are at their highest and slightly more in the fall when levels are lower.
For fertilizing lawns, simply remove the bag from your mower (or use a push mower) to
leave the clippings on the ground.

Manures: High in nitrogen, animal waste from cows, horses, chickens, or pigs
are a great amendment to the soil and give sustainable use to an otherwise smelly byproduct. Trust me when I say many animal owners will be more than happy to have you
shovel out their pens or corrals, making manures readily available and practically free.
Horse manures are used less frequently as they are more likely to contain seeds from
alfalfa or hay, which may sprout and take over your yard. However, I've used them
without issue and since alfalfa can act as a cover crop, it can be beneficial in small
amounts.

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CHAPTER III
METHODDOLOGY

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Procedure

DIAPER GEL
1. For this project youll need one of these disposable diapers. New or gently
used, it doesn't really matter.
2. Now most people know that a diaper can hold quite a bit of liquid, but you
might be surprised to see how much.
3. We tried putting over 4 cups of water in this thing, and you can see that in just
a few seconds, all the fluid is completely absorbed, without a drop left in the
bowl.
4. To see what's inside, let's go ahead and rip it open, and dump the contents
into a bowl.
5. We can see that if we add a bit more water and mix it together, we've got
ourselves an amazing, fiber rich hydrogel.
6. We tried packing some of this stuff into an airtight bag and freezing it
overnight, to make an improvised ice pack that won't leak.

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HYDRO SOIL
1. Now, we used food coloring to change the color of the gels, but when working
with plants it's best to leave it clear. This way, the plants won't turn funny colors
as they grow.
2. One adult sized diaper makes over 12 cups of hydrogel, and the small pieces of
cotton wadding break apart and mix right in.
3. Now we're going to need some all purpose potting soil that you can get at any
home improvement store, and a large mixing bowl to dump it in.
4. Add equal parts of dirt and gel, then begin working the two together until they're
thoroughly mixed.
5. Now weve got a super absorbent, super soil that's light and fluffy, and perfect for
your potted plants.

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POTTED PLANTS
1. In the event of an extreme overwatering like this, you might expect that the
plants would drown, or begin to rot.
2. But with the hydrogels infused in the soil, we can see how the excess water is
quickly absorbed, keeping the soil damp and fluffy, and possibly saving the plants
as a result.
3. Now the reason this mixture will hold so much liquid is because of these superabsorbent water crystals.
4. They'll hold over 500 times their weight in water, and if you want to separate
them out, try ripping apart the wadding in the diaper, and shaking it upside down
over a piece of paper. The cotton fluff should blow away, and you'll be left with
just the crystals.
5. Go ahead and throw a little soil into the pot first, then help the plant get
comfortable.
6. To hold it firm in place, just keep packing more soil until everything sits tight.
7. We can finish up by giving the plant a bit more water, and now with the super
crystals in your soil, your plant can go twice as long between waterings, saving
you time, and resources.
8. This diaper gel can work on your existing plants as well. As the gel expands and
contracts, it will naturally aerate the soil as it does.
9. Just grab a knife and a spoon, and gently nestle them down between the roots,
and spread them apart to form a gap.

10. Now we dropped some gel down to the roots, work the soil back together, and
continue around the pot until all your water-gel is used up.

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SEED STARTERS
1. If you're looking for a lazy way to get your seeds started, just dump them into a
batch of the grow dough, and give it all a good mix, or you could even just
sprinkle the seeds on top.
2. Fill a container of your choice, add a bit of water, and find a place that you can set
it and forget it.
3. Over the course of a week, the seeds will automatically sprout and begin to grow,
without any extra effort, or any extra water.
4. For one final idea, you can help preserve your fresh cut flowers, by adding sugar,
vinegar, and a bit of bleach to some warm water.
5. This will create a homemade flower food, and when you add your slush powder,
you'll see it absorbs the solution and slowly grows up to 60 times its size.
6. By agitating the gel you can create an awesome effect that looks like crushed ice.
7. Not only does it look cool, but it's slowly releasing water as the flowers need it,
and feeding them at the same time. The gel is completely non-toxic.

GARDENING
It's biodegradable, and environmentally friendly, so it's a great option for
working into your garden.
Not only will this save you on watering costs, but it will also last quite a few
seasons before it needs to be replaced.

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Well now you know how to take an ordinary diaper, and convert it into an
extraordinary super soil, that will help keep your plants happy, and hopefully keep you
happy as well.

CHAPTER IV
DOCUMENTATION

DIAPER GEL

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HYDRO SOIL

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POTTED PLANTS

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SEED STARTERS

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GARDENING

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CHAPTER V
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

A. Biological fertilization techniques are pertinent strategies for an efficient and


rational use of agricultural resources with minimal generation of adverse

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environmental impacts that may affect water resources, ecosystems or the quality
of human life. In addition, biological fertilizers provide a wide range of
possibilities for the development of conservative agriculture in different
geographic, economic, and cultural backgrounds.
B. Current researches clearly show that bio fertilization techniques require less
chemical inputs on the soil and facilitate the incorporation of residues that would
otherwise go to dumping sites and landfills, which represents relevant reductions
on the environmental impacts associated to agriculture activities nationally.
C. Limitations of biological fertilization require future research focused on
identifying the options available to tackle the issues and offer valid frameworks
for development of environmentally friendly practices around the world that
allows improvements on the efficiency and consequent supply of product for the
industry in the global economies.
D. Although several options for application of bio fertilizers are available, feasibility
studies should be carried out by producers and farmers to effectively select the
best option that offers better results and allows minimizing environmental
impacts.
E. Bio solids, animal manures, green manures, composting, microbial inoculants
and seaweeds extracts are techniques widely used in todays agriculture, however,
their implementation still requires research, investment, and technological
development to fully understand their impacts on the soil, flora, fauna and,
ultimately, on human health.

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CHAPTER VI
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We kiss the soil as if we placed a kiss on the hands of a mother,


for the homeland is our earthly mother. We consider it our duty to be with our
compatriots in this sublime and difficult moment.
Delima, SJ.
Legaspina, C.
Perez, MC.
Zerrudo, JE.
20!6
researchers

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