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Old Feb 17, 2005, 5:41 PM   #1
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The ability of the western world to feed itself depends largely on large mechanised farms using fertiliser to boost soil productivity. The principle fertiliser is mainly phosphate-based and extracted from Florida or deposits that stretch along the southern Mediterranean and into the Middle East. At the eastern end of this line of deposits, in northern Saudi Arabia, one of the world's largest reserves of phosphates is about to be exploited. The fertiliser this produces will move the country away from dependence on oil for export earnings and at the same time boost agricultural productivity in the export markets.

Origins of Phosphate Deposits
Phosphates are sedimentary rocks, formed from the remains of long-dead organisms. Around 60 to 70 million years ago the Mediterranean and its margins marked the site of a large sea that separated Europe and Asia from Africa. This sea, known as the Tethys, extended across the Middle East and North Africa and was marked by a strong westerly current that flowed across an area that begins in north-west Saudi Arabia and continues through Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Together they represent the world's largest phosphate province, for this current deposited decaying organic remains of plants and animals (mainly plankton) into a sedimentary series containing shales, dolomites, and limestones. Upon diagenesis this ocean organic ooze became phosphorus deposits.

Conversion to Diammonium Phosphate
The mine-produced concentrates will require transport via a rail link, where the plant capable of producing one million tonnes of DAP annually from imported phosphoric acid. This will require enlarging, including the sulphuric acid, ammonia and granulation plants, to convert the concentrate to DAP. These chemical plants will be become the largest in commercial operation, converting the 4.5 Mt/y of concentrates into 2.9 million tons per annum of DAP In brief, the phosphate concentrate will be dissolved in sulphuric acid to produce phosphoric acid (H3PO4) The sulphur from the acid combines with the calcium phosphate concentrate to form a solid waste product, gypsum (CaS04) separated by filters. To the phosphoric acid, ammonia (NH3) from natural gas is added to produce diammonium phosphate or DAP This reaction produces a ‘soft solid that can be dried and granulated to about 3mm to form a easily-handled product. The typical DAP fertiliser is adjusted with a filler to arrive at the industry standard of 18-40-0 (N-P-K).

more photo can be found here :http://photobucket.com/albums/v112/w...%20production/

please see sub gallery (surrounding areas) there you will find a photo of a wild hog.

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Old Feb 17, 2005, 6:10 PM   #2
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Phosphates deposits. Can't live with'em, can't live without 'em. Nice shot, wills. I'll check out the gallery.
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