Wyoming Patent of the Month – June 2022
Regardless of how plants are grown (field, hydroponics, fertirrigation etc.), plants need nutrients to grow. Calcium is one of these essential elements, often supplied calcium nitrate – which also provides nitrogen to the plant. Other nutrients are attained from potassium nitrate, sulfate, monopotassium phosphate and more. When creating fertilizers, the reactions between each of these compounds must be considered. For instance, certain reactions result in the formation of precipitates or chelates. Calcium and sulfur are particularly difficult as they form a calcium sulfate precipitate with ease.
Total Grow, LLC has recently formulated an aqueous solution that beats this precipitation problem. Their solution is a concentrated suspension of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) made with salts. The suspension comprises microfibrillated linear polymers of D-glucose molecules homogenize through a fibrillation process. In addition to these MFCs, the solution has calcium ions, sulfate ions, and other substances for plant nutrition.
MFC is a substance composed of cellulose and water. This substance can store large quantities of water in a gel-like suspension. When cellulose goes through the fibrillation process, their surface area becomes much larger and exposes a greater number of hydroxyl groups. This exposure increases the negative charge, making the MFC more capable of capturing positively charged ions – such as calcium. This capturing prevents the calcium from bonding with sulfates and stops any precipitate from forming.
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