Agricultural decarbonization gets new emphasis at ORNL

Finding a way to reduce metric tons of carbon dioxide while sustaining food products to feed the country and the world is becoming an area of increased focus in national decarbonization efforts and is attracting increased attention at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Combining sunlight and wastewater nitrate to make the world’s No. 2 chemical

Engineers at the University of Illinois Chicago have created a solar-powered electrochemical reaction that not only uses wastewater to make ammonia — the second most-produced chemical in the world — but also achieves a solar-to-fuel efficiency that is 10 times better than any other comparable technology.

New test measures corn nitrogen needs with greater accuracy

A recently published study analyzed a combination of soil tests to gauge corn nitrogen needs more accurately than the standard chemical tests that have been in use for roughly 50 years. The research could result in economic benefits to farmers and improved environmental quality.

Continuous soil fertility monitor could benefit agriculture

The ever-increasing price of fertilizers and environmental concerns about nutrient runoff make development of a rugged continuous electronic monitoring device to detect soil fertility a possible boon to agriculture in the United States and the United Kingdom (UK).

In Cuba, Cleaner Rivers Follow Greener Farming

For the first time in more than 50 years, a joint team of Cuban and U.S. field scientists studied the water quality of twenty-five Cuban rivers and found little damage after centuries of sugarcane production. They also found nutrient pollution in Cuba’s rivers much lower than the Mississippi River. Cuba’s shift to conservation agriculture after the collapse of the Soviet Union—and reduced use of fertilizers on cropland—may be a primary cause.