Development of Slow Release Organic Fertilizer with Superabsorbent and Moisture Preservation Properties from Sugarcane Bagasse


  • S. W. Ndambuki Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Moi University, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya.
  • M. O. Okoth Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Moi University, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya
  • C. I. Muhanji Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Moi University, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya.


Fertilizer, control release, sugarcane baggase


Efficient assimilation of nutrients in farm lands and improvement of soil water retention capabilities can be achieved through the application of controlled release fertilizers. The ideal fertilizer should be able to provide essential nutrients and preferably with reasonable water holding capacity, be environment friendly and affordable. In addition, utilization of raw materials available in nature and their application to derive other useful products without any adverse impact on the environment has long been a desired goal. A controlled release organic fertilizer with superabsorbent and moisture preservation properties was prepared from sugarcane baggase (SCB), a lignocellulosic waste of sugarcane industry, as the source of the organic material and N, N’-methylene-bis-acrylamide (NNMBA) as crosslinker. The influence of SCB, crosslinker, reaction time, reaction temperature and acrylic acid neutralization on water absorbency was investigated. Macro and micro nutrient properties of the fertilizer and SCB were studied using Kjeldahl, flame photometry, Olsen method (colorimetry) and AAS, while characterization was done using FTIR. The nutrient release and moisture retention behaviour of the fertilizer treated, and untreated soil were also investigated. Water absorbency of fertilizer and SCB was found to be 2.12 g and 0.53g per gram sample respectively, when allowed to swell in tap water for one hour at room temperature. The results of nutrient analysis showed that the fertilizer contained 2.06% N, 2.51 ppm P and 9.94 ppm K while SCB contained 0.88% N, 0.91 ppm P and 5.42 ppm K. Although similar properties of the fertilizer were found in raw SCB, experimental results revealed that the fertilizer product possessed superior properties such as controlled release, superabsorbent and moisture preservation capabilities, which justified that it could be used as a bio-fertilizer for agricultural and horticultural applications, especially in areas that experience low rainfall patterns.


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How to Cite

Ndambuki, S. W., Okoth, M. O. ., & Muhanji, C. I. (2012). Development of Slow Release Organic Fertilizer with Superabsorbent and Moisture Preservation Properties from Sugarcane Bagasse. East African Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 2(1), Pg 124–140. Retrieved from