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Synthesis and characterization of environmental friendly corncob biochar based nano-composite – A potential slow release nano-fertilizer for sustainable agriculture

Lateef, Ambreen, Nazir, Rabia, Jamil, Nadia, Alam, Shahzad, Shah, Raza, Khan, Muhammad Naeem, Saleem, Murtaza, Rehman, Shafiq-ur-
Environmental nanotechnology, monitoring & management 2019 v.11 pp. 100212
absorbance, agricultural wastes, biochar, corn cobs, cost effectiveness, crop yield, differential scanning calorimetry, ion exchange, mineral fertilizers, nanocomposites, nutrients, pH, plant growth, proximate composition, pyrolysis, slow-release fertilizers, soil, soil organic carbon, soil quality, sustainable agriculture, thermogravimetry, value-added products, waste management, water content, water holding capacity
Use of agriculture waste to develop value-added products has helped in resolving the waste management concernsalong with addressing the cost-effectiveness issues. Utilization of bio-char derived from agriculture waste back to the agriculture field marks the new strategy to improve crop yield and reduce environmental issues of conventional fertilizers. In addition to that it helps in improving soil condition by balancing the soil organic carbon, pH, water holding capacity and soil ion exchange potential. The present research work is based on the development of nano-composite based on biochar derived from corn cob and to check the suitability of corncob biochar(CB) as support material for providing macro and micro-nutrients to the plants on slow release basis.CBand its nano-composite (BNC) were synthesized by pyrolysis and simple impregnation method, respectively and characterized by FT-IR,SEM/EDX, powder XRD,AFMand TGA/DSC. Proximate analysis and physical properties were also examined by standard procedures whilestudies on water retention, water absorbance, swelling ratio and equilibrium water content of pointed to increased values of BNC as compared to CB. Slow release studies indicated release pattern of nutrients for prolonged period which is helpful in improving plant growth and yield. The experimental results indicated that the synthesized nano-composite is eco-friendly material and can be used as slow release fertilizer for sustainable agriculture.