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Granulation of Fertilizers - Micronutrients
As the demand for foodstuff continues to rise, the required increase in productivity of crops such as soy, corn, rice, wheat, oats and more has become one of the main objectives of growers around the world.
The use of fertilizers and specific micro-nutrients combined with various cultivation techniques is considered essential for an excellent yield from agricultural crops. Quality products with low production costs are the main objectives of fertilizer manufacturers.
The final product must have the proper homogenous physical and chemical properties after the industrial granulation process. Spherical granules that are resistant to handling and can rapidly dissolve in water or directly in the ground are ideal for cultivation, especially when used with automated machinery.
The raw materials utilized can have different specific weights. Therefore, they must be optimally homogenized, then granulated to dimensions ranging from 1 to 3 mm.
The following test was carried out in the GranTec laboratory using a MLH06-model WAM mixer/granulator with a 6-liter capacity:
- weighing the components
- addition of the solid additive
- loading the mixer
- homogenization: 2 minutes
- addition of the liquid additive
- granulation: 2 minutes
- granule finishing: 2 minutes
Granule formation occurs through the crystallization of the minerals and oxides present in the raw materials when a solution of sulfuric acid is used as an additive.
Chemical reactions form crystals which—together with the movement and speeds obtained in the mixer and the presence of solid additives and water—form seemingly spherical granules.
In essence, granulation depends on:
- the type of raw material
- the quantity of water and additives
- the form and speed of the internal mixer components
- process operation times