Despite its high chemical value, most of lignin is nowadays burnt as low value fuel. It is therefore important to find innovative applications for its use. Copper compounds are used as plant protection products for more than 50 different diseases in viticulture, arable crops, hops, and horticulture, and they have been used for more than 100 years. Minimization of copper in agriculture has become a fundamental issue due to its negative environmental impact. Here we present a series of hybrid organic−inorganic materials (lignin@Cu), deriving from the combination of lignin with brochantite, Cu4(OH)6SO4. Optimization of the synthetic procedures has allowed us to isolate lignin-based materials containing different percentages of copper, where the brochantite crystals are featured by different morphologies and dimensions. A more environmentally safe synthesis of lignin@Cu materials by mechanochemistry is also investigated, which reduces the amount of water used and makes easier and faster the isolation of the final materials. Tests on strawberry and tomato plants in a greenhouse have highlighted a significative efficacy of the lignin@Cu materials against different pathogens at a copper content much lower than the one of copperbased commercial pesticides. A crystal morphology−activity correlation is also traced out. The synergic activity of lignin and copper ions can be used to reduce the copper content for efficient pathogen control. Moreover, the mechanochemical approach ensures a greener synthetic approach, in a perspective of a more sustainable agriculture.
Making Agriculture More Sustainable: An Environmentally Friendly Approach to the Synthesis of Lignin@Cu Pesticides / Gazzurelli, Cristina; Migliori, Andrea; Mazzeo, Paolo P.; Carcelli, Mauro; Pietarinen, Suvi; Leonardi, Giuliano; Pandolfi, Antonio; Rogolino, Dominga; Pelagatti, Paolo. - In: ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING. - ISSN 2168-0485. - 8:39(2020), pp. 14886-14895. [10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c04645]
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