Smart nanofertilizers successfully tested on grapevines: HYPATIA project on La Provincia di Como
The HYPATIA project (www.hypatiagro.it) aims at integrating nanotechnology into fertilizers for a sustainable agriculture. The research is funded by Fondazione Cariplo and carried out by an interdisciplinary Team of 12 scientists, involving the Institute of Crystallography (IC-CNR) (Como site, Dr. Antonella Guagliardi), the University of Insubria, (Profs. Norberto Masciocchi and Fabio Ferri), University of Granada (Dr. José Manuel Delgado Lopez) and IFAPA (Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera – Cordoba, Dr. Alejandro Pérez de Luque). Calcium phosphate nanoparticles were synthetized and designed to incorporate N-based macronutrients necessary for plants growth. The in-depth characterization of these materials is performed through advanced X-ray scattering techniques in the small and wide angle, and synchrotron radiation (at Swiss Light Source of the Paul Scherrer Institute); the N-doping induces atomic-to-nanometer changes to the nanofertilizers that can be detected and modelled, and the slow and efficient release of macronutrients. These nanofertilizers have been successfully tested on grapevines (tempranillo variety, used for the famous Spanish Rioja wine) and will soon be tested on wheat plants. The news is reported in the local newspaper La Provincia (Como).