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Layered Double Hydroxides: Potential Release-on-Demand Fertilizers for Plant Zinc Nutrition

López-Rayo, Sandra, Imran, Ahmad, Bruun Hansen, Hans Chr., Schjoerring, Jan K., Magid, Jakob
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.40 pp. 8779-8789
Hordeum vulgare, barley, calcareous soils, chemical composition, equations, hydroxides, nutrition, pH, quartz, sand, zinc, zinc fertilizers
A novel zinc (Zn) fertilizer concept based on Zn-doped layered double hydroxides (Zn-doped Mg-Fe-LDHs) has been investigated. Zn-doped Mg-Fe-LDHs were synthesized, their chemical composition was analyzed, and their nutrient release was studied in buffered solutions with different pH values. Uptake of Zn by barley (Hordeum vulgare cv. Antonia) was evaluated in short- (8 weeks), medium- (11 weeks), and long-term (28 weeks) experiments in quartz sand and in a calcareous soil enriched with Zn-doped Mg-Fe-LDHs. The Zn release rate of the Zn-doped Mg-Fe-LDHs was described by a first-order kinetics equation showing maximum release at pH 5.2, reaching approximately 45% of the total Zn content. The Zn concentrations in the plants receiving the LDHs were between 2- and 9.5-fold higher than those in plants without Zn addition. A positive effect of the LDHs was also found in soil. This work documents the long-term Zn release capacity of LDHs complying with a release-on-demand behavior and serves as proof-of-concept that Zn-doped Mg-Fe-LDHs can be used as Zn fertilizers.