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New glass fertilizer for tomato crops to reduce environmental impact

Rubio, J., Rodriguez, R., Ciruelos, A., Ruiz, O., Lozano, P. A., Torre, R. de la
Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1159 pp. 65-72
NPK fertilizers, algae, animals, aquatic plants, biodiversity, crops, environmental impact, eutrophication, fisheries, forestry, furnaces, glass, groundwater, lakes, melting, nitrogen, nitrogen content, phosphates, pollution, ponds, sand, silica, soil, temperature, tomatoes, waterways, wind
Pollution from fertilizers occurs when they are used in greater quantity than crops can absorb, or when they have been removed by water or wind from the soil surface before they are able to be absorbed. Excess nitrogen and phosphates can leach into groundwater or run off into waterways. This nutrient overload causes eutrophication of lakes, reservoirs and ponds, leading to an explosion of algae, which suppresses other aquatic plants and animals. Agricultural, forestry and fishery methods are the main causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. The overall external implications of the three sectors can be considerable. Various phosphorus-potassium silica glasses were synthetized in order to be used as new fertilizers for tomato crops. Glasses were prepared from pure materials and melted in porcelain crucibles at temperatures of 1000-1400°C for 2 h in a glass furnace. They were then fritted in water to obtain glass particles, which were prepared at different concentrations, and later used as fertilizers. Fertilizer glass particles were selected in the size range of 0.5-1 mm, and were put into vessels with sand in order to simulate natural soil. They were then subjected to water irrigation for 30 days. The concentrations of N, P and K that were leached were analysed as a function of time. Conventional NPK fertilizers were also leached under the same conditions.