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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 327153, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/327153
Research Article

Multimicronutrient Slow-Release Fertilizer of Zinc, Iron, Manganese, and Copper

Raman Centre for Applied and Interdisciplinary Sciences, 16A Jheel Road, Calcutta 700 075, India

Received 9 February 2014; Revised 5 June 2014; Accepted 12 June 2014; Published 1 July 2014

Academic Editor: Janez Levec

Copyright © 2014 Siladitya Bandyopadhyay et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The process for the production of a slow-release micronutrient fertilizer is described. The compound contains zinc, iron, manganese, and copper as micronutrients and is produced by polymerizing a system containing phosphoric acid, zinc oxide, hematite, pyrolusite, copper sulfate, and magnesium oxide followed by neutralization of the polyphosphate chain with ammonium hydroxide. Changes in temperature, density, and viscosity of the reaction system during polymerization were studied. Reaction kinetics was studied at three different temperatures. Rate curves revealed a multistage process with essentially linear rates at each stage. Thus, each stage displayed zero order kinetics. The product was crystalline and revealed ordering of P-O-P chains. It had low solubility in water but high solubility in 0.33 M citric acid and 0.005 M DTPA. Three different field trials showed significant yield increments using the slow-release micronutrient fertilizer compared to the conventional micronutrients. Yield increments in rice were in the range of 10–55% over control (with no micronutrient) and up to 17% over the conventional micronutrient fertilizers. There were significant increases in total uptake of zinc, iron, and manganese in the grain. Slow-release fertilizers also produced significant yield increases in potato as well as significant increase in vitamin C content of the tuber.