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A Century of Synthetic Fertilizer:1909-2009

Paull, John

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A century ago, two German chemists laid the commercial foundations for the synthetic fertilizer industry. 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. The rapid adoption by Germany of this industrial process is credited with prolonging WW1. Most of the synthetic nitrogenous...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorPaull, John
dc.date.accessioned2009-06-15T06:30:58Z
dc.date.accessioned2011-01-05T08:40:51Z
dc.date.available2009-06-15T06:30:58Z
dc.date.available2011-01-05T08:40:51Z
dc.identifier.citationPaull, John (2009) A Century of Synthetic Fertilizer:1909-2009. Journal of Bio-Dynamics Tasmania (94): 16-21.
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/48022
dc.description.abstractA century ago, two German chemists laid the commercial foundations for the synthetic fertilizer industry. 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. 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.
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherJournal of Bio-Dynamics Tasmania
dc.subjectCarl Bosch, Fritz Haber, fertilizer, synthetic fertilizer, Haber-Bosch process, ammonia, nitrogenous fertilizer, fixation of nitrogen, Rudolf Steiner, Bio-dynamic agriculture, organic farming.
dc.titleA Century of Synthetic Fertilizer:1909-2009
dc.typeJournal article
dc.date.issued2009-06
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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