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

How to obtain the best results

Summary

Drip irrigation systems, employing fertigation techniques to add fertilizer nutrients, hold the key to bringing less fertile regions into cultivation. Obtaining the best results from fertigation, however, requires careful management and support from agricultural extension services. This is a role which the leading fertilizer suppliers can fulfil, as outlined in this review.

Abstract

As the world population continues to increase, the challenge of achieving the necessary degree of food security is becomingever more acure. Increasing acreages of prime quality agricultural land are being lost to food production in the face of the competing demands of industrialisation and urbanisation. The attention of agricultural scientists is thus becoming focused on bringing the less productive lands into cultivation. Much of this land is in arid areas, and the effort to step up food production must minimise the use of scarce water resources. How can this be done?

Ancient civilisations understood the importance of irrigation to cultivate arid regions. At present, an estimated 17% of the world's cultivated land employs some kind of irrigation system. Most of the fields with irrigation systems are found in China, India, the United States, Mexico, Mediterranean countries and the Middle East. (Kemira News, 1/2001) Irrigation systems still consist for the most part of traditional flood or furrow irrigation. These are wasteful of water resources, as plants can only utilise between 20-40% of the water.

Add to basket


Critical for yield and quality

Summary

Unbalanced fertilizer use due to the neglect of the need for potash is a common aspect in arid regions. Fertilizer usage rarely matches crop demand, and continuous soil K mining can occur, affecting the availability of this critical nutrient. K deficiency can in turn have serious consequences for the uptake of nitrogen and metabolism, leading to declining efficiency in N use. To meet the needs of growers in the semi-arid regions, the leading potash producers have developed a considerable range of speciality products, as described here.

Abstract

Potash is a crucial nutrient in plant nutrition, especially for the highvalue vegetable and fruit crops which hold the key to raising fertility in arid regions. In contrast with nitrogen, as a result of its specific functions in plant metabolism, K has the potential to improve the quality ofcrops. Whereas the role of potassium in photosynthesis and water economy of plants is of critical importance mainly for growth and yield formation, K also fulfils other vital functions. (Balanced Fertilisation and Crop Quality, R. Hardter and A. Krauss. [1999].) Among these functions are the role of K in the cation/anion balance, its function in phloem loading/unloading, and hence the transport ofassimilates and minerals, as well as the direct involvement of K in enzyme activation.

The physiological functions ofK affect plant quality, as measured in the case of fruits by juice and sugar content, juice/acid ratios, and overall taste. These are important criteria in determining the price a grower can secure for his produce in the market place. The interaction ofK with other nutrients is also important in influencing crop quality. Both Nand K play the major role in growth and yield formation of crops. Imbalances in supply will result in lower quality, even before yields are affected. It is generally accepted that high nitrate contents, especially in vegetables, are detrimental to human health. Regular application of K helps bring nitrate content down.

Add to basket


Impact of urbanisation on fertilizer usage

Summary

This paper was presented by Dr. Adolph Krauss, President, International Potash Institute (IPI), Switzerland, at the recent IFA Regional Conference in Yokohama, Japan (4-7 December 2000).

Abstract

Urbanisation can pose a major problem in developing countries. Not only does it force the planners to provide more, and more adequate, dwellings, water and power supply, traffic and transport opportunities, but also more food, at prices affordable for the low income class, and at the same time diverse and of high quality for the emerging middlelupper class. On the other hand, the remaining rural society, being confronted with the migration of the younger generation into towns, not only needs the means to maintain land productivity with a reduced labour force, but also has to feed more people not involved in agriculture. Some of these aspects are discussed in the following sections:

  • Urbanisation challenges food production.
  • Urban centres accumulate nutrients.
  • Increasing demand for meat: implications for fertilizer use.
  • Change in crop spectrum towards vegetables and oilseed and its impact on nutrient management.
  • Focus on quality necessitates balanced fertilisation.

 

Add to basket


Down with dust

Summary

In the face of ever tightening environmental legislation throughout the world, the suppliers of loading and unloading systems for fertilizers and other bulk materials have more than kept pace in the development of products that meet these criteria. The latest, state-of-the-art bulk materials handling systems also offer on attractive economic return...

Abstract

Aseries of worldscale fertilizer projects have recently come on stream or are due to commence production in 2001/2002. All have major requirements for handling systems to ensure the speedy, safe and economical dispatch ofbulk fertilizer products. These projects represent a major opportunity for the leading suppliers of mechanical handling equipment to provide state-of-theart facilities that meet the above-mentioned criteria. Among the major fertilizer storage and handling projects which have recently been completed are:

  • The Profertil ammonia/urea complex at Bahia Blanca, Argentina.
  • The WMC Fertilizers phosphate fertilizer plant at Phosphate Hill and associated storage and loading facilities 950 km away at Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
  • The Oswal DAP complex at Paradeep, India.

 

Add to basket


Sulzer pumps up the volume

Summary

Sulzer Pumps has gained over a century of experience in providing process pumps for fertilizer plants and other industries processing difficult liquids containing solids. Maximum reliability of operation at the lowest cost is the principal criterion sought by Sulzer Pumps' customers in the fertilizer industry, and this has been addressed by the latest development in pump technology - the dynamic seal.

Abstract

Sulzer Process Pumps (formerly Ahlstrom Pumps Corp.) is a division of the Swiss company, Sulzer Pumps, and has gained long experience in developing and manufacturing process pumps and agitators for use in the fertilizer industry. These products are marketed under the brand-names of AHLSTAR™ process pumps, MePumpingSystems, and Salomixagitators, and have been designed for use in all fertilizer processing sectors, covering N, P and K fertilizer products.

Sulzer Process Pumps can trace its origins back to 1891, and the company can draw on a long tradition of engineering excellence and experience which has given it a unique understanding of process industries. In addition to supplying the fertilizer industry, Sulzer Process Pumps has devised pumps and mixers for a wide range of exacting process applications in the pulp and paper, food and basic metals sectors. The company can point to numerous innovations in pump design, and it takes pride in its ability to devise pumps that can custom fit almost any process. Other Sulzer Process Pumps hallmarks are high quality standards and low operating and maintenance costs. The latest machine tools are used in Sulzer Process Pumps' ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 certified manufacturing processes.

Add to basket


Urea-sulphuric acid fertilizer breakthrough

Summary

After nearly two decades of extended development, urea-sulphuric acid fertilizers have come of age, and are making a significant contribution to the fertility of the sodic and highly alkaline soils of California and elsewhere. Verdegaal Brothers, Inc. have played a leading role in making this vital fertilizer a commercial reality, as described by Jim Gregory, Sales Manager.

Abstract

The suitability ofsulphuric acid for the treatment ofcalcareous soils and high bicarbonate waters in the western United States has long been recognised, but the hazards to personnel have restricted its use. Recently, it has been discovered that the addition of 46% urea to 93% sulphuric acid can greatly reduce the corrosive action on human tissue without neutralising any of the acidity of the sulphuric acid. This new sulphuric acid-based liquid fertilizer was first introduced into California in the early 1980s. The chemical bonding of these compounds results in a product with unexpected properties, which can offer the grower a tool that can be used as an acidifYing amendment, as well as a nitrogen fertilizer. Urea-sulphuric acid fertilizers are seen as a major breakthrough in the fertilizer industry.

Add to basket


Uzbekistan to upgrade phosphates production

Summary

Uzbekistan is planning to modernise two of its largest phosphate plants and is keen to develop its Kyzy/kum phosphate deposit. At the present time, however, the Samarkand Chemical Factory upgrade is the only project that looks certain to go ahead.

Abstract

Uzbekistan is proceeding with modernisation plans for two of its largest phosphate plants, at Nmalyk and Samarkand in the east ofthe country. The two plants are understood to be in a poor state of repair, and only Almalyk is reported to be still operating. The main product is a low grade ofMAP (10-46-0), known locally as 'ammophos'. Production is based on Kazakhstan phosphate rock with sulphuric and phosphoric acid produced on-site. The Uzbekistan authorities are understood to be ultimately hoping to produce DAP and a regular grade ofMAP at the two plants, following the completion ofthe upgrades.

Add to basket


Fans breathe life into granular fertilizer plants

Summary

The proper use and design of the air movers in granular fertilizer plants is one of the most important keys to high on-stream time and modern fertilizer plant design. The big, high output DAP and MAP plants of the USA employ a well-developed layout and design of the plants' fans to achieve high on-stream, low maintenance operation. David 'M Leyshon* in this article shows how important fan layout is. He also looks at some of the details of fan design and their materials of construction and discusses fan modifications.

Abstract

The proper use and design of the air movers in granular fertilizer plants is one of the most important keys to high on-stream time and modern fertilizer plant design. The big, high output DAP and MAP plants of the USA employ a well-developed layout and design of the plants' fans to achieve high on-stream, low maintenance operation. David 'M Leyshon* in this article shows how important fan layout is. He also looks at some of the details of fan design and their materials of construction and discusses fan modifications.

Add to basket


One hundred years of the Werra potash mines

Summary

In the summer of 2000 K+S celebrated the 100th anniversary of potash production in the Werra-Ulster region. This occasion demonstrated the dramatic technical changes that have taken place in the German potash industry. During the past century, production has been diversified from muriate of potash ~monoculture'to a vast range of customer-specific products ranging from potassium sulphate, potassium magnesium sulphate (Patentkali), kieserite and Epsom salt all the way to high purity grades of potash, magnesium and sodium products, including pharmaceutical grades fulfilling GMP regulations.

Abstract

Potash production in the Werra region at the old East-West German border has also seen dramatic changes in the past 10 years following the reunification of Germany. After a short period of transition the Mitteldeutsche Kali AG and the potash and rock salt activities of Kali und Salz AG were merged to form Kali und Salz GmbH. The rehabilitation of the former East German potash industry was an enormous challenge for the management and employees and is an example of the difficult decisions that had to be made during this period.

The new company Kali und Salz GmbH invested more than DM800 million in the years /993 to 1997 in order to bring the three former East German mines (Zielitz, Unterbreizbach, Bemburg) up to modern technical levels. In this framework there were also mine closures in East as well as West Germany. K+S production was concentrated on the most costeffective mines so that K+S now has a potash production capacity of 4.1 million tla K20.

Some of the topics of the development of the German potash industry have been discussed in articles published in Phosphorus & Potassium. This article will look at the Werra mining complex, that embraces Wintershall, Hattor( and Unterbreizbach mines under a single management, and will consider the changes that have taken place at Unterbreizbach since its change of ownership.

Add to basket