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Science & Technology » Agriculture Share

Nano-particle fertilizer could lead to new 'green revolution'

Nano-particle fertilizer could lead to new 'green revolution'

New Delhi, Jan 26 (UNI) Sri Lankan scientists report having developed a simple way to make a benign, more efficient fertilizer – described as nano-particle fertilizer - that could contribute to a second food revolution across the globe.
The research by scientists from Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology and Cambridge University published in the Journal ACS Nano says that the non-particle fertilizer will not only be more efficient but would also be environmentally friendly.
The "Green Revolution" of the 60's and 70's has been credited with helping to feed billions around the world, with fertilizers being one of the key drivers spurring the agricultural boom.
But in developing countries, the cost of fertilizer remains relatively high and can limit food production.
Farmers often use urea, a rich source of nitrogen, as fertilizer.
It's flaw, however, is that it breaks down quickly in wet soil and forms ammonia.
The ammonia is washed away, creating a major environmental issue as it leads to run-off of nutrients into rivers and other bodies of water causing a dense growth of plant life in water ways.
It ultimately enters the atmosphere as nitrogen dioxide, the main greenhouse gas associated with agriculture.
The fast decomposition of urea also limits the amount of nitrogen that can get absorbed by crop roots and requires farmers to apply more fertilizer to boost production.
However, in low-income regions where populations continue to grow and the food supply is unstable, the cost of fertilizer can hinder additional applications and cripple crop yields.
Nilwala Kottegoda, Veranja Karunaratne, Gehan Amaratunga of Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology and colleagues wanted to find a way to slow the breakdown of urea and make one application of fertilizer last longer.
To do this, the researchers developed a simple and scalable method for coating Hydroxylapatite (HA) nano-particles with urea molecules.
HA is a mineral found in human and animal tissues and is considered to be environmentally friendly.
In water, the hybridization of the HA nano-particles and urea slowly released nitrogen, 12 times slower than urea by itself.
Initial field tests on rice farms showed that the HA-urea nano-hybrid lowered the need for fertilizer by one-half.
The researchers say their development could help contribute to a new green revolution to help feed the world's continuously growing population and also improve the environmental sustainability of agriculture.
UNI YSG JW SHK 1514

Dengue

Dengue epidemic should be declared as 'Health disaster" in TN : DMK

Chennai, Oct 20 (UNI) The Opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu today demanded that the outbreak of dengue epidemic in the state, which has claimed nearly 40 lives, should be declared as a 'Health disaster'.

Panacea

Panacea Biotec receives Manufacturing Authorisation for 22 medicinal products

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UN

UN launches plan to stop transmission of bovine TB to humans

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World

World will have more obese children and adolescents than underweight by 2022: WHO

Kolkata, Oct 12 (UNI) The number of obese children and adolescents (aged five to 19 years) worldwide has risen tenfold in the past four decades.

Int'l

Int'l breast cancer conference stresses on need for early diagnosis, awareness

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Solar eclipse 2017: North America will witness total solar eclipse

Solar eclipse 2017: North America will witness total solar eclipse

New York, Aug 21 (UNI) Today, all of North America will witness a total solar eclipse for the first time in 99 years, where the Moon will pass in front of the Sun, casting darkness across swathes of the Earth's surface - with up to 14 states shrouded in complete blackout.

Nano-particle fertilizer could lead to new 'green revolution'

Nano-particle fertilizer could lead to new 'green revolution'

New Delhi, Jan 26 (UNI) Sri Lankan scientists report having developed a simple way to make a benign, more efficient fertilizer – described as nano-particle fertilizer - that could contribute to a second food revolution across the globe.

Broken pebbles offer clues to Palaeolithic funeral rituals

Broken pebbles offer clues to Palaeolithic funeral rituals

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