Eco-friendly smart hydrogels for soil conditioning and sustain release fertilizer
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In the agricultural industry, biomass waste generated along with the production of food, is transformed into value-added products. Also, the demand for the slow or control release fertilizer is increasing to reduce the cost of maintaining the agricultural land. These issues are tackled by converting biomass waste to a slow fertilizer release vehicle and biodegradable water retention material that could reduce the cost for fertilizer application and simultaneously preserved the soil from dryness. A series of carboxymethyl sago pulp (CMSP) hydrogels were prepared by electron beam irradiation. Slow release systems were evaluated by loading potassium nitrate (KNO3) and ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) into the CMSP hydrogels. These CMSP hydrogels endow slow release property, biodegradability and a soil moisture preservation property that could find greener application in agricultural industries. The results indicate that CMSP hydrogels have a great potential as an agent for slow release of fertilizers.
KeywordsCarboxymethyl sago pulp Hydrogel Soil preservation Soil biodegradation Slow release fertilizer
Financial support from the School of Chemistry at Monash University, Clayton, Australia, is gratefully acknowledged.
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