Research promises more efficient fertilisers

14 Mar, 2018 04:00 AM
Comments
0
 
Using graphene as a carrier means the fertilisers can be applied in a more targeted fashion, with overall increased fertiliser efficiency and great nutrient uptake by the plants.
Successful commercialisation will depend on cost of graphene/graphene oxide
Using graphene as a carrier means the fertilisers can be applied in a more targeted fashion, with overall increased fertiliser efficiency and great nutrient uptake by the plants.

Fertilisers with lower environmental impacts and reduced costs for farmers are being developed by University of Adelaide researchers in the world-first use of the new advanced material graphene as a fertiliser carrier.

In partnership with industry, the researchers have demonstrated effective slow-release fertilisers can be produced by loading essential trace elements onto graphene oxide sheets.

Using graphene as a carrier means the fertilisers can be applied in a more targeted fashion, with overall increased fertiliser efficiency and great nutrient uptake by the plants.

The graphene-based carriers have so far been demonstrated with the micronutrients zinc and copper.

Work is continuing with macronutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate.

“Fertilisers that show slower, more controlled release and greater efficiency will have reduced impact on the environment and lower costs for farmers over conventional fertilisers, bringing significant potential benefit for both agriculture and the environment,” head of the University of Adelaide’s Fertiliser Technology Research Centre at the Waite campus Professor Mike McLaughlin said.

“Our research found that loading copper and zinc micronutrients onto graphene oxide sheets was an effective way to supply micronutrients to plants.

"It also increased the strength of the fertiliser granules for better transport and spreading ability.”

Nanotechnology leader in the University’s School of Chemical Engineering and Director of the University’s Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation, Professor Dusan Losic, said: “Graphene is a novel new material only discovered in 2004 and has incredible properties, including a very high surface area, strength and adaptability to bind to different nutrients.

"We started exciting research on a broad range of applications of graphene four years ago – this is the first time graphene has been developed as a carrier for fertiliser nutrients.”

The research, carried out by PhD student Shervin Kabiri, has been published in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces.

It is a collaboration between the University of Adelaide’s Fertiliser Technology Research Centre and the University’s Australian Research Council Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation.

The Fertiliser Technology Research Centre was established in 2007 in partnership with The Mosaic Company, the world’s largest combined producer of phosphate and potash, to develop and evaluate more efficient fertiliser products.

A new five-year, $8.5 million partnership agreement was reached with The Mosaic Company in 2015.

Mosaic has an option to license the new technology and is further examining the use of graphene-based materials in fertilisers.

The university's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Mike Brooks, said: “This decade-long partnership is testament to the university’s strength in this area of research and our success in partnering with industry for research translation that benefits the wider community.

“Combining plant research with our new Graphene Research Hub is a great example of how the university assembles interdisciplinary teams to deliver innovation solutions for industry.”

Professor McLaughlin said: “It’s still early days but there is no doubt that fertilisers with release rates more tailored to crop demand, and fertilisers with greater physical strength and robustness, will both improve grower efficiency of fertiliser application and efficiency of nutrient uptake.

“Successful commercialisation will depend on cost of graphene/graphene oxide and the ability to scale this process up, and integrate it into the commercial fertiliser production process.”

Page:
1

POST A COMMENT


Screen name *
Email address *
Remember me?
Comment *
 
A new definition of 'genetically modified' currently awaiting parliamentary approval could see a swathe of new grasses on the market within three years.
13 Nov 18 A new definition of "genetically modified" currently awaiting parliamentary approval could see a swathe of new...
A person normally breathes about 25,000 times a day, with the lungs taking in oxygen from the air and delivering it to the bloodstream.02 Nov 18 A person normally breathes about 25,000 times a day, with the lungs taking in oxygen from the air and delivering it...
light grey arrow
Such nonsense. But, what does one expect from such a biased source - a dairy industry spokesperson.
light grey arrow
https://www.livekindly.co/vegan-crops-produce-more-protein-animals-beef-eggs/
light grey arrow
Olivia - what you fail to consider is that animals fed the crops you speak of aren't evolved to
There's something uniquely depressing about arriving at someone's farm excited for the arrival of their new crush, only to discover that the new one is worse than the one it replaced.4:00 AM There's something uniquely depressing about arriving at someone's farm excited for the arrival of their new crush,...
Amidst rising farm costs, Dairy Australia has developed a range of energy information resources to assist farmers to make smarter use of energy to reduce power bills.
13 Nov 18 Amidst rising farm costs, Dairy Australia has developed a range of energy information resources to assist farmers to...
Australian farm chemical manufacturer Nufarm has repaired its balance sheet and is now hunting for acquisition opportunities.25 Sep 16 Australian farm chemical manufacturer Nufarm has repaired its balance sheet and is now hunting for acquisition...
Monopoly market may confront cropping sector under mega-merger proposal.22 Sep 16 Monopoly market may confront cropping sector under mega-merger proposal.