When Did Chemical Fertilizers First Used
Chemical Fertilizer

When Did Chemical Fertilizers First Used

  • November 3, 2021

The first synthetic N fertilizer was calcium nitrate, made in 1903 from nitric acid produced by the electric arc process.Future fertilizers not only must be technologically feasible, economical, and agronomically suitable—as have been past fertilizers—but also must meet various air and water pollution standards during production and have reduced total energy requirements. .

History of fertilizer

History of fertilizer

History of fertilizer

Egyptians, Romans, Babylonians, and early Germans all are recorded as using minerals and/or manure to enhance the productivity of their farms.In the 19th century, guano, which had been known and used in the Andes for at least 1500 years, was taken in large quantities from Peru and Chile (and later also from Namibia and other areas) to Europe and the USA.In the 1730s, Viscount Charles Townshend (1674–1738) first studied the improving effects of the four crop rotation system that he had observed in use in Flanders.Johann Friedrich Mayer (1719–1798) was the first to present to the world a series of experiments upon it the relation of gypsum to agriculture, and many chemists have followed him in the 19th century.Louis Augustin Guillaume Bosc intimates that the septic quality of gypsum (which he takes for granted) best explains its action on vegetation; but this opinion is subverted by the experiments of Davy.Humphry Davy found that, of two parcels of minced veal, the one mixed with gypsum, the other left by itself, and both exposed to the action of the sun, the latter was the first to exhibit symptoms of putrefaction.His theories were quickly disproven by the scientific community as a gross simplification, but the intermingling of economic interests with academic research, led to a process of 'knowledge erosion' in the field.In England, he attempted to implement his theories commercially through a fertilizer created by treating phosphate of lime in bone meal with sulfuric acid.[10] In the succeeding year he enlisted the services of Joseph Henry Gilbert, who had studied under Liebig at the University of Giessen, as director of research at the Rothamsted Experimental Station which he founded on his estate.To this day, the Rothamsted research station the pair founded still investigates the impact of inorganic and organic fertilizers on crop yields.The Birkeland–Eyde process was developed by Norwegian industrialist and scientist Kristian Birkeland along with his business partner Sam Eyde in 1903, based on a method used by Henry Cavendish in 1784.A factory based on the process was built in Rjukan and Notodden in Norway, combined with the building of large hydroelectric power facilities.The developing sciences of chemistry and Paleontology, combined with the discovery of coprolites in commercial quantities in East Anglia, led Fisons and Packard to develop sulfuric acid and fertilizer plants at Bramford, and Snape, Suffolk in the 1850s to create superphosphates, which were shipped around the world from the port at Ipswich.After World War I these businesses came under competitive pressure from naturally produced guano, primarily found on the Pacific islands, as their extraction and distribution had become economically attractive.By World War II they had acquired about 40 companies, including Hadfields in 1935,[citation needed] and two years later the large Anglo-Continental Guano Works, founded in 1917.The post-war environment was characterized by much higher production levels as a result of the "Green Revolution" and new types of seed with increased nitrogen-absorbing potential, notably the high-response varieties of maize, wheat, and rice.This has accompanied the development of strong national competition, accusations of cartels and supply monopolies, and ultimately another wave of mergers and acquisitions. .

A Brief History of Our Deadly Addiction to Nitrogen Fertilizer

A Brief History of Our Deadly Addiction to Nitrogen Fertilizer

A Brief History of Our Deadly Addiction to Nitrogen Fertilizer

Nitrogen is extremely plentiful—it makes up nearly 80 percent of the air we breathe.And so agriculture’s millennia-old nitrogen-cycling problem was solved.Today’s industrial-scale farms would not be possible without it.Today’s fertilizer plants, reports Vaclav Smil in his seminal book on nitrogen fertilizer, Enriching the Earth, rely on a scaled-up, refined version of the same process developed by Haber.Today, the United States remains a massive nitrogen-fertilizer user; with just 5 percent of the world’s population, we consume about 12 percent of global nitrogen-fertilizer production.“If Big Ag becomes hooked on cheap fracked gas to meet its fertilizer needs,” I warned, “then the fossil fuel industry will have gained a powerful ally in its effort to steamroll regulation and fight back opposition to fracking projects.”.Another recent study by Cornell researchers found similar crop rotations also reduced nitrogen runoff. .

Fertilizer History: The Haber-Bosch Process

Nitrogen is the single most important plant nutrient in today’s commercial fertilizers.Haber was presented with the Nobel Prize in 1920 for his research that unlocked the ammonia production process.In 1932, Bosch and Frederick Bergius received the Nobel Prize for their contributions to the invention and development of chemical high pressure methods.Through fertilizer, we have the means to ensure that each growing season’s crops have the nutrients necessary to yield nutritious, bountiful foods for an increasing global population.Lean more about fertilizer’s contribution to feeding the global population, the three essential elements that make up commercial fertilizers and fertilizer’s role in increasing U.S. corn yields. .

History of Chemical Fertilizer Development

The first synthetic N fertilizer was calcium nitrate, made in 1903 from nitric acid produced by the electric arc process.Future fertilizers not only must be technologically feasible, economical, and agronomically suitable—as have been past fertilizers—but also must meet various air and water pollution standards during production and have reduced total energy requirements. .

Chemical Fertiliser - an overview

In medieval Europe, between one-third and one-half of the arable land was left fallow.Spreading animal manures in the field, as well as inclusion of leguminous crops, helped to add nitrogen, a principal nutrient, to the soil.Consequently, yields began to decline.Necessity impelled the development of artificial fertilizers, which are chemical substances containing, in forms readily available to plants, the elements that improve the growth and productivity of crops.The three major nutrient elements that a crop needs are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.Lawes later founded the world's first agricultural experiment station on his own estate of Rothamsted, not far from London. .

The Postwar Fertilizer Industry Explodes

The Postwar Fertilizer Industry Explodes

The Postwar Fertilizer Industry Explodes

During the war, nitrogen was one of the prime components of TNT and other high explosives, and the U.S. government built 10 new plants to supply nitrogen for bombs.After the war, those plants produced ammonia for fertilizer.Fertilizer use exploded, in part because the supply was there and in part because farmers and scientists understood how important nutrients were to crops.These last three do not need to be supplied by fertilizers.Farmers have known for centuries that soil doesn't necessarily contain all of the nutrients that plants need.It was not until the last two centuries that chemists began to understand which specific chemical elements were supplied by materials like guano and bone meal.As World War I approached, U.S. officials began the systematic "Great Potash Search of 1910-1914.".By 1940, phosphorus was also being produced by chemical processes and by mining phosphate rock.The nitrogen produced took the chemical form of ammonia.By the end of the war, these new plants and the old ones were producing 730,000 tons of ammonia each year, and had the capacity of producing 1.6 million tons.The source was there, but there was some work still to do on how to apply ammonia to the fields.By the mid 40s, researchers were exploring ways to apply anhydrous ammonia directly into the soil.They used a knife-like applicator with an iron pipe welded on the back of it to inject the material five or six inches below the soil.Artificial fertilizers combined with new hybrid crops, new pesticides and developments in irrigation to produce an explosion in crop yields and production.

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I History of Chemical Fertilizers

Until the last 200–300 years, however, the approach to the subject was highly empirical; it was found by accident or by trial and error that applications of various organic wastes or mineral substances to the soil dramatically improved plant growth. .

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