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To study the behavior of a biodegradable hydrogel derived from cellulose acetate and ethylenediaminetetraacetic dianhydride (EDTAD), as a reduction substrate of NPK fertilizer in soil. The biodegradable hydrogel (HEDTA) was prepared from cellulose acetate (CA) with a degree substitution (DS) 2.5 by esterification crosslinking with EDTAD catalyzed by triethylamine. We systematically investigated the performance of the HEDTA in the reducing NPK (Ammonium, phosphate and potassium) fertilizer leaching. We also compare the percentage of leaching between the HEDTA and commercial fertilizers. To characterize the esterification and crosslinking between CA and EDTAD, FTIR spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis (DTG) were employed. The biodegradation experiments were carried out in simulated soil (23% of sand, 23% of cattle manure, 23% of soil and 31% of water) and the HEDTA was tested in the eucalyptus planting during the dry season in the São Paulo state, Brazil. The HEDTA was able to reduce the leaching of fertilizers and improve the performance of eucalyptus seedlings and reduced the mortality of the seedlings. The HEDTA showed to be an excellent substrate for slow release and water-retention in soil, reducer of the fertilizers leaching, in addition being nontoxic, biodegradable in the soil and environmentally-friendly.