Controlled-Release Materials for Fertilizer Based on Lactic Acid Polymers
ontrolled-release materials for urea are prepared by spray coating urea granulates with lactic acid based homo- and co-polymers solutions. Percent coating as a function of polymer types, molecular weight, polymer concentration, and dose applications are examined by gravimetric analysis. Percentage of urea dissolution in water of the coated fertilizer is measured by monitoring refractive index of the solutions. Morphology of the polymer coating surfaces is revealed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). It was found that an amount of cracks and pin-holes, which is dependent on polymer types and molecular weight, plays a significant role in controlling the rate of urea release. Results from urea dissolution test also suggests that the synthesized poly(lactic acid-co-ethylene terephthalate) show urea-holding efficiency comparable to that of commercial PLA, despite its much lower molecular weight, indicating that the copolymer is potentially suitable for this specific application.
N. Jintakanon et al., "Controlled-Release Materials for Fertilizer Based on Lactic Acid Polymers", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 55-57, pp. 905-908, 2008