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Use of biodegradable biopolymers and nanocellulose for application in programmable fertilizers release

Grant number: 18/20585-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 04, 2019
Effective date (End): February 03, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Roselena Faez
Grantee:Débora França
Supervisor: Gilberto Antonio de Freitas Siqueira
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Agrárias (CCA). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). Araras , SP, Brazil
Research place: Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Dubendorf, Switzerland  
Associated to the scholarship:17/24595-4 - Use of biodegradable biopolymers and nanocellulose for application in programmable fertilizers release, BP.DR


Programmable fertilizer has been intensively studied in the last decades to deliver nutrients in a regular and continuous way to plants. Parallel to these efforts, cellulose-based materials have attracted attention. There is a wide number of recent works involving the development of materials containing cellulose nanoparticles (CNs). CNs have hydroxyl groups on its surface with great potential to interact with ionic compounds, such as the nutrient potassium nitrate. As well, CNs/nutrient can act as a reinforcement for polymeric matrix of programmable fertilizer that will be less aggressive to the environment. As result, it should delay the nutrient releasing and improve the biodegradability properties of the material. In this BEPE, CNs will be functionalized via chemical modification in order to increase the nanocellulose charges negatively and/or positively, and improve the cellulose-fertilizer interaction as well the cellulose-thermoplastic matrix interface. We will focus our efforts in the development of chemical modification processes that can be performed in aqueous or other environmentally friendly solvents. Surface functionalization that uses TEMPO-mediated oxidation, quaternary ammonium salts, anionic surfactants and grafting are considered as potential chemical modification routes. Nanocellulose-based materials will be assessed morphologically, structurally, mechanically and thermally before and after chemical functionalization. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa para Inovação FAPESP about the scholarships:
Researchers use cellulose to develop slow-release fertilizer and a self-fertilizing propagation pot 
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship:
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