With skyrocketing prices on the fertilizer market, and record high contamination levels in runoff from soil leaching, solutions for fixing nutrients in the root zone are of paramount importance.
The price of nitrogen fertilizer is always in flux, but as of recently there is a distinct and obvious spike. Fertilizer prices are on the rise. Meanwhile the broad use of fertilizer in agriculture has lead to massive-scale leaching into major bodies of water creating an epidemic of nutrient pollution.
In a recent study out of the Agricultural University of Shenyang, China, a group of researchers have measured the impact of adding clinoptilolite zeolite to soils. In this study the scientists identify the effect of clinoptilolite on NH4+ absorption, water retention, temperature and cation exchange. They also determine the optimum ratio of clinoptilolite to soil.
The results of this study are as follows.
- The optimal addition rate for clinoptilolite was 1g / 100g soil.
- Reducing the availability of water in the soil enhanced the NH4+ adsorption capacity.
- Increasing temperature also enhanced the NH4+ adsorption capacity.
These results show that clinoptilolite zeolite does regulate soil nitrogen fixation, and can be used to improve the NH4+ adsorption capacity of agricultural soil. The zeolite holds more nitrogen in the soil, and increases its capacity to retain nutrients with low water and high temperatures. Clinoptilolite zeolite as an agricultural soil amendment is a beneficial addition for controlling nutrient fixation in the root zone.