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ROZO, Gladys; BOHORQUES, Laura  and  SANTAMARIA, Johanna. Controlled release fertilizer encapsulated by a κ-carrageenan hydrogel. Polímeros [online]. 2019, vol.29, n.3, e2019033.  Epub Oct 03, 2019. ISSN 1678-5169.

The release kinetics of nitrogen and phosphorous of a granulated fertilizer, encapsulated in a κ-carrageenan-based hydrogel (CBH), was evaluated in order to determine its release mechanism given the potential this hydrogel has as coating material for controlled release fertilizers (CFRs). The effect of pH on the release properties was also investigated. The relationship between the NH4+, NO3-, and PO43- release of encapsulated fertilizers and time was determined by short- and long-term laboratory incubations. The mechanism of the release of nutrient ions was determined by comparing the release data with the zero-order, first-order, Higuchi, Hixon-Crowell and Korsmeyer-Peppas kinetic models. The findings showed that the Korsmeyer-Peppas model could be used to describe the release characteristics of the nutrients in the encapsulated fertilizers and that non-Fickian diffusion is the main release mechanism. The experimental hydrogel showed a high water retention capacity able to absorb 300 times its weight water.

Keywords : carrageenan; controlled release fertilizers; hydropolymers; release behavior.

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