Nanofertilizers: New Products for the Industry?
Bindraban, Prem S.
Christian O. Dimkpa
Mineral fertilizers are key to food production, despite plant low nutrient uptake efficiencies and high losses. However, nanotechnology can both enhance crop productivity and reduce nutrient losses. This has raised interest in nanoscale and nanoenabled bulk fertilizers, hence the concept of nanofertilizers. Nevertheless, large-scale industrial production of nanofertilizers is yet to be realized. Here, we highlight the science-based evidence and outstanding concerns for motivating fertilizer industry production of nanofertilizers, including the notion of toxicity associated with nanoscale materials; scant nanofertilizer research with key crop nutrients; inadequacy of soil- or field-based studies with nanofertilizers; type of nanomaterials to produce as fertilizers; how to efficiently and effectively apply nanofertilizers at the field scale; and the economics of nanofertilizers. It is anticipated that the development and validation of nanofertilizers that are nondisruptive to existing bulk fertilizer production systems will motivate the industry’s involvement in nanofertilizers.
Dimkpa, C.O., and P.S. Bindraban. 2017. “Nanofertilizers: New Products for the Industry?” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b02150.