National Minerals Information Center

Peat Statistics and Information

Peat is a renewable, natural, organic material of botanical origin and commercial significance.  Peatlands are situated predominately in shallow wetland areas of the Northern Hemisphere, where large deposits developed from the gradual decomposition of plant matter under anaerobic (low oxygen) conditions.  Peat has widespread use as a plant-growth medium in a variety of horticultural and agricultural applications because its fibrous structure and porosity promote a combination of water-retention and drainage.  Commercial applications include potting soils, lawn and garden soil amendments, and turf maintenance on golf courses.  In industry, peat is used primarily as a filtration medium to remove toxic materials from process waste streams, pathogens from sewage effluents, and deleterious materials suspended in municipal storm-drain water.  In its dehydrated form, peat is a highly effective absorbent for fuel and oil spills on land and water.

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Amanda Brioche

USGS Mineral Commodity Specialist
National Minerals Information Center (NMIC)
Phone: 703-648-7747