May 18, 2017 01:26 PM EDT
Fertilizer from air production is now possible as African farmers were able to produce their own. Moreover, the method is proved to be five times more efficient.
Science Daily reported that nitrogen from the atmosphere can now be converted into the raw material for fertilizer, NOx. The procedure was first discovered by African farmers represented by the Ph.D. candidate from the Eindhoven University of Technology Bhaskar S. Patil as they were able to produce fertilizer from the air.
According to Engineering 360, a reactor was produced to convert nitrogen from the atmosphere to make the raw material that is the prime content of fertilizer. Furthermore, the fertilizer that is produced is not just an ordinary fertilizer, but a premium fertilizer that is found to be five times more efficient than other fertilizers.
The fertilizer from the air will enable farmers to be installed even without the need for big investment making it cost saving aside from its efficiency. As compared to the current methods of production, the fertilizer from the air can result in about two percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
Patil used the method for his Ph.D. research for the possible alternative method for producing ammonia and nitrogen oxides. He built two types of reactors, the Dielectric Barrier Discharge or DBD and the Gliding Arc or GA. However, the Gliding Arc reactor is found to be the most fitted reactor for the fertilizer from air method especially in the production of nitrogen oxides.
While in Africa, Patil tested the reactor to make fertilizer from the air at a volume of six liters per minute. And to his amazement, the reactor managed to achieve up to 2.8 MJ/mole energy consumption level. The result showed better efficiency than the commercially developed method which can only make 0.5 MJ/mole.
Now, the research of Patil on the reactor is now under the guidance of The German Evonik Industries and is on further development. The fertilizer from the air will now be used on remote farms to stimulate the growth of plants and to store sustainable energy.