Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Water Management and Conservation Research » Research » Research Project #442606

Research Project: Production and Characterization of a New N-containing Fertilizer Recovered from Waste for Turf Grass Production

Location: Water Management and Conservation Research

Project Number: 2020-21500-001-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2026

Synthesize a novel nitrogen containing fertilizer from ammonium bicarbonate (ABC), derived from waste sources, and MgCO3 mechanochemically combined to form stable co-crystals. The ABC cocrystals will be investigated for chemical properties, and stability as a fertilizer. Sufficient fertilizer, containing cocrystals, will be produced and provided to ARS scientist to conduct a turf fertility trial.

The proposed research aims to synthesize and determine the properties of NH4HCO3 (Ammonium Bicarbonate, abbreviated ABC) produced from anthropogenic waste derived liquid digestate and their usability as fertilizer material in turfgrass systems. To attain this goal, the following three objectives will be addressed: 1) Investigate the stability of ABC of chemically pure and wastewater derived origin using thermal methods with and without the presence of relative humidity (RH); 2) Assess available nitrogen release rates; and 3) Synthesize ABC cocrystals with earth alkaline metals to potentially improve its stability in the environment. Chemically pure and derived from anthropogenic wastewater ABC will be procured. Their thermal properties will be determined using TGA/DSC, their water adsorption propensity will be determined using Dynamic Vapor Sorption and in situ Raman. Available nitrogen release from ABC will be measured using column experiments. ABC from both sources will be reacted mechanochemically with MgCO3 to obtain MgNH4CO3-4H2O cocrystal which has known crystal structure and will be confirmed using X-Ray diffraction. Available nitrogen release from ABC-cocrystals will be measured to determine if any improvements in stability can be obtained using cocrystallization. The best performing co-crystals will be manufactured and provided to ARS scientists for further characterization as a novel turf fertilizer manufactured from recycled waste.