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Nitrification and urease inhibitors as strategies to mitigate N2O emissions and NH3 volatilization in sugarcane production with addition of organic residues

Grant number: 18/20793-9
Support type:Program for Research on Bioenergy (BIOEN) - Regular Program Grants
Duration: March 01, 2019 - February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:Heitor Cantarella
Grantee:Heitor Cantarella
Home Institution: Instituto Agronômico (IAC). Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Adriana Parada Dias da Silveira ; Bruna Gonçalves de Oliveira Carvalho ; Eiko Eurya Kuramae ; João Luís Nunes Carvalho ; Késia Silva Lourenço ; Raffaella Rossetto ; Tsai Siu Mui


The greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizers, in particular N2O, are of utmost importance for the sustainability of ethanol from sugarcane. Previous studies point to relatively low N2O emissions when N fertilizers are applied in the sugarcane crop in São Paulo, but such emissions can increase considerably when fertilizers are used together with vinasse and in areas with straw. The ethanol industry gradually tends to concentrate vinasse rather than applying the product in natura in the sugar cane fields. One of the alternatives is to produce fluid fertilizers from concentrated vinasse (CV) and mineral nutrients, reducing application costs. With this, N2O emissions can be high and eventually compromise the environmental gains obtained with the use of ethanol. The most likely source of fertilizer for CV mixing is urea (U), which is subject to N losses by NH3 volatilization if applied to the soil surface, which can also reduce the efficiency of the system. The present proposal aims to evaluate the N (N2O and NH3) emissions, the microbial processes involved and mitigation measures, including the use of nitrification inhibitors and urease inhibitors, through four subprojects to be conducted in the field and laboratory. With the new legislation of RenovaBio, the greater the reductions in GHG emissions from bioenergy produced, the higher will be the grower's financial return. Therefore, adequate indicators of GHG emissions from the production process and knowledge that lead to mitigating technologies, such as those aimed at in this study, besides the inherent scientific importance, are of interest to the productive sector. (AU)