Kaolin has been extraordinarily functional as it is used as one of the materials in various industries. Because of its naturally occurring variety of crystal forms, sizes, and layer structures, these characteristics, together with favorable rheological, chemical, and physical qualities, contribute to the value of kaolin as an industrial raw material. Moreover, the use of kaolin is actually beyond that. Kaolin is also suitable for living creatures, like humans and plants! In agriculture, kaolin fertilizer is getting attention as its occurrence is new and makes people wonder about it.
How Does Kaolin Is Used as Fertilizer?
Fertilizer is one of the best elements for planting because fertilizer is the food for plants. Crop yields and agriculture production would dramatically fail if fertilizers were not used. As time goes by, farmers are increasingly exploring new ways to provide nutrients to plants to produce higher-quality agricultural products. One of many fertilizer innovations is the fertilizer that utilizes kaolin in its material. Let us see the role of kaolin in fertilizer.
1. As a Filler
Kaolin is mainly used as a filler in feed and fertilizers to achieve the desired consistency. The process is carried out through ultrasonication with the kaolin component acting as an exfoliant and an intercalated process. Although it is considered an experimental approach, adding kaolin improves fertilizer’s physical qualities.
Used in fertilizers, kaolin is a suitable filler for reducing caking due to its crystalline geometry that can offer good anticaking and nonfriability properties to the products and enhance fertilizer flow so that the fertilizer will be stored safely in moist conditions.
2. As a Prilling Material
Prilling is a technique used to create relatively homogeneous spherical particles from any liquid material. Kaolin is utilized as a prilling material to coat ammonium nitrate particles, which is the main component in many fertilizers. The ammonium nitrate particles stick together after receiving moisture from the air. After that, a thin layer of kaolin keeps the ammonium nitrate prills free-flowing.
3. As a Nutrient Carrier
Kaolin is used as a nutrient carrier in fertilizer produced through a mechanochemical process. In this way, the important nutrients for the plants can be delivered optimally.
4. As a Suspension
Because of its thickening ability, the kaolin may be used as a fertilizer suspension. A suspension formulation is famous since it is simple to apply and does not produce dust. The properties of the suspension formulation are gel-like and stay stable over long periods of time, which is a natural characteristic of kaolin.
What Makes Kaolin Fertilizer Beneficial?
The future of fertilizers that use kaolin is considered bright due to its beneficial reasons, which will be described below.
1. Potential for Economically Reachable Fertilizer
Although the application of kaolin fertilizer is still low, it holds the potential to become a low-cost product since the material is easy to find. Conventional high-priced chemical fertilizers, such as ammonium nitrates and superphosphates, are projected to grow more expensive in real terms over time as the actual cost of energy utilized in their production rises compared to crop prices. The only feasible and sustainable strategy to expand food production appears to be to increase the usage of low-cost fertilizer.
2. Promotes Practical Farming
Growing plants and trees has never been an easy job. It requires a strong commitment because plants do not develop overnight. Fertilizers that utilize kaolin as one of the ingredients will help the farmer grow their plants quickly because of their advantageous role in the fertilizer. Moreover, kaolin is very functional for the whole plant care, such as being an alternative to the eco-friendly UV protection that works against heat stress damage and pesticides so that the plants will be healthy.
That is the information about kaolin fertilizer. The utilization of kaolin in fertilizer is considered a brilliant way because of the advantages that kaolin offers to the agriculture sector. Hopefully, the usage of this clay mineral fertilizer is increasing vastly to achieve a healthier and easier planting.