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Development of nanocomposites based on polysaccharide hydrogels applied to the administration of essential micronutrients for agricultural development

Grant number: 12/01160-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2012
Effective date (End): February 28, 2014
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Cauê Ribeiro de Oliveira
Grantee:Adriel Bortolin
Host Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


With the increase of consumption and the reducing of the areas for plantation, is necessary to invest in new technologies which aim to enhance the quality and the productivity of agricultural crop. Therefore, is substantial a soil with good quality that provide all nutrient and micronutrient essentials for the development of the plant. An essential micronutrient for plants, with a high commercial value in which the Brazilian soils have big deficit, is the boron. Thus, this present project aims to study the production of hydrolyzed hydrogels composed of polyacrylamide and methyl cellulose reinforced with clay and intercalated with boron micronutrient, administered in different commercial ways, and evaluate their performance in the controlled release of this micronutrient. The hydrophilic properties of hydrogels will be determined by measuring their swelling degree. The thermal properties will be evaluated using the thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry techniques. The mechanical and spectroscopic properties will be evaluated through compression tests and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, respectively. The leaching tests will be carried out to observe the loss of boron in systems with or without nanocomposite. The capability of sorption and controlled release of boron will be optimized as function of the hydrogel constituents, taking into account the obtaining of a new product with low-cost, aiming its application in agriculture. (AU)

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