Solid-State Mechanochemical Synthesis of Kaolinite-Urea Complexes for Application as Slow Release Fertilizer
 
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Department of Chemistry, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Tafila Technical University, Tafila 66110, Jordan
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Aiman Eid Al-Rawajfeh   

Department of Chemical Engineering, Tafila Technical University, Tafila 66110, Jordan
Publish date: 2019-10-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2019; 20(9):267–276
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ABSTRACT
This study investigated a mechanochemical (MC) process for synthesizing a slow-release urea fertilizer by co-grinding the starting materials of (NH2)2CO and amorphous kaolinite in a planetary ball mill. The tests with kaolinite contents ranging from 25 to 75 wt. %, milling time ranging from 1 (h) to 3 (h) and mill rotational speeds from 200 to 700 rpm were performed to evaluate the incorporation of (NH2)2CO and release of nitrogen into the solution. The analyses conducted using XRD, TGA, FT-IR and KNDU (Kjeldahl Nitrogen Determination Unit) indicated that the MC process was successfully applied to incorporate (NH2)2CO into the amorphous kaolinite structure. The release of nitrogen from the system (kaolinite-(NH2)2CO) when dispersed in water for 24 h reached up to 20% at 25% wt of kaolinite. Moreover, under the milling speed conditions for the system (kaolinite–(NH2)2CO), release of nitrogen reached between 25 and 40%. These results indicated that the MC process can be developed to allow amorphous kaolinite to act as a carrier of nitrogen nutrients to be released slowly for use as fertilizer.