Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Myth or soon a reality?

Abstract:
The use of nanomaterials in agriculture could, on the one hand, reduce cost and effort, increase efficiency and lead to more environmentally sound applications. On the other hand, it might also have a negative effect on microorganisms in the soil. This is concluded by the authors of a review article written within the scope of the National Research Programme "Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials" (NRP 64).

Myth or soon a reality?

Bern, Switzerland | Posted on November 3rd, 2012

Although no plant protection products or fertilisers containing nanomaterials are available on the market as yet, nanomaterials are becoming an increasingly important issue in agriculture, particularly as additives or agents in fertilisers or plant protection products: The number of scientific publications and patents on nanomaterials in this area has increased exponentially since the turn of the millennium, according to a review article recently published by researchers from the Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station and the Federal Office for Agriculture (*). With around 70 articles published until now, it is still possible for researchers to gain an overview of the topic. The USA and Germany are leading the field with regard to patents, but most of the scientific articles have been written in Asian countries.

Often outside the traditional nano range

Approximately 40 percent of the publications deal with carbon-based nanomaterials, followed by titanium dioxide, silver, silicagel and aluminium. Nanomaterials can be integrated into formulations in different forms and states - from solid particles through to polymers and emulsions. It is noticeable that the material development is often based on natural and degradable basic substances. The nanomaterials used are often larger than 100 nanometres and therefore by definition lie outside the classical nano range. In new plant protection products, in particular, the nanomaterials often serve as an additive that helps to release the agent in a controlled manner.

1000-fold higher flux into soils

The potential improvement of plant protection products and fertilisers through nanomaterials is offset by their significantly higher flux into soils if nanomaterials are used. Experts currently predict that this rate could be as much as 1000 times higher than the load released from the atmosphere. Hence, soil organisms and crops would also be more exposed to these substances.
Companies in Switzerland are already required to declare any nanomaterials contained in new plant protection products that they wish to register. However, international principles of nano-specific risk assessment are still at the development stage. As part of the National Research Programme "Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials" (NRP 64), the project NANOMICROPS (Effects of NANOparticles on beneficial soil MIcrobes and CROPS) is contributing to these efforts by developing ecotoxicological test systems for soil microorganisms and crops as well as making available analytical methods for quantifying nanomaterials in agriculturally significant environmental compartments such as soil and water.

(*) Alexander Gogos, Katja Knauer, and Thomas D. Bucheli (2012). Nanomaterials in Plant Protection and Fertilization: Current State, Foreseen Applications, and Research Priorities. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60: 9781-9792
(available as a PDF from the SNSF; e-mail: )

####

About Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung
Acting on a mandate issued by the Swiss Federal Government, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) supports research undertaken inside and outside universities and fosters young scientific talent.

The Foundation Council is the governing body of the SNSF, which was founded in 1952. The Foundation Council has representatives of the scientific and research communities, the Federal Government and the cantons as well as economic and cultural institutions.

The Research Council, which is divided into four Divisions, evaluates research projects and makes decisions about awarding grants. The Local Research Commissions award fellowships for prospective researchers and assist the SNSF with the evaluation of grant applications.

The Secretariat, based in Berne, does the groundwork for the business of the Foundation and Research Councils and is responsible for administrative and financial duties.

About NRP 64

The aim of the National Research Programme "Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials" (NRP 64) is to close research gaps so that the opportunities and risks of using nanomaterials can be more accurately assessed. The results of the 23 research projects will serve as a basis for the preparation of guidelines for the production, use and disposal of nanomaterials. This will support the development and application of safe technologies, optimise the benefits of using nanomaterials and minimise risk for humans and the environment. NRP 64 has a budget of CHF 12 million and will run until October 2016.

www.nfp64.ch

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Philippe Trinchan
+41 (0)31 3082222


Thomas Bucheli
(Principal Investigator)
Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station
Reckenholzstrasse 191
CH-8046 Zurich
Tel. 044 377 73 42


Mark Bächer
(Head of Knowledge Transfer NRP 64)
Life Science Communication AG
Reitergasse 11
CH-8021 Zurich
Tel.: 043 266 88 50

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

New laser based on unusual physics phenomenon could improve telecommunications, computing January 12th, 2017

Announcements

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

News from Quorum: The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA uses a Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system for the study of mites, ticks and other soft bodied organisms November 22nd, 2016

Water, water -- the two types of liquid water: Understanding water's behavior could help with Alzheimer's research November 11th, 2016

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years: Targeted medicine deliveries and increased energy efficiency are just two of many ways October 26th, 2016

Water

Scientists have discovered a new state of matter for water January 2nd, 2017

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Water, water -- the two types of liquid water: Understanding water's behavior could help with Alzheimer's research November 11th, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Investigating the impact of natural and manmade nanomaterials on living things: Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology develops tools to assess current and future risk January 9th, 2017

First time physicists observed and quantified tiny nanoparticle crossing lipid membrane November 7th, 2016

SUN shares its latest achievements during the 3rd Annual Project Meeting November 1st, 2016

The Sustainable Nanotechnologies Project’s Final Events: Bringing Nano Environmental Health and Safety Assessment to the Wider Discussion on Risk Governance of Key Enabling Technologies November 1st, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project