Reduce, reuse, recycle: The future of phosphorus

When Hennig Brandt discovered the element phosphorus in 1669, it was a mistake. He was really looking for gold. But his mistake was a very important scientific discovery. What Brandt couldn't have realized was the importance ...

Iron deficiency restrains marine microbes

Iron is a critical nutrient in the ocean. Its importance for algae and the nitrogen cycle has already been investigated in detail. Now, a new discovery shows that microbes also need iron to process phosphorus. A team of researchers ...

The history of China as told through phosphorus

(Phys.org)—Phosphorus is a necessary component of fertilizers needed for agriculture. In 2013 about 225 million tons of phosphate was extracted predominantly for fertilizer use. This rate could diminish the Earth's phosphorus ...

Dietary shifts driving up phosphorus use

Dietary changes since the early 1960s have fueled a sharp increase in the amount of mined phosphorus used to produce the food consumed by the average person over the course of a year, according to a new study led by researchers ...

Trace element plays major role in tropical forest nitrogen cycle

A new paper by researchers from the University of Georgia and Princeton University sheds light on the critical part played by a little-studied element, molybdenum, in the nutrient cycles of tropical forests. Understanding ...

Unsung bedrock of prosperity

Modern agriculture would be inconceivable without phosphate fertilizers - and it needs more and more of them. Experts warn of an imminent phosphorus shortage. But not Roland Scholz from the Institute of Environmental Decisions. ...

Calculating agriculture's phosphorus footprint

Balancing phosphorus levels in crop lands is a key factor that is often overlooked in discussions of global food security, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance ...

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