Paull, John (2009) A Century of Synthetic Fertilizer: 1909-2009. Journal of Bio-Dynamics Tasmania (94), pp. 16-21.
This year marks a centenary of the synthetic fertilizer industry. German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, in 1909 demonstrated their industrial process for the manufacture of ammonia. The achievement won them accolades including Nobel Prizes. The output of their Haber-Bosch process can be used for either peace or war, agriculture or munitions, and the rapid adoption by Germany of this industrial process is credited with prolonging WW1. Most of the synthetic nitrogenous fertilizer of the past century, and right up to the present, has been manufactured using the Haber-Bosch process. The use of synthetic fertilizers has led to significant negative environmental outcomes. Rudolf Steiner was an early voice against chemical agriculture. Steiner's Agriculture Course of 1924 led to the development and world-wide proliferation of Bio-dynamic Agriculture, a farming system which has always championed the biological fixation of nitrogen by soil micro-organisms. This paper identifies ten key differences between biological and Haber-Bosch chemical fixation of nitrogen.
|EPrint Type:||Journal paper|
|Keywords:||Fertilizer, synthetic fertilizer, Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, Haber-Bosch process, ammonia, nitrogen fixation, Oppau, WW1, Nobel Prize, Rudolf Steiner, bio-dynamic agriculture.|
|Subjects:|| Environmental aspects|
"Organics" in general > History of organics
"Organics" in general > Country reports > Switzerland
Farming Systems > Farm nutrient management
"Organics" in general > Country reports > Germany
"Organics" in general > Country reports > Europe
|Research affiliation:||Australia > Australian National University|
|Deposited By:||Paull, Dr John|
|Deposited On:||11 Jun 2009|
|Last Modified:||12 Apr 2010 07:39|
|Refereed:||Peer-reviewed and accepted|
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