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Don’t Let Grass Grow Under Your Feet: Laser Diffraction for Characterization of Fertilizers

The particle size distribution of granular fertilizer products has a large effect on their efficiency, flowability and bulk behavior. Also to make the manufacturing process (e.g. grinding) more costeffective, it is particularly important to monitor a product’s particle size distribution. This application report focuses on the characterization of different fertilizer samples by the means of laser diffraction.

Introduction

For controlling and supporting growth and development of plants, not only light, air and water are needed, but also different chemical elements. Fertilizers are substances or mixtures of substances that supplement the nutrients for cultivated crops and plants.

Soil can, in some cases, naturally provide a substantial amount of those nutrients. However, nutrients in the soil might not be present in an optimal form for utilization by the plants, or in sufficient quantity. The nutrients are either naturally present only in low amounts or they might be already consumed by previously harvested plants or crops. Hence, fertilizers are used to replenish the soil nutrients and promote plant growth.

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