Carbon Emissions Can Be Reduced to One-fifth of Current Levels by Calculating the Life Cycle of Fertilizers

Researchers have correctly assessed the carbon footprint of fertilizers, which account for about 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and discovered that by 2050, carbon emissions may be cut to one-fifth of their current levels.

Nitrogen Fertilizers are commonly used fertilizers

green metal garden shovel filled with brown soil

(Photo : Neslihan Gunaydin/ via Unsplash)

Numerous straight and complex fertilizers include nitrogen in the form of ammonium (NH+4 cation), which is swiftly converted by soil microorganisms to nitrate (NO3 anion) depending on soil temperature, as per ScienceDirect.

Because they are very soluble and biodegradable, nitrates are primarily generated for use as fertilizers in agriculture.

Urea is sold in prilled form as the most concentrated solid nitrogen fertilizer. It is occasionally employed for aerial top-dressing.

Nitrogen, as ammonia, might well be probably lost from the surface of chalk or limestone soils, or light sandy soils, if urea is used as a top-dressing during a period of warm weather.

Urea transforms to ammonium carbonate in the soil, which may momentarily produce a hazardous local high pH.

It is equally effective when applied topically or rubbed into the soil, and it works best on soils with a sufficient moisture level that the gaseous ammonia may dissolve quickly.

Limiting carbon emissions from fertilizers

The requirement for global food security must be balanced against the urgent need to cut carbon emissions from fertilizers, as per ScienceDaily.

The world’s population is predicted to increase by 20% until 2050, and according to earlier studies, 48% of people are fed by crops farmed with synthetic fertilizers.

According to Cambridge researchers, reducing fertilizer emissions while preserving food security requires a combination of scalable technology and regulatory solutions.

They do, however, believe that if such solutions could’ve been applied at a large scale, the emissions through manure and synthetic fertilizers might be cut by up to 80%, to one-fifth of current levels, without even a loss in output.

The Nature Food journal published a report on their findings.

Amazingly, according to co-author Dr. André Cabrera Serrenho of Cambridge University’s Department of Engineering, they don’t exactly know how many chemicals we they make globally, where they go, where and how they aggregate, how often emissions they produce, or the amount waste they produce.

Balancing the production and consumption of nitrogen fertilizers with regional emission factors across nine worldwide areas, the researchers were able to map the global flows of manure and synthetic fertilizers as well as their emissions for 2019, along all phases of the lifecycle.

The majority of emissions for fertilizers, in contrast to many other products, are discovered to occur during use rather than during manufacture, according to the researchers’ findings.

Also Read: Farmers Replace Missing Airborne Nutrients With Fertilizer; Consequences Likely To Include Mercury Pollution

Hydroponics are alternative to reduce usage of fertilizer

Due to the water being recycled and reused, hydroponics uses between 70% and 90% less water than soil, as per Greenhouse Management.

Additionally, hydroponics eliminates the need for pesticides due to the absence of soil-borne pests.

In comparison to conventional approaches, it also consumes 60% less fertilizer.

In hydroponics, plants are grown in water rather than in soil. A controlled atmosphere for temperature and lighting is necessary for growing conditions.

Similar to dryland farming, hydroponic farming encourages an eco-friendly strategy while producing nourishing vegetables.

Both methods aid in overcoming the difficulty presented by unpredictable weather patterns. They enable the farmer to contribute significantly while being environmentally friendly.

Related Article: Experts Find How to Reduce Nitrogen Fertilizer Quantity for Growing Grain Crops

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