German technology
Humic Substances Based Products
Humintech GmbH
Am Pösenberg 9-13
D-41517 Grevenbroich

Telefon: +49 2181 70 676 - 0
Fax: +49 2181 70 676 - 22
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Emissions and what to do about it

Emissions when using the farm's own fertilisers
And how humic acids can contribute to the reduction

Nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, is a natural by-product of processes in soils and oceans, resulting from bacterial nitrification and denitrification, and is an integral part of the nitrogen cycle. Despite its relatively low concentration compared to CO2, it is one of the three main greenhouse gases and is responsible for around seven per cent of anthropogenic global warming. To minimise the impact of the climate crisis, it is essential to reduce nitrous oxide emissions, and humic acids have played a significant role in this for decades.

The relevance of nitrous oxide for the climate is immense

Currently, the concentration of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere is around 20 per cent above pre-industrial levels. A large proportion of global emissions, namely almost two thirds, comes from agriculture, and the trend is increasing. This poses a considerable challenge, as nitrous oxide has a global warming potential up to 300 times greater than carbon dioxide.

Nitrous oxide emissions - anthropogenic and increasing

A central agricultural source of nitrous oxide emissions is the use of mineral and organic fertilisers and crop residues. Emissions from organic fertilisers in particular are significantly higher than those from mineral fertilisers. According to international studies, the rising demand for food and animal feed due to the growing world population and changing eating habits has led to a global increase in nitrous oxide emissions in recent decades, primarily as a result of increasing livestock numbers.

The problem of over-fertilisation

One of the main problems is excessive fertilisation, which exceeds the absorption capacity of plants. This is partly caused by the large amounts of organic fertiliser produced by large livestock populations and applied to fields. In addition, climatic conditions and general soil conditions as well as fertilisation methods influence the level of nitrous oxide emissions.

Strategies for reducing emissions

In Europe, for example, it has been shown that a reduction in nitrous oxide emissions is possible, as emissions here have been falling for decades, contrary to the global trend. A key role here is played by precise fertilisation and the exact determination of the plants' fertiliser requirements, which minimises nitrification. The humus balance of the soil and the composition of the organic fertiliser should also be taken into account. A reduction in livestock can also reduce the amount of farm manure produced and improve the nitrogen balance. A supportive legal framework is essential for the realisable implementation of these measures.

Inhibiting nitrification with humic acids

The addition of nitrification inhibitors to fertilisers can reduce nitrification and thus the emission of nitrous oxide from organic fertilisers. Participants at the Lake Constance International Conference on Fertiliser Treatment in 2009 confirmed that lignite-based products, such as humic acids, are among the most effective agents in manure treatment. They can reduce emissions by up to 99 per cent. Products such as POWHUMUS® WSG 85, with a high content of humic substances, are particularly effective in adsorbing harmful gases and odours and support the production of high-quality manure.

Further advantages of humic acids

In addition to reducing nitrous oxide emissions, humic acids also reduce the emission of other harmful gases such as methane, hydrogen sulphide and ammonia by up to 99 per cent. Studies by the Lausitz University of Applied Sciences show that the odour units of slurry treated with humic acids decrease by 75 percent after just a few hours. Humic acids also improve soil quality after fertiliser application by stimulating soil biology, increasing nutrient availability and optimising the water balance in the soil-plant system.

Humic acid-based products can play a central role in a holistic strategy for adapting agriculture to climate change. Their easy handling and safe mode of action make them valuable partners for fertile soil and the reduction of emissions.


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Humintech is a biotech company based in Grevenbroich, Germany. We are primarily focused on the research, development and industrial production of humic matter and humic acids for the agricultural sector. Our products find further use in pharmaceutical, construction industry, for ecological purposes such as water purification and soil decontamination.


Humintech GmbH

Am Pösenberg 9-13
41517 Grevenbroich / Deutschland 

Phone: +49 2181 70 676 - 0
Fax: +49 2181 70 676 - 22


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