Developing engineered coating for the production of controlled released Fertilizers (CRFs)
The global population is predicted to increase by more than 2 billion between 2009 and 2050. This growth necessitates a focus on sustainable agricultural practices and the use of fertilizers to meet the world’s food demands. Specifically, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizers are anticipated to see a significant increase in usage, totaling around 2 million metric tons annually, to bridge the gap between supply and demand.
However, conventional uncoated chemical fertilizers, despite their widespread use, have been criticized for their low efficiency in delivering nutrients to plants. Losses on farmland cause this inefficiency due to factors such as runoff, leaching, oxidation, and volatilization. These issues not only result in financial losses but also pose environmental hazards and contribute to energy waste.
To address these challenges, there is a pressing need to explore new biodegradable or controlled-release fertilizer materials. The aim is to encapsulate nutrients effectively, thereby minimizing fertilizer losses and providing specific plants with the required nutrients at various growth stages. This approach seeks to optimize efficiency under different environmental conditions.
Majid Soltani is a new PhD student at the University of Melbourne. His research puts the spotlight on the development of biodegradable fertilizer coating. Before commencing his doctoral studies, Majid worked as a researcher, focusing on projects related to developing porous materials such as MOFs. He earned his BSc in chemical engineering from Isfahan University of Technology and later pursued an MSc in Nano-Chemical Engineering at Shiraz University. For his master’s thesis, he specialized in producing biodegradable and antibacterial films for packaging applications using Nanocrystalline cellulose.