IBM has developed microcapsules adapted to rupture in a magnetic field to provide controlled release of agricultural chemicals. The microcapsules encapsulate an agricultural chemical, such as a fertilizer, herbicide or insecticide. The microcapsules can be applied to soil, seeds or plants.
When required a controlled release is subsequently triggered after an appropriate period of dormancy by positioning a magnetic field generating device proximate the microcapsules to generate a magnetic field sufficient to rupture the microcapsule shells through magnetic stimulation of the organosilane-coated magnetic nanoparticles. The ruptured microcapsule shells release the fertilizer. The controlled release can occur at one or more selected locations within an application zone based on the positioning of the magnetic field generated by the magnetic field generating device.
Hence, the farmer can control where and when the released occurs. This technology provides multiple benefits including safer handling of materials, it is less harmful for environment and it saves money as well.
Publication number: US 9313946
Patent Title: Microcapsules adapted to rupture in a magnetic field
Publication date: 19 Apr 2016
Filing date: 4 Apr 2014
Inventors: Dylan J. Boday; Joseph Kuczynski; Robert E. Meyer, III;
Applicant: International Business Machines Corporation