Department of Agroenvironmental Chemistry and Plant Nutrition is one of the prominent workplace of the Faculty. Current name emphasizes both research and educational activities, which are traditionally focused on plant nutrition, including the fertilizers application, as well as on the issues of waste materials, their recycling possibilities, and the occurrence of contaminants in the environment and principles of remediation. The department has highly developed international cooperation, there is an investigator of numerous international and national projects, the well-recognised place for foreign scholars and visitors, and the organizer of national and international conferences. The department is active in scientific publishing and in extension services.
The department finances the research activities from international (7FP, LIFE +, Norwegian funds, Grundwig, Snowman, COST, Eureka) and national (GAČR, GAAV, TAČR, NAZV) projects and from institutional funds of the university. The research activities are focused on three priority areas: The first one is oriented on the intensive studies of soil fertility assessment parameters, nutrient availability to plants and processes in the rhizosphere of plant roots. The results are frequently used for determination of fertilizer rates, forms of applied nutrients, and to optimization of the fertilization period.
The considerable amount of the research activities is devoted to the treatment of biodegradable waste, composting and vermicomposting, utilization of waste materials for fertilization and modification of soil properties, especially the use of ashes derived from biomass combustion, biochar - a solid residue rich in carbon, solid (separate) and liquid (fugate) fractions of digestate from biogas plants and their further utilization.
A significant segment of the research is focused on the behavior of toxic substances in the environment. This includes transformation of risk elements and their compounds in the soil, their uptake by plants, and the relationship between nutritionally valuable substances in plants and accumulated risk elements. Except inorganic, persistent organic pollutants are studied as well. Remediation of contaminated areas, in particular with the use of plants and microorganisms is intensively investigated within this priority.
The department is responsible for study subjects focused on Agrochemistry, Nutrition of agricultural and horticultural crops, Fertilizers and fertilization, Solid waste, Waste water and waste management, Contaminants in the environment their remediation and on Toxicology and ecotoxicology at all three levels of study at Faculties of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Engineering, Economics and Management, Tropical AgriSciences of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague. Profile courses are taught in both Czech and English languages. Great attention is devoted to investigators of final theses, bachelor, master and PhD students who are involved in research departmental projects.
Cooperation with stakeholders
The consulting and advisory activities of the department are very intensive. The department cooperates with the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture, the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic, the Agrarian Union and the Association of Private Farmers, companies engaged in production, distribution, and application of fertilizers, composting plants, waste water treatment plants, biogas plants, etc. Regularly, training seminars concerning plant nutrition, fertilization, soil fertility and the use of waste for fertilization are arranged. The International conference Rational Use of Fertilizers is organized annually by the department.