News & Development
NEW PRODUCT RELEASE
What is V - LEAF®
How does V – LEAF ® work?
V-Leaf® is made up of photocatalysts that have been specially processed to enable NOx catalysis under normal daylight instead of the need for high-intensity light i.e. UV. The R-Leaf® particles remain on the surface of sprayed plants and work tirelessly on a daily basis to break down NOx into nitrate which is the most available form of nitrogen for plants. The nitrate is solubilized with dew and rain and taken up by the plant surface resulting in increased biomass and yield.
When the photocatalysts in V-Leaf® are charged with day light, electrons and holes are produced. The negatively charged electrons capture an oxygen from the air and produce superoxide anions. Holes (h+) capture water molecules from the air and produce hydroxyl radicals (.OH). In contact with NOx they react and break NOx down to nitrate, water and carbon dioxide. These components are essential for crop growth. As this happens on the surface of leaves, they are mostly absorbed by the crop resulting in higher growth.
What is photocatalysis and how it works?
What are NOx and where do they come from?
NOx is a term used to refer to nitrogen oxides. The most common NOx related to air pollution are nitrogen oxides (NO) and nitrogen dioxides (NO2). NOx formation occurs when nitrogen and oxygen react with each other during combustion of fuels, oil, gas and organic matter. NOx can cause serious damage to human and animal health particularly through respiratory diseases. NOx is responsible for smog and poor air quality in cities and form ozone when reacting with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of light resulting in damage to ecosystems, animals and plant life.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at high concentration causes inflammation of the airways resulting in respiratory disease, coughing, flu and bronchitis. Asthma sufferers are prone to have most intense attacks. Prolonged exposure can cause irreversible damage to the respiratory system.
Although nitric oxide (NO) is not considered to be hazardous to health at ambient condition, excess NO may cause respiratory ailments, hematologic side effects, metabolic disorders and other health issues. Furthermore, NO is oxidised by ozone in the atmosphere to give NO2. Ozone is formed in the ground-level by VOCs through the burning of fossil fuels and released from vegetation. Air containing ozone in cities mixes with NO forming NO2 (secondary).
How is NOx measured?
Evidence of V-Leaf® efficacy?
The photocatalytic activity of V-Leaf® under UV and normal light was tested by independent experts in photocatalysis at Manchester Metropolitan University. The approved method measuring photocatalysis was by monitoring the CO2 in a specific reaction and results are shown below. The material was 10 times more effective in photocatalysis, both under UV light and normal light compared to the unprocessed material.
Data generated confirmed the conversion of N2O, NO and NO2 to nitrate for plant use. The amount of nitrate produced is directly related to the ppm NOx concentration.
How to use V -Leaf® in farming?
V-Leaf® is sprayed on any crop by typical spraying equipment. It is a stable suspension concentrate and can be tank-mixed with most agrochemical inputs. Contains 500g of the specially processed photocatalytic material. It is classed as EC fertilizer containing Zn, Mo, and Mn which are very often found in deficiency, particularly in cereals, and are essential elements for yield security.
V-Leaf® is 1lt/ha. The best application timing for cereals is at T1 and T2 when the soil-applied nitrogen is starting to produce NOx and when the foliage is adequate to hold R-Leaf®. The T2 application is essential as the sprayed leaves are shaded by the new ones and therefore become less efficient.
R-Leaf® captures soil-derived NOx and from the air and converts it to nitrate. This process occurs daily on the surface of sprayed plants resulting in a supply of nitrogen to the crop daily. This can allow a reduction in the application of bulk nitrogen used.
V-Leaf® provides further benefits to plants which are not explained here but contribute towards a higher-yielding crop.