A laboratory study was undertaken to improve the nitrogen (N) use efficiency of urea using microporous natural zeolite (Z) and nanoporous zeolite (NZ) as substrate. The fertilizer composite was prepared under ambient conditions by impregnation urea in adsorbents. Z and nanoporous-zeolite measuring a dimension of 794, 87 nm were used for this study. The commercial urea fertilizer and adsorbents were blended or fused at varying w/w ratios of 1:1 to 1:10 using simple liquid immersion with hydrothermal technique. The 1:1 ratio of natural zeolite: urea and NZ: urea registered the highest total N content of 18.5 and 28%, respectively. The adsorbents and fabricated fertilizers such as zeourea (ZU) and nano-zeourea (NZU) of 1: 1 ratios were characterized using particle size analyzer, zeta potential, X-ray diffraction, FT-IR, Raman spectroscopy, and SEM with EDS besides release pattern of N. The data revealed that, the N release from the urea blended with NZ (1:1) was up to 48 days while the conventional Z - urea (1:1) mix was up to 34 day and the N release ceased to exist in urea within 4 days under ambient conditions. This suggests that, nanoporous zeolite based on N fertilizer (NZU) can be used as alternate strategy to improve the N use efficiency in crop production systems.
Key words: Nanoporous zeolite, Natural zeolite, Nano-fertilizers, Nitrogen, Slow release N fertilizers.
Z, natural zeolite, NZ, nanoporous, ZU, zeolite zeourea, NZU, nano-zeourea.
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