2004 Broeckel Product design of solid fertilizers
Annual fertilizer production shows an increasing trend due to improved performance through product design. The product profile includes chemical and physical properties, environmentally friendliness and stability with respect to mechanical stress and temperature. Product design of solid fertilizers is commonly used to increase handling property by reducing dust formation and caking. Latest developments focus on the decrease of the decomposition of NH4-nitrogen. Owing to nitrification inhibitors, the bacterial oxidation of NH4+ to NO2 in the soil will be delayed for a certain period of time. A stable formulation containing a nitrification inhibitor therefore increases the bioavailability of NH4. The application of a controlled release effect on fertilizer granules reduces the labour of the farmer and the annual amount of fertilizer needed. This requires a release effect lasting over several months, ensuring the delivery of mineral nutrients as needed by the plants. Product design of solid fertilizers generally results in surface-treated and or coated fertilizer granules.