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Developing an enhanced-efficiency nitrogen fertilizer

Grant number: 20/11865-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Crop Science
Principal Investigator:Rafael Otto
Grantee:Izaias Pinheiro Lisboa
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


The urea is the main nitrogen fertilizer used worldwide and in Brazil. However, when urea is broadcast applied on the soil surface, ammonia (NH3) losses through volatilization reduces the N-Use Efficiency (NUE). The N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) is the urease inhibitor most globally used to mitigate NH3 volatilization from urea. Despite this fact, it is not unusual that the usage of NBPT does not result in crop yield increasing, since the N may not be the limiting factor. On the other hand, Zn is among of the micronutrients most required by the Poaceae (Gramineae) family and the suitable Zn supplying indirectly can increase NUE, either by reducing urease activity on the soil or due to its essential role for the protein synthesis. The hypothesis of this study is that the association of urea and Zn source decreases NH3 losses through volatilization and thus, increases NUE, allowing an enhanced-efficiency fertilizer development. There will be developed urea-besed fertilizers, granulated individually with three Zn sources: zinc sulfate (ZnSO4), ZnO (macro escale) and ZnO (nanoparticles). There will be added four Zn rates (0; 500; 1000 and 1500 g of Zn ha-1). The study will be conducted in three phases: I) fertilizers production and their chemical and physical characterization; II) urease activity and NH3 volatilization determinations; and III) evaluation of NUE by maize (Zea mays) through 15N isotope under controlled conditions. It will be also evaluated the need to cover the granulated urea with each Zn sources with NBPT. Finally, it is expected that the enhanced-efficiency N fertilizer developed through this study (urea granulated with ZnO nanoparticles) can raise up the companies' interest to produce the fertilizer in the future. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
OTTO, R.; FERRAZ-ALMEIDA, R.; SANCHES, G. M.; LISBOA, I. P.; CHERUBIN, M. R.. Nitrogen fertilizer consumption and nitrous oxide emissions associated with ethanol production - A national-scale comparison between Brazilian sugarcane and corn in the United States. JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, v. 350, p. 13-pg., . (18/09845-7, 18/10225-3, 20/11865-6)
OTTO, RAFAEL; MACHADO, BIANCA ALMEIDA; MELO DA SILVA, ANA CAROLINA; QUASSI DE CASTRO, SERGIO GUSTAVO; LISBOA, IZAIAS PINHEIRO. Sugarcane pre-sprouted seedlings: A novel method for sugarcane establishment. FIELD CROPS RESEARCH, v. 275, . (20/11865-6)
BOHORQUEZ-SANCHEZ, CAMILO ERNESTO; DE CASTRO, SAULO AUGUSTO QUASSI; CARVALHO, JOAO LUIS NUNES; TENELLI, SARAH; FERRAZ-ALMEIDA, RISELY; SERMARINI, RENATA ALCARDE; LISBOA, IZAIAS PINHEIRO; OTTO, RAFAEL. Legume growth and straw retention in sugarcane fields: Effects on crop yield, C and N storage in the central-south Brazil. AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT, v. 347, p. 14-pg., . (15/25151-7, 14/05591-0, 20/11865-6)

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