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MINERAL FERTILIZERS

“SULPHURIC” CHALLENGE OF CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS

Not by NPK alone

Mandatory precondition of efficient agro-industrial production is the organizing of adequate mineral nutrition for plants.  To the recent times, main attention was paid to general nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, though big importance have also the secondary nutrients (macro-elements) – sulphur, calcium, magnesium. The reason of this is rather simple: earlier those nutrients were found in sufficient amount as forwarding compounds in main fertilizers.  Nevertheless, transition of agriculture to the use of compound highly concentrated fertilizers brought to certain misbalance. And if in terms of calcium and magnesium content, the situation is satisfactory as a whole, in terms of sulphur it is critical: the overwhelming majority of lands are characterized with strong deficiency of the given element.

In general, the topic of holding sulphur fertilizers is rather interesting. The item of sulphates’ importance in plant nutrition processes becomes more and more challenging with every coming year, and this is good news. Yet 8-10 years ago, on the meetings with fertilizer producers and agrarian manufacturers, the explicitly skeptic comments on holding sulphur fertilizers could be heard: give us saltpeter and ammonium nitrate phosphate fertilizer, sulphur is not needed. Somewhat  surprisingly, the given statement found broad support from the part of some fertilizer manufacturers – possibly due to the fact that in their technological processes they did not use, simply did not have sulphur in fertilizer formulation.

Presently, the situation has changed fundamentally: the overwhelming majority of fertilizer manufacturers have substantially expanded their products range, which is mandatory represented by holding sulphur products as well. In this event, the mostly widespread is the use of sulphur as its salt – ammonium sulphate, successfully applied as holding sulphur nitrogen fertilizer.

Retrospect

To provide the agrarian producers with holding sulphur nitrogen fertilizer, in late 90s PJSC SUMYKHIMPROM made upgrading of its available facilities to produce ammophos with the purpose to ensure the ammonium sulphate production, which successfully operated within 2000-2005. It should be marked that the material was produced in granular form – most appropriate for regular application in soil. Nevertheless, low demand of those times necessitated the re-orientation of production facility to produce another popular fertilizer– NPK 15:15:15.  At the same time, the understanding of importance of holding sulphur compounds for regular plant nutrition process stipulated the rejection of the standard procedure to produce ammonium nitrate phosphate without sulphur incorporation. Alternatively, there was developed and successfully implemented the process to manufacture compound chemical fertilizer NPK 15:15:15+8S with substitution of nitric acid by sulphuric, which resulted in ammonium sulphate incorporation in the amount of 40%!

Fertilizers from Sumy today

During recent years PJSC SUMYKHIMPROM did not suspend its activities on its fertilizer quality improvement and products range expand. Considering the market great diversity, the range of new fertilizers with various proportions of main nutrients: NPK 10:20:20+6S, NPK 8:24:24+3S, NPK 8:19:29+4S etc. was launched into production. The distinctive feature of those materials is the ammonium sulphate presence in their formulation, which enables to classify them as holding sulphur fertilizers. The new process to produce fertilizers was set up, enabling to incorporate in their formulation, together with ammonium sulphate, another possessing agronomical value compound – calcium sulphate, and to obtain holding calcium fertilizer. The examples of the given range of products are NP12:24+12S, NPK 4:20:20+4S, NPK 6:24:12+6S, NPK 10:20:10+10S.

Steady dynamics of annual sales volumes increase on internal market, demonstrated by ammonium sulphate, became decisive in taking the decision on the given product manufacture resumption: starting from 2016, the consumers have again the possibility to obtain the high quality product – ammonium sulphate in granules produced by PJSC SUMYKHIMPROM. And by the way, the process to produce the given fertilizer is undertaken not on infirmary unit but within full scale productional subdivision providing double-digited number of thous.t/month capacity.

The operation of Sumy chemical workers towards expanding the portfolio of its fertilizers continues: new fertilizers of “spring” series NPК 16:16:8+12S and NPК 16:8:8+16S are on testing phase today, and they also incorporate in their  formulation ammonium sulphate amounting to 50 and 65% respectively. The best possible proportion of main nutrients stipulates high agronomic efficiency of fertilizers within their main application conditions.

 

Why should you pay more?

The use of compound chemical fertilizers with various NPK proportions, produced by PJSC SUMYKHIMPROM, is especially attractive: in the range with main nutrients application, the adequate amount of ammonium sulphate and respectively sulphur is ensured to be delivered in soil. Simultaneous application of main nutrients and ammonium sulphate in one granule is unambiguous more feasible (and cheaper) than to apply the traditional compound fertilizers and ammonium sulphate separately. Particularly as the proportion of nutrients in fertilizer is identified considering the customers’ proposals, actual status of lands and requirements of agricultural crops.

Ruslan Klimenko