Substituted 1,2,3-triazoles: a new class of nitrification inhibitors

Nitrogen (N) fertilisers amended with nitrification inhibitors can increase nitrogen use efficiencies in agricultural systems but the effectiveness of existing commercial inhibitor products, including 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP), is strongly influenced by climatic and edaphic factors. With increasing pressure to reduce the environmental impact of large-scale agriculture it is important to develop new nitrogen-stabilising products that can give reliable and consistent results, particularly for warmer climatic conditions. We synthesised a library of 17 compounds featuring a substituted 1,2,3-triazole motif and performed laboratory incubations in two south-eastern Australian soils. In the neutral (pH 7.3) soil, the compounds N002, N013, N016 and N017, which possess short non-polar alkyl or alkynyl substituents at the triazole ring, retained NH4+-N concentrations at 35 °C soil temperature to a better extent (P < 0.001) than DMPP.

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Fig: Selected N-containing nitrification inhibitors.

In the alkaline soil (pH 8.8) N013 performed better with regards to NH4+-N retention (P = 0.004) than DMPP at 35 °C soil temperature. Overall, our data suggest that substituted 1,2,3-triazoles, which can be synthesized with good yields and excellent atom economy through 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition from readily available starting materials, are promising nitrification inhibitors performing similar to, or better than DMPP, particularly at elevated soil temperatures.

Taggert, B.I., Walker, C., Chen, D. et al. Substituted 1,2,3-triazoles: a new class of nitrification inhibitors. Sci Rep 11, 14980 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-94306-1

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