Fertilizer research

, Volume 42, Issue 1–3, pp 251–259 | Cite as

Recent developments on the use of urease inhibitors in the tropics

  • B. H. Byrnes
  • J. R. Freney
Article

Abstract

Urea has become the most widely used form of N fertilizer in the world, particularly in the tropics. Its efficiency, however, is decreased by losses of N through ammonia volatilization when the urea is not incorporated into the soil. High temperatures and high biological activity at the soil surface promote rapid hydrolysis of urea to ammonia and carbonate species by the soil enzyme urease, leading to large ammonia losses. These conditions have generated interest in materials that can inhibit the urease enzyme, slowing urea hydrolysis and allowing the urea to move away from the soil surface to where it is not as susceptible to ammonia loss. The phosphoryl di- and triamides, which are structural analogs of urea, meet the requirements for effective soil urease inhibition to varying degrees depending on the conditions of their use. Until the discovery of these compounds, there was little hope that urease inhibition could be achieved either economically or in an environmentally acceptable way. Included in this group is N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBTPT), which is that most widely tested proinhibitor or precursor of the actual inhibitor N-(n-butyl) phosphoric triamide. Recent research in tropical rice systems indicates that urease inhibitors such as N-(n-butyl) phosphoric triamide and cyclohexylphosphoric triamide can play an important role in increasing urea efficiency. In some experiments where urease inhibition was only partially successful, better results were obtained when the phosphoroamides were used in conjunction with an algicide, to restrict ammonia loss, and nitrification inhibitors, to reduce loss of N by denitrification. Further research on tropical soils in different environments is required to determine the most suitable combination of inhibitors to reduce N loss and increase the efficiency of fertilizer N use.

Key words

ammonia volatilization N efficiency phenyl phosphorodiamidate phosphoric triamides urea 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Al-Kanani T, MacKenzie AF, Fyles JW, Ghazala S and O'Halloran IP (1994) Ammonia volatilization from urea amended with lignosulfonate and phosphoroamide. Soil Sci Soc Am J 58: 244–248Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Beyrouty CA, Sommers LE and Nelson DW (1988) Ammonia volatilization from surface-applied urea as affected by several phosphoroamide compounds. Soil Sci Soc Am J 52: 1173–1178Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bremner JM and Chai HS (1986) Evaluation of N-butyl phosphorothioic triamide for retardation of urea hydrolysis in soil. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 17: 337–351Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bremner JM and Mulvaney RL (1978) Urease activity in soils. In: Burns RG (ed) Soil Enzymes, pp 149–196. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    British Sulphur (1993) Statistical supplement: Nitrogen fertilizer statistics 1991. Nitrogen 203: 37–40Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Broadbent FE, Nakashima T and Chang GY (1985) Performance of some urease inhibitors in field trials with corn. Soil Sci Soc Am J 49: 348–351Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bronson KF, Touchton JT, Hiltbold AE and Hendrickson LL (1989) Control of ammonia volatilization with N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide in loamy sands. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 20: 1439–1451Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Buresh RJ, De Datta SK, Padilla JL and Chua TT (1988) Potential of inhibitors for increasing response of lowland rice to urea fertilization. Agron J 80: 947–952Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Buresh RJ, De Datta SK, Padilla JL and Samson MI (1988) Field evaluation of two urease inhibitors with transplanted lowland rice. Agron J 80: 763–768Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Buresh RJ, De Datta SK, Padilla JL and Samson MI (1988) Effect of two urease inhibitors on floodwater ammonia following urea application to lowland rice. Soil Sci Soc Am J 52: 856–861Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Byrnes BH (1988) The degradation of the urease inhibitor phenyl phosphorodiamidate in soil systems and the performance of N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide in flooded rice culture. Ph.D. thesis, Technical University of Munich, Weihenstephan, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Byrnes BH and Amberger A (1989) Fate of broadcast urea in a flooded soil when treated with N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide, a urease inhibitor. Fert Res 18: 221–231Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Byrnes BH and Christianson CB (1988) Development of a urease inhibitor from N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide. Agron Abs 212Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Byrnes B, Gutser R and Amberger A (1989) Greenhouse study of the urease inhibitors phenyl phosphorodiamidate and N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide on the efficiency of urea applied to flooded rice. Z Pflanzenernähr Bodenkd 152: 67–72Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Byrnes BH, Savant NK and Craswell NT (1983) Effect of a urease inhibitor phenyl phosphorodiamidate (PPD) on the efficiency of urea applied to rice. Soil Sci Soc Am J 47: 270–274Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Byrnes B, Vilsmeier K, Austin E and Amberger A (1989) Degradation of the urease inhibitor phenyl phosphorodiamidate in solutions and floodwaters. J Agric Food Chem 37: 473–477Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cai GX, Freney JR, Muirhead WA, Simpson JR, Chen DL and Trevitt ACF (1989) The evaluation of urease inhibitors to improve the efficiency of urea as a N-source for flooded rice. Soil Biol Biochem 21: 137–145Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Carmona G, Christianson CB and Byrnes BH (1990) Temperature and low concentration effects of the urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (nBTPT) on ammonia volatilization from urea. Soil Biol Biochem 22: 933–937Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Christianson CB, Baethgen WE, Carmona G and Howard RG (1993) Microsite reactions of urea-nBTPT fertilizer on the soil surface. Soil Biol Biochem 25: 1107–1117Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Christianson CB, Byrnes BH and Carmlona G (1990) A comparison of the sulfur and oxygen analogs of phosphoric triamide urease inhibitors in reducing urea hydrolysis and ammonia volatilization. Fert Res 26: 21–27Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Conrad JP (1940) The nature of the catalyst causing the hydrolysis of urea in soils. Soil Sci 50: 119–134Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Creason GL, Schmitt MR, Douglass EA and Hendrickson LL (1990) Urease inhibitory activity associated with N-(n-butyl) thio-phosphoric triamide is due to formation of its oxon analog. Soil Biol Biochem 22: 209–211Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Douglass EA and Hendrickson LL (1989) Urease inhibition of N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide and its oxon analog in diverse soils. Agron Abs 214Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Fillery IRP and De Datta SK (1986) Ammonia volatilization from nitrogen sources applied to rice fields: I. Methodology, ammonia fluxes, and nitrogen-15 loss. Soil Sci Soc Am J 50: 80–86Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Fillery IRP, De Datta SK and Craswell ET (1986) Effect of phenyl phosphorodiamidate on the fate of urea applied to wetland rice fields. Fert Res 9: 251–263Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Freney JR, Keerthisinghe DG, Chaiwanakupt P and Phongpan S (1993) Use of urease inhibitors to reduce ammonia loss following application of urea to flooded rice fields. Plant and Soil 155/156: 371–373Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Freney JR, Keerthisinghe DG, Phongpan S, Chaiwanakupt P and Harrington K (1994) Effect of urease, nitrification and algal inhibitors on ammonia loss, and grain yield of flooded rice in Thailand. Fert Res 40: 225–233Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Freney JR, Simpson JR, Zhu ZL and Aziz B (1989) Gaseous nitrogen loss from urea fertilizers in Asian cropping systems. Australian Centre for Int Agric Res, Canberra, Australia. 17pGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Freney JR, Trevitt ACF, De Datta SK, Obcemea WN and Real JG (1990) The interdependence of ammonia volatilization and denitrification as nitrogen loss processes in flooded rice field in the Philippines. Biol Fertil Soils 9: 31–36Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hargrove WL (1988) Soil, environmental, and management factors influencing ammonia volatilization under field conditions. In: Bock BR and Kissel DE (eds) Ammonia Volatilization From Urea Fertilizers, Bull. Y-206, pp 17–36. National Fertilizer Development Center, TVA, Muscle Shoals, ALGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Hauck RD (1984) Technological approaches to improving the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer use by crop plants. In: Hauck RD (ed) Nitrogen in Crop Production, pp 551–560. Am Soc Agron., Madison, WiscGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hendrickson LL (1992) Corn yield response to the urease inhibitor NBPT: Five-year summary. J Prod Agric 5(1): 131–137Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hendrickson LL (1990) Corn yield response to the urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) when applied with urea. Presented at the North-Central Extension-Industry Soil Fertility Conf., St. Louis, MO, Nov. 14 and 15, 1990Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hendrickson LL and Douglass EA (1993) Metabolism of the urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) in soils. Soil Biol Biochem 25: 1613–1618Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Keerthisinghe DG and Freney JR (1994) Inhibition of urease activity in flooded soils: effect of thiophosphorictriamides and phosphorictriamides. Soil Biol Biochem (In press)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lu W, Lindau CW, Pardue JH, Patrick WH Jr, Reddy KR and Khind CS (1989) Potential of phenylphosphorodiamidate and N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide for inhibiting urea hydrolysis in simulated oxidized and reduced soils. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 20: 775–788Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Luo Qui-xiang, Freney JR, Keerthisinghe DG and Peoples MB (1994) Inhibition of urease activity in flooded soils by phenylphosphorodiamidate and N-(n-butyl) thiophosphorictriamide. Soil Biol Biochem (In press)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Martens DA and Bremner JM (1984) Urea hydrolysis in soils: Factors influencing the effectiveness of phenyl phosphorodiamidate as a retardant. Soil Biol Biochem 16: 515–519Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    McCarty GW, Bremner JM and Chai HS (1989) Effect of N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide on hydrolysis of urea by plant, microbial, and soil urease. Biol Fertil Soils 8: 123–127Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Medina R and Radel RJ (1988) Mechanisms of urease inhibition. In: Bock BR and Kissel DE (eds) Ammonia Volatilization From Urea Fertilizers, Bull. Y-206, pp 137–174. National Fertilizer Development Center, TVA, Muscle Shoals, ALGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Mikkelsen DS, De Datta SK and Obcemea WN (1978) Ammonia volatilization losses from flooded rice soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 42: 725–730Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Mulvaney RL and Bremner JM (1981) Control of urea transformations in soils. In: Paul EA and Ladd JN (eds) Soil Biochemistry, Vol. 5, pp 153–159. Marcel Dekker, Inc., NYGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Pettit NM, Smith HRJ, Freedman RB and Burns RG (1976) Soil urease: activity, stability and kinetic properties. Soil Biol Biochem 8: 479–484Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Phongpan S and Byrnes BH (1993) Effect of methods of application on the efficiency of urea broadcast onto lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.). Biol Fertil Soils 15: 235–240Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Phongpan S and Byrnes BH (1990) The effect of the urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide on the efficiency of urea application in a flooded rice field trial in Thailand. Fert Res 25: 145–151Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Phongpan S, Freney JR, Keerthisinghe DG and Chaiwanakupt P (1995) Use of phenylphosphorodiamidate and N-(n-butyl) thiophosphorictriamide to reduce ammonia loss and increase grain yield following application of urea to flooded rice. Fert Res 41: 59–66Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Popp T (1988) Nitrogen losses from urea-techniques and means for their control. In: Pushparajah E, Hussin A, Bachik AT (eds) Int Symp on Urea Technol and Utilization, pp 321–334. Malaysian Society of Soil Science, Kuala LumpurGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Radel RJ, Gautney J and Peters GE (1988) Urease inhibitor developments. In: Bock BR and Kissel DE (eds) Ammonia Volatilization From Urea Fertilizers. Bull. Y-206, pp 111–136. National Fertilizer Development Center, Muscle Shoals, ALGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Schlegel AJ, Nelson DW and Sommers LE (1986) Field evaluation of urease inhibitors for corn production. Agron J 78: 1007–1012Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Simpson JR and Freney JR (1988) Interacting processes in gaseous nitrogen loss from urea applied to flooded rice fields. In: Pushparajah E, Husin A, Bachik AT (eds) Int Symp on Urea Technol and Utilization, pp 281–290. Malaysian Society of Soil Science, Kuala LumpurGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Simpson JR, Freney JR, Muirhead WA and Leuning R (1985) Effects of phenyl phosphorodiamidate and dicyandiamide on nitrogen loss from flooded rice. Soil Sci Soc Am J 49: 1426–1431Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Tomlinson TE (1970) Urea: agronomic applications. Proc Fert Soc 113: 1–76Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Varsa EC, Jemison JM, Osborn MW, Leis AK, Hnetkovsky SW and Jan N (1993) Effect of NBPT-amended urea and UAN on no-till corn in southern Illinois. Presented at the 23rd North Central Extension Industry Soil Fertility Conf., St. Louis, MO, October 27 and 28, 1993Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Vlek PLG, Stumpe JM and Byrnes BH (1980) Urease activity and inhibition in flooded soil systems. Fert Res 1: 191–202Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Wang ZP, Van Cleemput O, Demeyer P and Baert L (1991) Effect of urease inhibitors on urea hydrolysis and ammonia volatilization. Biol Fertil Soils 11: 43–47Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Watson CJ, Steven RJ and Laughlin RJ (1990) Effectiveness of the urease inhibitor NBPT (N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide) for improving the efficiency of urea for ryegrass production. Fert Res 24: 11–15Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. H. Byrnes
    • 1
  • J. R. Freney
    • 2
  1. 1.Research and Development DivisionInternational Fertilizer Development CenterMuscle ShoalsUSA
  2. 2.Division of Plant Industry, CSIROCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations