Summary
A fertilizer (American English) or fertiliser (British English) is any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soil or to plant tissues to supply plant nutrients. Fertilizers may be distinct from liming materials or other non-nutrient soil amendments. Many sources of fertilizer exist, both natural and industrially produced. For most modern agricultural practices, fertilization focuses on three main macro nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) with occasional addition of supplements like rock flour for micronutrients. Farmers apply these fertilizers in a variety of ways: through dry or pelletized or liquid application processes, using large agricultural equipment or hand-tool methods. Historically fertilization came from natural or organic sources: compost, animal manure, human manure, harvested minerals, crop rotations and byproducts of human-nature industries (i.e. fish processing waste, or bloodmeal from animal slaughter). However, starting in the 19th century, after innovations in plant nutrition, an agricultural industry developed around synthetically created fertilizers. This transition was important in transforming the global food system, allowing for larger-scale industrial agriculture with large crop yields. Nitrogen-fixing chemical processes, such as the Haber process invented at the beginning of the 20th century, and amplified by production capacity created during World War II, led to a boom in using nitrogen fertilizers. In the latter half of the 20th century, increased use of nitrogen fertilizers (800% increase between 1961 and 2019) has been a crucial component of the increased productivity of conventional food systems (more than 30% per capita) as part of the so-called "Green Revolution". The use of artificial and industrially-applied fertilizers has caused environmental consequences such as water pollution and eutrophication due to nutritional runoff; carbon and other emissions from fertilizer production and mining; and contamination and pollution of soil.
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Related publications (18)

Valorization of calcium phosphite waste as phosphorus fertilizer: Effects on green manure productivity and soil properties

Alexandre Buttler, Luca Bragazza, Thomas Guillaume, Mathieu Raymond Santonja, Mario Fontana

The potential to use calcium phosphite (Ca-Phi) as phosphorus (P) fertilizer may represent an effective recycling of P-containing by-products. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to investigate the
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD2021

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The Haber process, also called the Haber–Bosch process, is the main industrial procedure for the production of ammonia. It is named after its inventors, the German chemists: Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, who developed it in the first decade of the 20th century. The process converts atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) by a reaction with hydrogen (H2) using a metal catalyst under high temperatures and pressures. This reaction is slightly exothermic (i.e.
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Urea, also called carbamide (because it is a diamide of Carbamic acid), is an organic compound with chemical formula . This amide has two amino groups (–) joined by a carbonyl functional group (–C(=O)–). It is thus the simplest amide of carbamic acid. Urea serves an important role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds by animals and is the main nitrogen-containing substance in the urine of mammals. Urea is Neo-Latin, , , itself from Proto-Indo-European *h2worsom.
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