Development and testing of environment friendly nanohybrid coatings for sustainable agriculture technologies

Beig, B., Niazi, M.B.K., Sher, F. ORCID: 0000-0003-2890-5912, Jahan, Z., Zia, M., Shah, G.A., Ghfar, A.A. and Iqbal, Z., 2024. Development and testing of environment friendly nanohybrid coatings for sustainable agriculture technologies. Environmental Research, 240 (1): 117546. ISSN 0013-9351

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Less than 50% of the applied urea fertilizer is taken up by plants due to poor nitrogen (N) use efficiency which affects overall agricultural productivity and leads to serious environmental and economic problems. Additionally, soils with high salinity might limit zinc (Zn) availability. Low Zn use efficiency (<30%) when applied as synthetic salts, e.g., zinc sulfate has therefore minimized their applicability. Within the past two decades, nanotechnology has gained a lot of interest in the development of effective nano fertilizers with high nutrient use efficiency (NUE). In this perspective, the approach of coating conventional fertilizers with nano materials especially, the ones which are essential nutrients has researched because of their high use efficiency and reduced losses. In this work, a novel and innovative formulation of hybrid nano fertilizer has been prepared for the sustainable release of nutrients. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs <50 nm) were incorporated into the biodegradable polymer (gelatin) and coated on urea using a fluidized bed coater. Among all the formulations, GZnSNPs (1.5% gelatin+0.5% elemental Zn as ZnO-NPs) showed a significant delay in urea release (<80 %) after 120 min). The sand column experiment showed sustainable Zn release for GZnSNPs i.e., 2.7 ppm vs. 3.5 ppm (GZnS) after the 6th day. Moreover, a substantial increase in wheat grain yield (6500 kg/ha), N uptake (46.5 kg/ha) and Zn uptake (21.64 g/ha) were observed for fields amended with GZnSNPs. The composition of GZnSNPs was valuable since this attracted the highest return relative to the other treatments. Gelatin supplied small N-containing molecules, resulting in extra value addition with ZnO-NPs thus increasing yield and fertilizer properties more relative to the same amount of elemental Zn given via bulk salt. Therefore, the findings of the current study recommend the use of ZnO-NPs in the agricultural sector without any negative effects on yield and NUE.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Environmental Research
Creators: Beig, B., Niazi, M.B.K., Sher, F., Jahan, Z., Zia, M., Shah, G.A., Ghfar, A.A. and Iqbal, Z.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 1 January 2024
Volume: 240
Number: 1
ISSN: 0013-9351
S0013935123023502Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 12 Mar 2024 09:24
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2024 09:24

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