BC Insight - Nitrogen+Syngas, Sulphur, Fertilizer International
Login
BCInsight Ltd
China Works
Black Prince Road
London, SE1 7SJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7793 2567
Fax: +44 (0)20 7793 2577

Publication > Issue > Articles

Enriching soils, enriching lives

Summary

At the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, Wladimir Puggina, President of IFA and President and CEO of Fertibras,Brazil, reaffirmed the role that fertilizers can play in reaching the key goals set by the Summit: achieving food security and adequate nutrition, eradicating poverty and fighting environmental degradation. He cited experiences in Brazil that could show the way for Africa, where soil fertility is declining and few farmers have access to fertilizers. Below is the transcript of his speech.

Abstract

Two-thirds of poor people in developing countries live in rural areas and depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agriculture is one of the five key issues for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The others making up the WEHAB group of issues are water, energy, health and biodiversity. Agriculture is intimately linked to all of these, as shown in the Framework for Action on Agriculture that the WEHAB Working Group produced for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg.

The Framework points out that agriculture is central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, as it “is important in stimulating sustainable economic growth and rural employment and it is the cornerstone for food security and poverty reduction”. My intervention has two goals:

  • To outline the fertilizer industry’s role in agriculture and sustainable development.
  • To report on Brazil’s experience in improving agricultural production through fertilisation and soil management that I believe could be successfully applied to other developing areas, especially Africa, to reduce hunger and improve lives.

 

Add to basket


Seeds for growth

Summary

Oilseed crops – primarily soyabeans, sunflower seed, rapeseed, groundnuts, coconuts, oil palm – are used for the production of cooking oils, protein meals for livestock and other industrial uses. They are an increasingly important component of semi-tropical and tropical agriculture, providing easily available and highly nutritious food for humans and livestock. Oilseed crops require balanced fertilisation to obtain maximum economic yields and optimum quality, as described in this review.

Abstract

Oil crops account for an increasingly significant share of global agriculture, providing food for both humans and livestock, as well as being used in industrial activities. For example, soyabeans supply around one quarter of the world’s fats and oil, two-thirds of the world’s protein concentrate for animal feeds, and three-quarters of the total world trade in high protein meals. (The Role of Sulphur Fertilizer in Oil Crop Production, D.L.Messick and M.X.Fan, The Sulphur Institute. Paper presented at IFA Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, 1999.)

As shown in Table 1, world production of oil crops has risen dramatically in the past 10-15 years. Harvested area increased from 144.7 million ha in 1987 to 189.2 million ha in 2001 and production increased from 262.4 million tonnes to 401.7 million tonnes in 2001, with notable increases for soyabeans, rapeseed, groundnuts and palm oil.

Seven countries account for 96% of the world production of soyabeans, with the United States supplying 45% of the total. (Fig.1) India is the predominant supplier of groundnuts, supplying 6.2 million tonnes in 2001 – 43% of the world total. Groundnuts are a vital cash crop for several Sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan. The Philippines and Indonesia are the leading suppliers of coconuts, the two countries producing just over half of the world total in 2001.

Add to basket


Great developments across all fronts

Summary

Fertilizer complexes are tough environments, where aggressive acids and gases make supreme demands on the materials employed in the construction of the plant and equipment. Any failure is at best costly in terms of downtime and lost production; the worst cases do not bear thinking about. However, advances in materials technology are reducing the cost of protecting the most vulnerable parts of the plant, as this review describes.

Abstract

Corrosion is a considerable hazard in fertilizer manufacturing processes. However, advances in stainless steel technology have gone far to reduce these hazards and protect the most vulnerable parts of the plant. The most corrosionresistant metallic materials used in fertilizer plants fall into the following categories:

  • Stainless steels
  • Refractory metals
  • Alloys.

Of all the metals, carbon steel offers the best structural strength with workability, weldability and low cost. However, it is highly susceptible to corrosion. Incorporating chromium in steel greatly improves its corrosion-resistance. Steels containing 10.5% of more Cr are generically known as stainless steel. More elaborate compositions containing nickel and other alloying constituents are tailored to maximise resistance to particular types of corrosion while maintaining workability and weldability.

The cheapest stainless steels are the ferritic steels, which contain only chromium (12-18% by weight) without nickel. They are harder and more brittle, and thus less ductile and workable, than carbon steel. The basic grade is AISI type 430, used for duties which do not require high strength. The lower-Cr type 409 is used for certain high-temperature reactions.

Add to basket


Which pump is best for your plant?

Summary

The pump is a critically important component in fertilizer plants, where they must cope with materials that are both corrosive and abrasive. Sulzer Pumps specialises in designing and supplying pumps specifically tailored to meet the demands of the fertilizer industry. In this review, Sakari Hänninen describes recent breakthroughs in the company's AHLSTAR® range of pumps.

Abstract

Research and development have always played a significant role at Sulzer Pumps. Sulzer Pumps’ expertise is based on an understanding of customers’ needs and processes, and our goal is always to meet these requirements. This knowledge is available for clients involved in fertilizer production. Sulzer pumps are tailor-made for difficult liquids, which makes them ideal for liquids that are corrosive or both corrosive and abrasive. AHLSTAR ™ Process Pumps are designed for continuous operation in industrial processes, and they can be used for pumping many kinds of liquids and slurries.

AHLSTAR ™ pumps are horizontally mounted and have the following characteristics: single stage, end suction, back pull-out, ROTOKEYimpeller mounting, and a simplified heavy-duty bearing unit. The AHLSTAR™ Process Pump series is available in standard (A), wear-resistant (W), non-clogging (N) and hot liquid (E) hydraulic designs. The range offers two solutions for gas handling: an air separating (R) design, and a self-priming gas removal (S) design. The gas handling options can be integrated with standard (A), wear-resistant (W) and non-clogging (N) hydraulic designs.

Add to basket


Revamp brings gains for Ultrafertil

Summary

This review of the revamp of the Ultrafertil phosphoric acid plant in Brazil by Marten Walters, Manoel Barreto Ribeiro and John Sinden was originally presented at the IFA Technical Conference in New Orleans in November 2000.

Abstract

In 1999, Ultrafertil, Brazil undertook a revamp of its phosphoric acid plant. The plant dated from 1970 and was originally designed to produce 250t/d P2O5 phosphoric acid from 66% BPL Florida rock. This was subsequently changed to 80 % BPL Brazilian igneous rock from Goiasfertil and Tapira. The capacity of the plant was reduced because of the lower filterability of the Brazilian phosphate. The revamp was intended to debottleneck and modernise the plant, and comprised:

  • Removal of the old flash cooler and installation of a Prayon Low Level Flash Cooler
  • A new 5,450m3/h Ensival Axial Flow Pump
  • Installation of a new pre-condenser and replacement barometric condenser
  • A vacuum pump to replace the steam ejector
  • New entrainment separator on the concentration unit
  • A spare concentration unit was added
  • The instruments were upgraded from pneumatic to a DCS system.

 

Add to basket


Do you want to change your feed?

Summary

The composition and reactivity of phosphate rock, even after beneficiation, vary widely according to its source. Phosphoric acid plants are usually designed to operate on rock of a specific provenance, grade and quality.What happens if you change to a different rock feed?

Abstract

Of all the raw materials used in fertilizer manufacture, phosphate rock is the least consistent. Although the composition of its phosphatic content approximates to that of tricalcium phosphate, Ca3(PO4)2, it is, in fact, in the form of one or other of the apatites – a series of 25 or more complex salts containing a variety of other elements, both anionic and cationic. The commonest by far is fluorapatite, 3Ca3(PO4)2.CaF2. Others are hydroxyapatite, 3Ca3(PO4)2.Ca(OH)2, and carbonate apatite, in which some of the phosphate of fluorapatite or hydroxyapatite has been replaced by carbonate. Besides these variations in the composition of the phosphatic mineral, it will also be contaminated to a greater or lesser extent by material from the over- or underlying strata or through which (sometimes) it is dispersed.

All in all, more than fifty impurities of a cationic, anionic or non-ionic nature can occur in detectable quantities in phosphate rock. They include alkali and alkaline earth metals, heavy and radioactive metals, halides, silicates, carbonates and organic matter.

The precise line-up of impurities and their concentrations depend on the geological origin of the phosphate deposit. The majority of the commercially-exploited phosphate deposits around the world are purely sedimentary in origin, comprising either continuous seams of the phosphatic ore or beds containing discrete particles of phosphate, known as “pebble”, in a matrix of gangue material. On account of the biogenic origin of sedimentary phosphates, they not uncommonly contain organic matter.

Add to basket