A new invention, liquid nitrogen with very low ammonia
evaporation, a substitute for urea fertilizer
Dr. Behzad khosropanah
Research Scientist in Agriculture & fertilizer industry, Canada
Healthy plants often contain 3 to 4 percent nitrogen in their above-ground tissues. This is a much higher concentration compared to other nutrients. Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, nutrients that don’t play a significant role in most soil fertility management programs, are the only other nutrients present in higher concentrations. Nitrogen is so vital because it is a major component of chlorophyll, the compound by which plants use sunlight energy to produce sugars from water and carbon dioxide (i.e., photosynthesis). It is also a major component of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Without proteins, plants wither and die. Some proteins act as structural units in plant cells while others act as enzymes, making possible many of the biochemical reactions on which life is based. Nitrogen is a component of energy-transfer compounds, such as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP allows cells to conserve and use the energy released in metabolism. Finally, nitrogen is a significant component of nucleic acids such as DNA, the genetic material that allows cells (and eventually whole plants) to grow and reproduce. Without nitrogen, there would be no life as we know it Urea (46-0-0), first introduced in 1935, is now the primary source of dry nitrogen (N) fertilizer in the world due to its relatively high N content, ease of handling, and price. Although ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) may be superior in some situations to urea, due to liability concerns it is no longer available in many regions of the world Fortunately, decades of experience and research suggest that urea and fluids containing urea are effective substitutes for ammonium nitrate when managed appropriately. Widespread acceptance of urea was delayed in part due to its greater potential for N loss via ammonia volatilization (conversion from dissolved ammonia to ammonia gas). While all top dressed ammonia- and ammonium-based N fertilizers can volatilize, the potential is greatest with urea and fluids containing urea such as urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN; 28-0-0 or 32-0-0). While urea volatilization losses under worst-case conditions can be substantial, with this invention a new source of nitrogen the ammonia evaporation is prevented to a large extent and is more available to the plant than all other sources of nitrogen.