Nano Fertilizers

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    In News

    • Nano fertilizers produced by IFFCO and dairy products from Amul will be among the first few products that are expected to be exported by the first-ever National Export Co-operative Society.

    More about the nanofertilizers

    • Nanotechnology in fertilizers:
      • Nanotechnology, which utilizes nanomaterials of less than 100 nm size, may offer an unprecedented opportunity to develop concentrated sources of plant nutrients having higher-absorption rate, utilization efficacy, and minimum losses. 
      • Nanofertilizers are being prepared by encapsulating plant nutrients into nanomaterials and delivering nutrients in the form of nano-sized emulsions.
    • A nanofertilizers delivers nutrients to crops in one of three ways: 
      • The nutrient can be :
        • encapsulated inside nanomaterials such as nanotubes or nanoporous materials, 
        • coated with a thin protective polymer film, or 
        • delivered as particles or emulsions of nanoscale dimensions. 
    • Significance:
      • Owing to a high surface area to volume ratio, the effectiveness of nanofertilizers may surpass the most innovative polymer-coated conventional fertilizers, which have seen little improvement in the past few years.

    In comparison with the existing fertilizers:

    • Absorption & Runoff:
      • Conventional fertilizers can be dangerous to the environment because of the sheer amount of runoff that stems from their use. 
        • Studies have shown that, in most cases, greater than 50% of the amount of fertilizer applied to soil is lost to the environment
      • Nanofertilizers have higher absorption efficiency into the targeted plant- which is owed to their remarkably high surface area to volume ratios. 
        • In a study done on the use of phosphorus nano-fertilizers, absorption efficiencies of up to 90.6% were achieved, making them a highly desirable fertilizer material.
    • Pattern of release:

    Another beneficial aspect of using nanofertilizers is the ability to provide slow release of nutrients into the plant over a 40-50 day time period, rather than the 4-10 day period of conventional fertilizers.