Russian scientists developed new struvite fertilizer

Scientists of the Perm National Research Polytechnic University have developed struvite (ammonium magnesium phosphate), which is an environmentally friendly fertilizer that will help to increase yields.

Wastewater, which contains ammonium-nitrogen and phosphate ion, became the raw material for the new fertilizer. Such raw material is formed in chemical plants and pharmaceutical companies, agricultural and livestock farms. If these substances are not disposed of, they can harm the environment. However, with proper processing, waste may become the basis for complex fertilizer.

“Struvite is highly effective due to its three main nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium. It promotes plant growth. For example, the growth rate of the mass of tomatoes that have been treated with this fertilizer can increase up to 432%. The advantage of our development is that the product hardly dissolves and doesn’t go into the ground during watering or heavy rains. Therefore, the fertilizer works throughout the entire agricultural period,” said Andrey Starostin, Associate Professor of the Department of Chemical Technologies.

According to the researcher’s report, the world is currently switching to alternative sources of raw materials for the production of complex fertilizers. This allows giving a second life to waste without the extraction of mineral components, the reserves of which are limited. Struvite is already widely used in the USA, China and Canada but it’s not obtained in Russia. At the same time, the demand for complex fertilizers is growing, which requires an increase in their production.

Scientists have obtained struvite from wastewater from one of the chemical enterprises of the Perm region. Now chemists are creating a plant that will continuously produce struvite.

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