ICL Innovation seeks novel materials, biological and technological innovations relating to nitrogen fixation for use as a nutrient in crops.
The biological enzyme nitrogenase is nature’s way of catalyzing nitrogen fixation from the air. Nitrogen is unavailable as such for plants and therefore requires a symbiotic process. In legumes, as an example, this is achieved through symbiosis with a bacteria called Rhizobium that synthesizes the nitrogenase enzyme. Nitrogen is then reduced to Ammonia and used for a host of growth and life sustaining processes, notably photosynthesis. When approaching the subject of mimicking this natural process two routes come to mind: photo-fixation on the leaf and a chemical process in the rhizosphere- the area surrounding the roots. As our objective is to address the nitrogen needs of the plant, production rate is small, and needn’t compete with such industrial processes as Haber-Bosch in efficiency and volume. It is only required to provide the plant’s needs, or part thereof. By doing this, ICL Innovation hopes to address a pressing environmental concern, namely the nitrification of N-fertilizers in the soil and their run-off to fresh water streams. We encourage a fresh thinking process that focuses on the plants environment and the ways to enrich it with this most needed of nutrients: Nitrogen.
Information on ICL's current product line for slow release and controlled release fertilizers can be found in the ICL Specialty Fertilizersweb page. As a technology incubator, ICL Innovation is looking only for innovative technologies that may be further developed and commercialized through a business unit in ICL.