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Development of nanocomposites based on elemental sulfur to convey the micronutrients to the soil

Grant number: 16/15482-9
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: May 01, 2017 - January 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Fábio Plotegher
Grantee:Fábio Plotegher
Company:Domínio Tecnologia Química Ltda. - ME
City: Pindorama
Assoc. researchers:Cauê Ribeiro de Oliveira
Associated scholarship(s):17/11149-6 - Development of nanocomposites based on elemental sulfur for conveying micronutrients to soil, BP.PIPE


Development of nanocomposites based on elemental sulfur for conveying micronutrients to soil: Brazil is one of the largest world's agricultural producers owing to its massive production of citrus, sugarcane, coffee, soybean, maize, cotton and many other products. Over the past few years, Brazilian agro-food industries have grown unceasingly due to the high agricultural productivity, which is an outcome of higher and improved soil fertilization in Brazil. The use of fertilizers contributes not only to increase crop yield, but also to avoid creation of new growing areas. Fertilizers are natural or synthetic materials that supply elements vital to plant growth. They are classified into macro- and micronutrient according to the amount required by plants. Sulfur is one of the micronutrients required in smaller amounts by plants, however it is one of the main limiting nutrient in soils with low organic matter levels, such as the Cerrado soil, thus micronutrients are essential to the plants growth cycle. The so-called 'hinder hunger" caused by nutritional deficiencies has led to appearance of easy-to-control diseases until severe vegetal pathologies that may provoke whole crop failures. Brazil ranks fourth among the largest fertilizer consumers worldwide, which reveals the importance of the fertilizer industry. Nevertheless, soil fertilization in Brazil and other tropical countries has been challenging because the fertilizer production model adopted by most industries is specific for temperate climate soils, which require highly soluble fertilizers. In recent years, smart and controlled-release fertilizers have attracted increasing interest both from academy and consumer market. In this sense, this project aims to develop new nanocomposite materials from a melted elemental sulfur matrix that will be supported onto different micronutrients oxide particles. The particles will be activated by a high energy milling process in order to allow their direct application to soil, or even to be used as coatings with viscous suspensions for commercial fertilizers. Hence, this project intends to develop specific fertilizer formulations capable of supplying efficient soil fertilization solutions to the Brazilian agriculture. (AU)