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Thread: "Bionitrogen", hope or hype?

  1. #1 "Bionitrogen", hope or hype? 
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    Nitrogen is essential for protein synthesis and plant growth, but many plants are unable to "fix" atmospheric nitrogen, so it must be added by some means- lightning does so, as do certain plants, principally legumes. It is also available to plants from plant and animal wastes, which decompose in the manner so beloved by "organic" enthusiasts. Naturally occurring nitrate minerals have been used as well, but these are limited in availability and are at the moment not much in use.

    These processes have been proven insufficient for modern agriculture- enter the Haber process used in producing synthetic fertilizer. Now a new rival has appeared on the scene- but to me the question is, "Is there any advantage to this process over the practice of growing, say, alfalfa, and then plowing it under?"

    Alfalfa is a legume, fixes nitrogen, and plowing it under conserves the phosphorous and potassium as well as other trace nutrients. This conserves the elements and energy otherwise expended in dragging the biomass back and forth for off site processing as proposed by

    BioNitrogen Corp. (BION). A global urea manufacture. Converting biomass to urea and urea fertilizer.


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  3. #2  
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    but many plants are unable to "fix" atmospheric nitrogen
    Well, actually no plants are able to fix nitrogen. Some have roots though where nitrogen fix'in bacteria like to hang out though. Not enough on their web site to indicate bionitrogen is doing anything much fanicier than any other standard fertilizer.


    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  4. #3  
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    Point taken. Generally these are legumes, but if grasses could be engineered genetically they could perform as well at fixing nitrogen- but phosphorous and potassium limitations would still be a factor, in accordance with the law of the minimum.

    Justus von Liebig - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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