Dissolution kinetics of macronutrient fertilizers coated with manufactured zinc oxide nanoparticles.J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Apr 25; 60(16):3991-8.JA
The solubility of Zn in Zn fertilizers plays an important role in the agronomic effectiveness of the fertilizer. On the basis of thermodynamics, zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) should dissolve faster and to a greater extent than bulk ZnO particles (equivalent spherical diameter >100 nm). These novel solubility features of ZnO NPs might be exploited to improve the efficiency of Zn fertilizers. In this study, we compared the Zn solubility and dissolution kinetics of ZnO nanoparticles and bulk ZnO particles coated onto two selected granular macronutrient fertilizers, urea and monoammonium phosphate (MAP). The main Zn species on coated MAP and urea granules were zinc ammonium phosphate and ZnO, respectively. Coated MAP granules showed greater Zn solubility and faster dissolution rates in sand columns compared to coated urea granules, which may be related to pH differences in the solution surrounding the fertilizer granules. The kinetics of Zn dissolution was not affected by the size of the ZnO particles applied for coating of either fertilizer type, possibly because solubility was controlled by formation of the same compounds irrespective of the size of the original ZnO particles used for coating.