Subcategory: Materials Science
Johnathan Mitchell - Tuskegee University
Co-Author(s): Demetrius Finley, Tuskegee University
Plant health and nourishment is a growing concern. This concern rises due to the world population steadily increasing, there are just more mouths to feed. With climate and geological changes occurring every day, producing well-nourished plants becomes more difficult. Most micronutrients (i.e., Cu, Zn, or Mg) fail to find their way to the roots of the plants before ultimately being washed away or not properly being displaced within the pedosphere. Developing a source of delivery that can eliminate these issues is of the upmost importance. Cellulose creates an eco-friendly supplemental delivery system that can protect the nutrients supplied to the plant while presenting no toxic waste to the environment. Cellulose is the most abundant renewable biopolymer on the earth. Cellulose is a complex carbohydrate made up of several thousand glucose molecules linked end to end, and due to its intra- and intermolecular hydrogen bonding various ordered crystalline arrangements are observed. Given the abundance of natural resources available for cellulose and the unique chemical and physical properties, it has great potential for use in the agricultural industry. The Curry group has developed cellulose-beads and tested its release of Cu nanoparticles via solution. In order for this system to be fully functional, the Cellulose beads must be capable of being employed as stationary delivery systems that can effectively release nutrients to plants while undergoing the biodegradation process. Hence, my project will explore the employment of cellulose beads into the soil of crops to test its ability to effectively deliver its nutrients during the biodegradation process. UV-vis, GC and LC/MS will be used to determine the efficiency of Cellulose beads as plant-based nutrient delivery systems.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Tuskegee Mechanical Engineeing department; Tuskegee Material Siences Engineering department; Tuskegee Chemistry department; Michael curry
Faculty Advisor: Michael Curry, Mcurry@tuskegee.edu
Role: The production of the cellulose beads, to the completion of the research.