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Publication > Issue > Articles

Taking the US fertilizer industry's pulse

Summary

The annual State of the Industry report from The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is proving highly-valuable when it comes to advocacy and gauging US industry performance, as Lara Moody, TFI's vice president for sustainability and stewardship, explains.

Abstract

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) can now reveal how well the US fertilizer industry is performing by publishing its annual State of the Industry report. This tracks the industry’s progress on safety, energy and the environment, and nutrient stewardship every year, using a range of environmental, economic, and social indicators. Keywords: North America report, United States, US, Fertilizer industry, Fertilizer production, Wholesale, Retail, Performance, Sustainability, Environmental Indicators, Economic indicators, Social indicators, Safety, Greenhouse gas emissions, GHGs, Innovation, Transport, Nutrient stewardship, 4Rs, Advocacy, Outreach, Corporate reporting, The Fertilizer Institute, TFI, PotashCorp, Growmark, Willard Agri-Service

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North American sulphur market briefing

Summary

A shake-up in the North American sulphur and phosphates markets is expected. Sulphur demand in the region has declined, correlating with a downtrend in phosphoric acid production, while sulphur supply has firmed, primarily on an increase in US refining capacity. Fiona Boyd of Acuity Commodities reports on recent developments and the outlook for the North American sulphur market.

Abstract

Entwined fortunes Sulphur is consumed in large quantities as a raw material in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers. Unsurprisingly, given the closeness of this supply chain relationship, the relative fortunes of the sulphur and phosphates markets are intimately entwined, with developments in one impacting on the other. Keywords: Sulphur report, Sulphur market, North America, Canada, United States, US, Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Sulphur supply, Sulphur production, Sulphur consumption, Sulphur demand, Sulphur trade, Sulphur exports, Sulphur imports, Phosphate, Phosphates, PotashCorp, Mosaic, Agrium, Simplot, Acuity Commodities

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Growing the market with new tech

Summary

New technology is allowing urea manufacturers to join the fast-growing enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF) segment, as Christopher Muehling, director for Global Technology Licensing at Koch Agronomic Services, explains.

Abstract

Industry moving to EEFs In a competitive selling environment, urea manufacturers see product differentiation as a way to maintain or increase market share and profitability. Customers are demanding enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEFs) and value-added products that offer functional efficiency. Farmers are interested in improving nutrient use efficiency and reducing nitrogen losses. This is in part due to pressure from consumers concerned about how their food is produced and its impact on the environment. Keywords: Enhanced efficiency fertilizers, EEFs, Koch, Koch Agronomic Services, KAS, N-Tegration, Agrotain, SuperU, Urea, Production

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State of the enhanced efficiency fertilizer market

Summary

Slow-release, controlled-release and stabilised fertilizers occupy a relatively small but fast-growing and high-value segment of the overall fertilizer market. Production and consumption of these enhanced efficiency fertilizers is accelerating. This trend is unsurprising given that their higher costs can be offset by better use efficiency and lower application rates. We explore the state of the market, regionally and globally, including its major players. The range of products available, and their key advantages over conventional commodity fertilizers, are also described.

Abstract

Enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEFs) are a niche but fast-growing and high-value group of plant nutrient products. They include slow- and controlled-release and stabilised fertilizers – hence the label SCRSFs, the other widely-used term for these products. The Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO) defines EEFs as: “Fertilizer products with characteristics that allow increased plant nutrient availability and reduce potential of nutrient losses to the environment when compared to an appropriate reference product.” Keywords: Enhanced efficiency fertilizers, EEFs, Slow release fertilizers, SRFs, Controlled release fertilizers, CRFs, Stabilised fertilizers, SFs, SCRSFs, Polymer coated urea, PCU, Sulphur coated urea, SCU, Urease inhibitors, UI, Nitrification inhibitors, NI, Demand, Supply, Consumption, Production, North America, Canada, United States, US, Germany, France, Europe, China, Japan, Turf, Ornamental, Horticulture, Aglukon, SQM Vitas, Haifa, Koch, Everris, Kingenta, Hanfeng Evergreen, Sun Agro, Agrium, BASF, Solvay, COMPO Expert, Chisso-asahi, Dow, SKW Piesterlitz, EuroChem, Lanxess, JCAM AGRI, Nitrogen losses, Leaching, Volatilisation, Nitrification, Plantacote, Ecote, Multicote, Osmocote, ESN, Agrotain, Limus, SuperU, Agro N-protect, N-Serve, Entec

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Eco Agro: taking inhibitors to the next level

Summary

Developing enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEFs) and bringing these products to market requires companies and individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit. Our US correspondent Mark Evans profiles Florida-based Eco Agro Resources, a pioneering company led by entrepreneurs with a successful track record in fertilizer innovation.

Abstract

While the classic commodity market for fertilizers such as urea is a mature one, in terms of manufacturing and distribution technologies, the desire to make fertilizers perform with greater efficiency has galvanised many within the industry. Two such people are David McKnight and Ray Perkins of Florida-based Eco Agro. Keywords: Eco Agro Resources Eco Agro, Florida, United States, US, Innovation, Enhanced efficiency fertilizers, EEFs, Nitrogen losses, Leaching, Volatilisation, Nitrification, Urease inhibitors, UI, Nitrification inhibitors, NI, PENXCEL, N YIELD, N YIELD CX, N-Bound, PHOS GAIN, NEON, NEON Air, NEON Surface, NEON Soil

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Small-scale ammonia production

Summary

The co-location of small-scale ammonia plants could help avoid transport risks and costs. We explore the safety advantages, technology options and the economic viability of small-scale ammonia production.

Abstract

Eighty percent of global ammonia production is earmarked for the fertilizer market. This includes the use of ammonia as a feedstock for the manufacture of nitrogen fertilizers, such as urea, and the direct injection of ammonia into soils. Large quantities of ammonia are also consumed during diammonium phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) production, and by ammonium nitrate and nitric acid plants. Other important industrial ammonia users include wastewater treatment, refrigeration and power plants, nylon manufacturers and pollution control systems. Keywords: Nitrogen technology, Ammonia production, Small scale, Small scale concept, gas heated reformer, GHR, pressure swing adsorption, PSA, Leading Concept Ammonia, LCA, Severnside, UK, Dyno Nobel, Moranbah, Coogee, Laverton, Australia, materials demonstration unit, MDU, Trinidad, New Zealand, On-site production, Co-location, Transport, Safety, Risks, Transport costs, Economics, Production costs, Capex, Opex, thyssenkrupp, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, TKIS, Johnson Matthey

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Flotation reagents meet the ore challenge

Summary

Froth flotation has been widely-adopted globally as the most effective beneficiation method for phosphate rock. The rapid depletion of accessible, high-grade deposits is, however, increasing the demand for innovative flotation reagents. These are needed to produce high-quality phosphate concentrates from challenging ores with high levels of silica and carbonate gangue. We look at novel collectors, modifiers and depressants capable of improving flotation selectivity, and phosphate grade and recovery, in difficult-to-float ores.

Abstract

Mined phosphate rock generally needs to be processed and upgraded to meet the downstream requirements of phosphoric acid production and fertilizer manufacture. The industry requires rock concentrates with a high phosphate content and low levels of gangue minerals (silicates, carbonates and clays). Keywords: Phosphate process innovation, China, Florida, North Africa, Europe, Phosphate, Ore, Concentrate, Apatite, Gangue, Silica, Carbonate, Dolomite, Magnesium, Grade, Recovery, Selectivity Innovation, ArrMaz, Clariant, BASF, Nalco, CustoFloat, CustAmine, Flotigam, Flotinor, Froth flotation, Reagents, Collectors, Modifiers, Depressants, Cationic, Anionic, Lupromin, Fatty acids, Phosphoric acid, Surfactants, APEOs, NPEOs

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New Mexico's polyhalite hope

Summary

Plans to develop a two million tonne capacity polyhalite mine in the United States are being stepped up, following a change of ownership of the New Mexico based Ochoa project. The US, Brazil and Mexico offer potentially strong markets for polyhalite – a direct-application, multi-nutrient fertilizer. We profile the Ochoa project and report on its technical and economic feasibility.

Abstract

Intercontinental Potash Corp (ICP) is a Toronto stock exchange listed mining junior. The Canadian company, through the Ochoa project, has been championing the development of a polyhalite mine in Eddy and Lea counties, New Mexico. The project combines an underground mine with a surface processing plant and a separately-located rail loadout facility. Keywords: Ochoa project, New Mexico, United States, US, Brazil, Mexico, Polyhalite, Direct application, Mine, Mining, Intercontinental Potash Corp, ICP, IC Potash, Cartesian Capital Group, Cartesian, SNC-Lavalin, Mosaic, Sirius Minerals ICL, Yara, Golder Associates, K-Mag, Polysulphate, POLY4, Market, Economics, Feasibility, Capex, Opex, Investment, Preliminary economic assessment, PEA, prefeasibility study, PFS

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