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Production industrial mineral fertilizer

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ECOFI to be represented at the European Commission’s Bio-Economy Workshop

Mineral resources are fundamental to the growth and development of human society. Extraction of metal ores has risen very slightly as a proportion of all resources, while construction and industrial mineral extraction has grown much more rapidly. Fertilizer minerals in particular are essential resources for production of the food needed by an increasing global population.

Nitrogen fertilizer manufacture requires fossil fuels—especially natural gas methane as a source of the hydrogen needed for the Haber—Bosch process. Phosphate fertilizers are predominantly manufactured using phosphate rock as a source of phosphoric acid, and there is scope to recover phosphorus from contaminated waters.

Potassium fertilizers are produced from evaporite deposits, mainly in the global north. It is difficult for poorer countries with deeply leached soils to access and make efficient use of existing conventional products. Globally, while N and P fertilizer application replaces the nutrient removed by crops and so is in balance, twice as much K is being removed from soils as is being replaced. This leads to the need for innovation in developing novel sources of K, especially to support agricultural production in the global south.

Rocks containing K silicate minerals such as feldspar and nepheline occur widely as potential sources of K for use in soils where these minerals weather rapidly. Innovation in use of these minerals depends on an understanding of the role of microbial processes in silicate mineral decomposition.

The purpose of this paper is to reflect, from a geological perspective while drawing on other disciplines, on the future supply of raw materials needed to produce fertilizers that will enable agriculture to feed 9 billion people by , given that these raw materials are mined. Using evidence from a range of published sources to demonstrate increase in future demand due to population growth, coupled with global nutrient balance assessments, the paper focuses with examples on innovative developments concerning the supply of potassium K.

This essential plant nutrient is derived currently from mined potash, a commodity whose production globally is dominated by a small number of sources that occur principally in the northern hemisphere. While supply meets the needs of the developed world, much of the developing world fails to use adequate amounts of conventional potash, leading to a need for novel alternatives that meet local requirements.

Industrialization has depended on the availability of minerals of many kinds; the industrial revolution in the UK started at locations where coal, and iron ore, could be mined.

In more detail, a number of studies have carried out MFA for specific commodities to assess the security of their supply as the first step in any supply chain. These studies have addressed metals e. Industrial and construction minerals have received much less attention; quantitatively, they are dominated by sand, gravel and aggregates needed for construction, where trade is limited geographically given the cost of transport and the need for local sources for specific markets.

Future projections that consider how requirements for industrial and construction minerals will change are lacking. Schaffartzik et al. As indicated by Schaffartzik et al. This reflects increasing urbanization, with the need for construction materials especially cement and aggregates to build cities and the associated infrastructure. It also reflects the way in which industrial and construction minerals are essential raw materials for the production of consumer goods such as plastics, packaging film and paper where they are used functionally as fillers and coatings.

Increasing production of industrial minerals reflects growth in gross domestic product and growth of the consumer society , which increases at a rate that is much greater than population growth Fig. A subset of growth within that category concerns the raw materials mined to produce fertilizers, which are especially important given the need to feed a growing population in the context of reducing availability of arable land, per capita, to raise that population above subsistence farming so that it can participate in the global economy , and at the same time not compromise the global environment.

Global agriculture depends on three major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium N, P and K , all of which are applied as products manufactured from mined materials. Each is considered briefly in turn, as each has very specific characteristics. Haber invented a process, commercialized by Bosch Smil , by which N from the air is used to produce ammonia, by reaction with hydrogen H over a catalyst. The H needed for this reaction is derived from methane or syngas carbon monoxide-hydrogen.

At present, million tonnes of ammonia are produced annually, almost entirely for fertilizer use Apodaca If the required H is wholly sourced from natural gas Fig. Summary of the Haber—Bosch process, indicating the quantities of raw materials required for current annual production of ammonia. The Haber—Bosch process illustrates the potential importance of methane as a raw material as well as a fuel, and the value of the petroleum industry as a source of materials, not just fuels, that are essential for human well being.

The Haber—Bosch process, and with it our ability to produce N fertilizers, depends on the existence of a substantial petrochemical industry, and to a lesser extent a coal gasification industry, to produce syngas. Clearly, fossil fuels extracted from the Earth provide essential raw materials needed to support future populations. The move away from carbon-based energy sources is necessary from the point of view of preventing future increases in atmospheric CO 2 , and the associated effects on climate change.

However, the only way methane or syngas can be removed as a raw material in the Haber—Bosch process would be for an alternative source of H to be developed. The quantities required are enormous, and it is hard to see what the alternatives might be, especially given the likely associated energy requirements.

Phosphoric acid is then used to produce chemical fertilizers and other chemical products. Phosphate rock can be used directly as a fertilizer, following crushing and grading, and in this form is acceptable for organic food production Nelson and Jahnke , provided there is negligible risk of contamination from heavy metals or uranium Jiao et al. Evidence of scarcity was based in part on the published reserves of P e. However, following the publication of Cordell et al. Although demonstrated to act as an effective slow-release source of P for plant growth, struvite is not widely used as a fertilizer material.

In addition to recovering P from waste streams, struvite production also removes N, thereby further mitigating the impact of wastewater contamination.

To produce struvite, magnesium is required, and its incorporation into this mineral provides an additional valuable plant nutrient. Potassium K differs from P and N; at present, conventional K fertilizers are produced predominantly from mined salts potash; Cocker et al. World production is dominated by 10 major companies and mostly comes from North America, Belarus and Russia. Historically, the K fertilizer industry has experienced major, technically innovative, changes connected to geopolitical developments Rittenhouse ; Al Rawashdeh and Maxwell ; Ciceri et al.

Initially produced from wood ash, ashed kelp became important as a source of K in the early nineteenth century as well as in the early twentieth century in the USA. However, by the mid-nineteenth century, potash salts were being produced in Germany. German control of mined potash in the early twentieth century led to an urgent need for alternative sources, including investigation of silicate minerals as a source of K in Norway, North America and the UK Ciceri et al.

The availability of food needed to support an increasing global population depends on a range of factors Godfray et al. A key function of soil is to deliver the major and minor nutrients that are needed by all plants, irrespective of whether or not they are specially bred or arise from genetic modification. Given that the land area for food production per capita has decreased from 0. To assess the need for fertilizers on a global scale, the amount of nutrient removed through harvesting needs to be known.

Soils require fertilizers to compensate for those removed when crops are taken away Jones et al. Studies of nutrient balance using MFA provide an estimate of fertilizer demand at a range of scales, from single farms to countries and geopolitical regions Sheldrick et al. Consideration of global nutrient balances in the second half of the twentieth century Sheldrick et al.

Overall, world production of potash needs to double to compensate for the deficit calculated by Sheldrick et al.

The deficit in K is greatest for Africa Fig. These basic observations suggest that if soil nutrient status is to be maintained through addition of fertilizers, N and P are being managed satisfactorily, but K inputs need to increase significantly. In these circumstances, conventional sources of K are apparently not being used, and so alternative sources of K increasingly need to be investigated. The above discussion shows that agricultural management on a global scale leads to an overall balance for N and P; there appears to be no immediate concern that might justify a search for novel fertilizer minerals as sources of these nutrients.

However, the dependency of the existing N fertilizer industry on fossil fuels is a concern given the need to decarbonize the energy economy; N fertilizer production depends on fossil fuels as raw materials methane, or syngas produced from methane through reforming or from coal gasification.

The possibility of extracting P from wastewaters as struvite or in other forms, such as sewage sludge provides a way of reducing dependency on mined phosphate rock, but it is an engineering, not a geological, problem. Potassium differs from N and P. As explained clearly by Cocker et al. Because potash is a bulk commodity where its end cost is governed greatly by the cost of transportation, the proximity of a nation to potash deposits and the availability of low-cost transportation determine the price that a nation will pay for fertilizer.

In contrast, the global south has few commercial potash deposits and, given the need for transport over long distances, has limited access to the existing conventional market.

Although conventional potash deposits in evaporite basins, suitable for mining economically using current technologies Cocker et al. A number of studies have investigated the possible use of silicate minerals as sources of K for crop growth, in circumstances where conventional potash is either inaccessible for geographic or economic reasons, or when salts are less suitable because of rapid removal from soils through leaching Leonardos et al.

Early work focused on Norwegian nepheline syenites, at a time after World War 1 when Germany controlled potash markets Goldschmidt ; Goldschmidt and Johnsen More recently, Bakken et al.

Other work on silicate rocks, such as granite, has been less successful Harley and Gilkes ; Manning However, exploitation of silicate rocks, with low K 2 O contents compared with evaporate-derived potash, involves movement of greater quantities of material if application rates are based on grade, and higher transport costs.

Quarry fines represent the lowest cost source of such materials, to which value and cost can be added by milling or other processing. Brazil provides an example of need driving innovation.

In these circumstances, Brazil has pioneered investigations of novel sources of K from silicate rocks. Laboratory studies show that K release from silicates is very slow verdete: Silva et al. A number of approaches have been taken to compensate for slow reaction rates by milling, or by liberating K from the mined silicate through calcining with fluxes or acid leaching verdete: Santos et al.

These add to manufacturing processes the cost of reagent and energy inputs. When considering the use of silicate minerals and their host rocks as sources of plant nutrient, it is not the absolute content i.

Instead, it is the rate at which the mineral dissolves that is important, because it reflects the availability of the nutrient to plants. Conventionally, mineral dissolution rate is determined in laboratory experiments, which yield higher rate values than those determined from field observations such as through determining solute characteristics of a catchment; White and Brantley Mineral dissolution rates vary greatly from one mineral to another Palandri and Kharaka Pretreatment processes set out to produce a material with high availability of K that can be measured through chemical extraction procedures in the laboratory, a step that is required for selection of raw materials and for product quality control.

The behavior of silicate minerals in soils differs from that in typical laboratory leaching tests, as it is affected by biological processes, reflecting the subsurface ecosystem that exists in the root zone. It is evident from studies of deeply leached tropical soils that silicate minerals weather rapidly Leonardos et al. In such soils, the application of a silicate mineral that is unstable thermodynamically under Earth surface conditions is expected to provide a source of K and other nutrients, including silica.

However, careful experimental design is required to demonstrate that the K required for plant growth has indeed come from the silicate mineral that has been applied. For example, Mohammed et al. In contrast, studies that used soil that already included the minerals applied as treatments i. Confirmation of the ability of potassium feldspar, in the form of syenite and as the only possible source of K for plant growth, was confirmed in careful experiments using an artificial soil based on high-purity quartz Manning et al.

Finding new sources of K from silicate minerals and rocks is an old idea Ciceri et al. However, to satisfy global demand for K, as indicated by crop offtake, conventional potash production would need to double.

In the global south, the use of conventional potash involves high transport costs, and the associated infrastructure is often poor. In these circumstances, local needs justify consideration of local silicate rocks as a source of K Leonardos et al. The key to understanding the ability of silicate rocks to provide K is their stability in soils.

Mineral fertilizers: in addition to the private control government regulation is required

The mission of the fertilizer industry is to feed the world. Because without modern-day fertilizer, the world as we know it would not exist. Farmers around the globe are able to keep up with the demands of feeding a growing population, but only because of fertilizer.

Consequences are the negative effects on environment and human health and food safety. Organic agriculture has become a trend worldwide and is developing rapidly in the world. In Vietnam the certified organic farming area has expanded since

Louisa Burwood-Taylor. Charlotte Hebebrand, is director-general of the International Fertilizer Association IFA , a nonprofit organization that represents the global fertilizer industry, on issues related to the promotion of plant nutrients, improvement of the operating environment of the member companies and the collection and compilation of industry information. We caught up with her to find out how the industry is reacting to the wealth of new innovation coming into the sector. The consumption of fertilizers has grown nearly six-fold between and from 32 to million nutrient tonnes , to keep up with a population expanding from 3.

Ministry of Production of Mineral Fertilizers

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Organic Fertilizer Production and Application in Vietnam

It boasts a commercial river port on its grounds, which is used to transport feedstock and finished products. Apatit operates rolling stock of 6, railway cars of various types. Its production capacity is up to 4. Among other things, investments were aimed at increasing production volumes and reducing manufacturing costs.

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October 12, Water, food and resource scarcity, alongside increasing waste are among the main challenges humanity will face in the years to come. To take advantage of the waste, European researchers have come up with a novel nutrient management solution.

EuroChem regions

Mineral resources are fundamental to the growth and development of human society. Extraction of metal ores has risen very slightly as a proportion of all resources, while construction and industrial mineral extraction has grown much more rapidly. Fertilizer minerals in particular are essential resources for production of the food needed by an increasing global population.

Removal of nitrogen oxides from the tail gases is a key challenge for manufacturing nitric acid and mineral fertilizers. Please contact or dhi katcom. By clicking the "Subscribe" button I accept the "Agreement on the processing of personal data". Common subscribtion. USD

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The data and research currently presented here is a preliminary collection or relevant material. We will further develop our work on this topic in the future to cover it in the same detail as for example our entry on World Population Growth. If you have expertise in this area and would like to contribute, apply here to join us as a researcher. In the 18th century the English cleric Thomas Robert Malthus hypothesized that gains in per capita resources would inevitably be outstripped by population until food supplies finally acted as a barrier to further growth. Both Malthus and Ehrlich should be surprised to see the current state of the world. Today, we can support a global population of around 7. There are a number of scientific and technological innovations which have allowed for rapid growth in crop productivity, particularly in the second half of the 20th century. None of these had a more dramatic impact than the ability to produce synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

One of the world's leading mineral fertilizer producers, delivering the full range of We provide a complete range of fertilizers, from well-known standards to.

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For the production of P fertilizers, the European industry depends on the availability of the raw material, phosphate rock. While relatively abundant globally, phosphate rock can only be found to a very limited extend in Europe. This creates a dependency on imports from outside Europe and makes it a challenge to be very efficient in the use of raw materials.

Our food security depends on finding a sustainable alternative to rock phosphate for fertilizer production. Furthermore, over 2 billion people worldwide are currently affected by micronutrient deficiencies, and crop concentrations of essential minerals are declining. In summary, fertilizers from livestock waste have the potential to improve wheat and grass concentrations of essential elements while maintaining yields. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Oil palm — producing oil for multipurpose use. Potassium secures yield and quality.

The workshop is a joint initiative of DG More…. ECOFI promotes the contribution made by the organic-based fertilizers sector to the emergence of a knowledge-intensive, environmentally sustainable and high-employment economy in Europe. ECOFI was founded in March by 12 innovative companies who are deeply committed to the development of organic-based fertilizing technologies that support sustainable models of agricultural productivity, social cohesion and economic growth. Members are active in most European countries and also export to, or are active in, many other countries, including the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Our website uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Argus Media website. JSC Belaruskali is one of the world's largest fertilizer producers and suppliers, which includes 4 mine authorities running 6 mines, 4 washing plants, fertilizer blending shops, complex fertilizer shops, and an electro membrane process shop around the clock. Belaruskali accounts for one-fifth of the global potash exports. The company ships potash to countries while fully supplying the domestic market of Belarus.

В течение нескольких секунд ни он, ни она не произнесли ни слова. Наконец Стратмор откинулся на спинку стула, и Сьюзан поняла, что он постепенно успокаивается.

Когда он наконец заговорил, голос его звучал подчеркнуто ровно, хотя было очевидно, что это давалось ему нелегко.

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