PHB and Montmorillonite Clay Composites as KNO3 and NPK Support for a Controlled Release
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In order to improve nutrient uptake by plants and at the same time decrease losses by leaching, polymeric compounds based on biodegradable poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and montmorillonite clay (MMt) were melt processed with KNO3 and NPK fertilizers (Fert). We present a comprehensive analysis of releasing profile of the potassium (K+), nitrogen (NH4+ and NO3−) and phosphorous (PO43−) from PHB/MMt/fertilizer at 90/0/10, 50/0/50, 80/10/10, 40/10/50, 25/25/50 formulation. The amount and type of the fertilizer and the presence of clay delineated the release of the cations and anions from the matrix. Cations released faster than anions through MMt composites due to cations–MMt interactions and its diffusion through MMt phase. The nutrients delivery from composites was lower than pure fertilizer. Composites formulations with smaller amount of PHB and MMt (25 wt%) were enough to encapsulate the fertilizer and delay the ions releasing. Further, the simple method of preparation also attains the sustainability of the whole process.
KeywordsBiodegradable polymer Clay Fertilizers Controlled release Thermal stability Crystallinity Composites
The authors are grateful to FAPESP-Brazil (Process Number 2014/06566-9) for financial support, Bentonit União for supplying the clay, and Biocycle/PHB Industrial for supplying PHB, LCE-Structural Characterization Laboratory (UFSCAR) for SEM analysis. R. Faez is CNPq researcher.
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