Fertilizers – How it Manufactured
Fertilizers are substances added to soil in order to enhance the minerals and nutrients of the soil, giving the plants an improved growth and yield. There is a general misconception that fertilizers are usually made of dirt, however it’s not the case always. Technological advancements have changed how fertilizers are usually manufactured, compared to the early days.
Modern synthetic fertilizers dominate the market due to its widespread use as well as its flexibility in terms of additional nutrients. Modern synthetic fertilizers are made up of nitrogen, phosphorous and mixtures of potassium compounds with additional secondary nutrients. Despite the effects of synthetic fertilizers on quality and quantity of the food produced, many, like environmentalists are still sceptical of its long-term usage and effects
There are various types of fertilizers manufactured that are out there in the market but are categorized as either organic or inorganic fertilizers. Depending on the desired composition of the end product, production processes may vary. In general, most of the processes follow these steps:
- Nitrogen Fertilizer Component – the production of ammonia from air by pumping natural gas and steam into a large vessel. Subsequently, the mixture is then heated up to high temperatures to remove the oxygen, followed by addition of nitric acid to form ammonium nitrate.
- Phosphorous Fertilizer Component – treatment of phosphate rocks with sulfuric acid in order to obtain phosphoric acid, which is then reacted with nitric acid to produce triple superphosphate.
- Potassium Fertilizer Component – conversion of potassium chloride into granules so as to make it easier to integrate with other fertilizer components.
- Granulating & Blending – the components from previous steps are blended into a single homogenous mixture in the form of granules, filtered and then given protective coating and finally dried before being bagged and supplied to farmers.
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