CrystalGreen® “Renewable” Slow-Release Fertilizer
VOLUME 26, NUMBER 6
We promise to avoid (almost irresistible!) comparisons with the infamous, and fortunately fictitious, “Soylent Green,” but we do think it would have been better to name CrystalGreen®, definitely not fictitious, something else! We’ll abbreviate it to “CG” below. CG is a slow-release fertilizer that can be produced in wastewater treatment plants. Like Milorganite® (non-slowrelease) fertilizer, CG can help to recycle nutrients from human wastes back into plants. Below are excerpts from a news release provided by Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. (690-1199 W. Pender St., Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA V6E 2R1, web site www.crystalgreen.com, phone 604-240-3196).
Commercial production has begun of CG, the world’s first slow-release, renewable, and environmentally safe fertilizer with a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium (5-28-0 + 10Mg).
CG has been proven in industry and university trials to have commercial benefits for applications in turf, nursery, and specialty agriculture industries. The product was developed by Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. and is being marketed through national and regional distributors in North America.
Jim Zablocki, Vice President of Nutrient Operations for Ostara, said CG is the only renewable fertilizer that can be used in the same manner as widely used monoammonium phosphate or coated products, with the added benefit of high levels of slow-release magnesium. There is no need to change equipment or application methods—CG can be substituted for any existing phosphorus source.
“Its crystalline structure allows us to form a completely new chemistry for our industry. Yet unlike [other] slowrelease products, it is far more predictable, as it is not affected by excessive moisture, bacteria, and temperature changes. And its longevity is as reliable as coated products. Your plants will see the difference, and the environment will thank you for both what it’s made from, and how it releases. We just made your phosphorus fertilizer a lot more dependable, with extra benefits for the environment,” said Zablocki….
Phillip Abrary, President and CEO (2005-2017) of Ostara, said the environmental advantages of CG result from its production process and from its zero impact on the water table.
“Unlike fertilizers mined or derived from hydrocarbon sources, CG is produced from a recycled and renewable product that is safe to use on plant material,” said Abrary. “… the product’s slow-release characteristics provide a source of phosphorus that will not leach into the water table.
“Compared to conventional fertilizer manufacturing, … CG is produced without adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere,” said Abrary. “No other commercially available fertilizer has renewable and environmental safety attributes comparable to CG.” … Zablocki said … that CG is a hard crystalline material (virtually dust-free) suitable for broadcasting, top dressing, or incorporation….
Since CG is crystalline, blenders and mixers will not affect the the integrity of the prill—unlike coated products. The fertilizer can be pre-incorporated into a soil mix without the possibility of premature release due to the heat of the mix, as CG is not affected by excessive temperatures…. Extensive independent lab testing has shown no pathogens or heavy metals present.
Water is the primary release agent, but … release of CG is consistent regardless of the amount of moisture applied, due to its crystalline nature….
Extensive third-party testing has shown longevity up to eight months, making CG a cost-effective choice that lasts the full season.
Dr. Jim Owen, Assistant Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center, has conducted field trials on CG and believes the product shows promise as a local and sustainable phosphorus source for containerized crop production….
Several prominent Pacific Northwest fertilizer distributors are committed to adding CG to their product lists, including farmer-owned grower co-op Wilco and Marion Ag Service, Inc….
CG is being produced in suburban Portland at the Durham Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility in Tigard, Oregon, by Clean Water Services, the water resource management utility serving more than 500,000 customers in urban Washington County …
The Ostara technology harvests phosphorus and ammonia from municipal wastewater and adds magnesium, which causes a chemical reaction resulting in crystalline phosphate hexa-hydrate. CG is a 99.9 percent pure compound … It has been tested for purity by British Columbia’s Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection, which is responsible for the management, protection, and enhancement of the province’s environment. CG is actually cleaner than commercially available phosphates that are derived from mined phosphorus….
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., founded in 2005, is a Vancouver-based company commercializing proprietary technologies that recover resources from wastewater and recycle them into valuable products. Ostara’s recovery process, developed at the University of British Columbia, recovers pollutants that would otherwise be released into the environment, helps wastewater treatment plants reduce operating costs and meet environmental regulations, and provides municipalities and utilities with revenue from the sale of the recovered pollutants that are recycled…