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Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  36 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
The industrial synthesis of ammonia from the elements nitrogen and hydrogen has been of greater fundamental importance to the modern world than the invention of the airplane, nuclear energy, space flight or television. The expansion of the world's population from 1.6 billion people in 1900 to today's six billion would not have been possible without the synthesis of ammonia ...more
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published December 18th 2000 by MIT Press (MA) (first published 2000)
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Emtiaj Hasan
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উদভিদের বেড়ে উঠা, পুষটির জনয নাইটরোজেন দরকার। এর অভাবে বৃদধি কমে যায়, পাতা হলদে হয়ে যায়, পরোটিনের উৎপাদন কমে যায়। নাইটরোজেন কলোরোফিলের একটা উপাদান। এছাড়া আরো অনেক কিছু। মোট কথা নাইটরোজেন না হলে উদভিদের চলেনা। কিনতু সমসযা হচছে উদভিদ বায়ু থেকে সরাসরি নাইটরোজেন গরহণ করতে পারেনা। তারা নাইটরেট বা নাইটরাইট বা অনযকোন আকারে গরহণ করে।

নানা ধরণের বরজয, গোবর থেকে নাইটরোজেনের অভাব পূরণ করা যায়। কিনতু কথা হচছে অনেক অনেক বেশি উৎপাদনের জনয এটা মোটেই ফলপরসু কোন পরকরিয়া না। মানুষ বাড়ছে, চাষের জায়গা কমছে, অতএব খা
...more
Julian
Jun 11, 2013 Julian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, biology
This book is incredibly well-researched, and somewhat well-written. If you want to look up the total production of nitrogen fertilizer in China pre-1900, or the technical details of fertilizer production from coke, this is your book. If you want a well-written book detailing the history, science, and biography of fertilizer production and the Haber-Bosch process, read The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitl ...more
Dean
Jun 30, 2008 Dean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vaclav Smil brilliantly weaves history and science in this tale of one of the most important inventions of the 20th Century. The Haber-Bosch Process is the one that people are talking about when they mention fossil fuel fertilizers. Along with plant hybridization, these synthetic nitrogen fertilizers played a big part in the Green Revolution. Even if you find yourself leaning more towards progressive agriculture than the traditional stuff it will be hard not to appreciate this story. Smil even l ...more
Mark
Jun 02, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bill Gates recommended this book & sure enough the Fertilizer / Nitrogen cycle is as central to humankind's future as the Carbon cycle. This book stretches the "renaissance reader's" command of history, chemistry, biology, ecosystems, and our future. But its worth it as a primer to a really key issue & it does cover all the bases. Interesting side note: Haber/Bosch's invention feeds half of mankind today but they also invented horrific mass killing gas warfare. Morality matters in scienc ...more
Zaeem
Aug 02, 2014 Zaeem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read non-fiction, it usually history without the stats. Although didn't complete it, but it is full of information on Chemistry, which is not an interest of mine.

Overall: Good Read
Seth McClure
Mar 15, 2013 Seth McClure rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really glad other people like this book. It was making me feel strange to say that one of my favorite books was about the synthetic production of fertilizer.
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Vaclav Smil does interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy.

He has published 35 books and more than 400 papers on these topics. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy), and the
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