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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2016, Article ID 1250739, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1250739
Research Article

Application of Response Surface Methodology for Optimization of Urea Grafted Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes in Enhancing Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Nitrogen Uptake by Paddy Plants

1Engineering Materials Department, Faculty of Manufacturing Engineering, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Hang Tuah Jaya, 76100 Durian Tunggal, Melaka, Malaysia
2Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Kulliyyah of Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia, P.O. Box 10, 50728 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3Carbon Research Technology Research Group, Engineering Materials Department, Faculty of Manufacturing Engineering, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Hang Tuah Jaya, 76100 Durian Tunggal, Melaka, Malaysia

Received 6 June 2016; Accepted 20 July 2016

Academic Editor: Valery Khabashesku

Copyright © 2016 Norazlina Mohamad Yatim 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

Efficient use of urea fertilizer (UF) as important nitrogen (N) source in the world’s rice production has been a concern. Carbon-based materials developed to improve UF performance still represent a great challenge to be formulated for plant nutrition. Advanced N nanocarrier is developed based on functionalized multiwall carbon nanotubes (f-MWCNTs) grafted with UF to produce urea-multiwall carbon nanotubes (UF-MWCNTs) for enhancing the nitrogen uptake (NU) and use efficiency (NUE). The grafted N can be absorbed and utilized by rice efficiently to overcome the N loss from soil-plant systems. The individual and interaction effect between the specified factors of f-MWCNTs amount (0.10–0.60 wt%) and functionalization reflux time (12–24 hrs) with the corresponding responses (NUE, NU) were structured via the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) based on five-level CCD. The UF-MWCNTs with optimized 0.5 wt% f-MWCNTs treated at 21 hrs reflux time achieve tremendous NUE up to 96% and NU at 1180 mg/pot. Significant model terms ( value < 0.05) for NUE and NU responses were confirmed by the ANOVA. Homogeneous dispersion of UF-MWCNTs was observed via FESEM and TEM. The chemical changes were monitored by FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy. Hence, this UF-MWCNTs’ approach provides a promising strategy in enhancing plant nutrition for rice.