Slow release coating remedy for nitrogen loss from conventional urea: a review

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Developing countries are consuming major part of the global urea production with an anticipated nitrogen use efficiency of 20 to 35%. The release of excess nitrogen in the soil is not only detrimental to the environment but also lessens the efficiency of the conventional urea. The urea performance can be enhanced by encapsulating it with slow release coating materials and synchronizing the nutrients' release with the plant up-taking. However, the present cost of most of the coated fertilizers is considerably higher than the conventional fertilizers. The high cost factor prevents their widespread use in mainstream agriculture. This paper documents a review of literature related to the global urea market, issues pertaining to the conventional urea use, natural and synthetic materials for slow release urea and fluidized bed spray coating process. The aim of the current review is to develop technical understanding of the conventional and non-conventional coating materials and associated spray coating mechanism for slow release urea production. The study also investigated the potential of starch as the coating material in relation to the coatings tested previously for controlled release fertilizers.Graphical abstractIllustration of slow release fertilizer coating and release processes.

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