Carbonized rice hull (CRH) can be an environment-friendly alternative to wood charcoal as a carrier component in making Rhizobium inoculant, according to a study conducted by Dr. Constancio Asis Jr. and Julie Elijay of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.
The use of microbial inoculant such as Rhizobium inoculant in crop production is now being widely adopted by farmers all over the country as this has resulted in increased yield and added profit because the application of synthetic nitrogenous fertilizer is reduced by up to fifty percent.
“The atmosphere has 78 percent nitrogen but this is in inert form which is not readily available for plant use due to the triple bond connecting the two nitrogen molecules,” says Asis. At this point, he said that the use of Rhizobium inoculant can be beneficial because the bacterium Rhizobium releases nitrogenase, an enzyme that cuts the bond between nitrogen molecules, making it available to the plants. In other words, nitrogenase helps in fixing atmospheric nitrogen and converting it into ammonia, a form which is usable by plants.