Preparing and Using Cellulose Granules as Biodegradable and Long-Lasting Carriers for Artificial Fertilizers
 
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University of Technology and Humanities in Bielsko-Biała, ul. Willowa 2, 43-309 Bielsko-Biała, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Beata Fryczkowska   

University of Technology and Humanities in Bielsko-Biała, ul. Willowa 2, 43-309 Bielsko-Biała, Poland
Publication date: 2018-07-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2018; 19(4):111–122
 
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The paper presents the results of research on the preparation and use of cellulose granules as carriers of nutrients in the cultivation of plants. The granules were prepared from a cellulose solution in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazole acetate followed by coagulation in water and primary alcohols: methanol, ethanol, 1-propanol, 1-butanol, 1-pentanol, 1-hexanol and 1-octanol. Modifications of granules were also carried out by hydrophobization at elevated temperature and by encapsulation in a polylactide solution. As a result of the research, cellulose granules were obtained, which were characterized by different porosity, depending on the type of coagulant used. The morphology of granules surface and cross-sections was examined by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The cellulose granules exhibited good sorption/desorption properties which were investigated by conductometry and UV-Vis spectroscopy. The longest desorption time of NH4NO3 was characteristic of granules obtained as a result of thermal hydrophobization of the surface, which were used in the cultivation of the spider plant. As a result of the research, cellulose granules were obtained which may find potential application in crop production, as long-acting, non-dusting and fully biodegradable fertilizers.