Energy savings by efficient application of fertilizer

E. Worrell*, B. Meuleman, K. Blok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A more efficient application of materials (e.g., nitrogen fertilizers) can have a major impact on the demand of industrial energy. In this study we describe a method of analysing the potential for reducing the application of nitrogen fertilizer. The potential savings are analyzed as well as the economics, using a costs-savings function. Eight measures for improving the efficiency of fertilizer utilization in the Netherlands were investigated. These measures are applicable to six types of crops (responsible for 97% of fertilizer used). The average amount of fertilizer applied (fertilization rate) can be reduced from 228 kg N/ha in the year 1988 to 128 kg N/ha in the near future. This would reduce the fertilizer demand for fertilizer by 44% (minimum 28% and maximum 51%), thus from 458 ktonnes N to 258 ktonnes. As a result, the energy consumption would be reduced by 8 PJ. An economic assessment of the measures suggests that, from a national economic point-of-view, material savings of 41% are economically feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic assessment
  • Energy saving
  • Fertilizer
  • Nitrogen


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