bigstock green wheat field 27082217Nitrogen Fixation

Nitrogen fixation is the natural biological process, by which nitrogen (N2) in the atmosphere is converted into ammonia (NH3). Humanity depends on fixed nitrogen to fertilise croplands, and helping nature in relation to nitrogen availability is a key aspect of world food security.

Nitrogen fertilisation is a requirement of modern agriculture to increase crop productivity, however the majority of current products are inefficient in application and uptake by plants.These products and current practices are now environmentally unsustainable in the volumes that are being applied. The application is increasingly expensive, and the excess nitrogen chemically binds with other elements  in the environment to create pollution that fouls the water and air.

Approximately 2% of world energy use is dedicated specifically to the industrial manufacture of Nr, mainly through the Haber-Bosch process, so that Nr prices are closely coupled to global energy prices (Global Overview on Nutrient Management).

Nitrogen based fertilisers are environmentally unsustainable in the volumes that are being applied and have become increasingly cost prohibitive. There is a definite requirement for a natural nitrogen fixing technology that is both effective and sustainable.

In agriculture, Nitrates are added in vast quantities to increase crop productivity; this is a very inefficient process.  Nitrogen use efficiency’ (NUE) is becoming less efficient in agriculture. In 2000 nitrogen efficiency (which is defined as the net output of nitrogen in products, divided by the total inputs of nitrogen) in agriculture worldwide was 50% and in Europe was 36%. (EC report on Nitrogen Pollution and the European Environment 2013.)

Azotic technologies has developed a new nitrogen-fixing technology (N-Fix®) which will have a huge impact on agriculture.