Methylcellulose/lignin biocomposite as an eco-friendly and multifunctional coating material for slow-release fertilizers: Effect on nutrients management and wheat growth

Fatima Zahra El Bouchtaoui, El Houssaine Ablouh, Manal Mhada, Ihsane Kassem, Mohamed Hamid Salim, Salma Mouhib, Zineb Kassab, Houssine Sehaqui, Mounir El Achaby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    To obviate adverse effects from the non-biodegradability of certain polymer-based slow-release fertilizers (SRFs) and to offset higher operational costs, the use of biopolymers as coating material has recently caught interest in the research circles. The present work aims to design a sustainable coating material based on biodegradable polymers. To this end, Alfa plant was initially exploited as a viable sustainable source for the extraction of lignin (LGe), which was in turn integrated into the development of a three-dimensional cross-linked network, including methylcellulose (MC) as a matrix and citric acid (CA) as a cross-linking agent. Then, the designed coating material was applied onto Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and Triple Superphosphate (TSP) water-soluble fertilizers in a rotating pan machine. Chemical, physical, and biodegradation studies have confirmed that the coating material is environmentally-friendly. Nutrients release experiments in water as well as in soil environments have proved the effectiveness of the MC and MC/LGe coating layers in delaying the nutrients discharge. Besides, the nutrients release from coated DAP and TSP lasted longer than 30 days. Furthermore, the coating film enhanced the fertilizers mechanical resistance and boosted the soil water retention capacity. The agronomic evaluation has also confirmed their remarkable potential in enhancing wheat leaf area, chlorophyll content and biomass, in addition to the roots architecture and the final fruiting efficiency. These results showed that this hybrid composite could be used as an efficient coating material to produce slow-release fertilizers with multifunctional performances.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)398-415
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
    Volume221
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 30 Nov 2022

    Keywords

    • Biodegradation
    • Biopolymers
    • Coating
    • Lignin
    • Slow-release fertilizer
    • Wheat crop

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