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Nutrient Capture from Aqueous Waste and Photocontrolled Fertilizer Delivery to Tomato Plants Using Fe(III)–Polysaccharide H...

Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Omega
Publication Date
Page Numbers
23009 to 23020

Inexpensive and sustainable methods are needed to reclaim nutrients from agricultural waste solutions for use as a fertilizer while decreasing nutrient runoff. Fe(III)–polysaccharide hydrogels are able to flocculate solids and absorb nutrients in liquid animal waste from Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Fe(III)–alginate beads absorbed 0.05 mg g–1 NH4+ and NO3- from 100 ppm solutions at pH = 7, with > 80% phosphate uptake and ∼30% uptake of ammonium and nitrate. Ammonium uptake from a raw manure solution (1420 ppm NH4+) showed a significant 0.7 mg g–1 uptake. Tomato plant trials carried out with Fe(III)–alginate hydrogel beads in greenhouse conditions showed controlled nutrient delivery for the plants compared to fertilizer solution with the same nutrient content. Plants showed an uptake of Fe from the gel beads, and Fe(III)–alginate hydrogel beads promoted root growth of the plants. The plants treated with nutrient-loaded Fe(III)–alginate hydrogels yielded comparable tomato harvest to plants treated with the conventional fertilizer solution.