ISSN: 1659-2751

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Intelligent Fertilizers using a Biochar Matrix: Design, Production and Field Trial

Abstract

The common feature of soluble chemical fertilizers used in agriculture is their quick release of nutrients after being applied to soil. This generates significant losses because plants can’t completely absorb these nutrients in a short time. For the formulation of intelligent fertilizers biochar, clay, nitrogen fertilizers and xanthan gum were used. The slow release fertilizer mixtures were processed in industrial and manual pelletizing machines. The produced fertilizers were evaluated in corn plants in greenhouse and field trials. A biochar source was obtained from domestic markets with homogeneous characteristics. From the formulation three different fertilizers were obtained to evaluate, one manufactured in industrial pelletizer machine and the remaining two in the manual machine. When the fertilizers were ready they were evaluated in the greenhouse. The 19.25 g manual pellets (T4) treatment showed a slow release of nutrients, based on the evaluation of the morphological and biomass production in both harvests. In the field, the 25.50 g manual pellets (T6) showed better results followed by T4. Based on these results it can be concluded that the pellets made from the carbon matrix offer an alternative for more efficient use of fast release fertilizers.

Key words: biochar, slow release fertilizers, pellets.

Artículo en español (pdf) (136)