Fertilizers contain the essential nutrients required to feed plants. They are critical to life on the planet, and never more so than today, when the global population is growing exponentially and the arable land available for crop production is constantly decreasing. Effective and efficient production, handling, storage, transportation and use of fertilizers in all its many forms presents a number of operational challenges. Addressing these challenges is critical to ensuring that the world continues to have a reliable supply of quality fertilizer to support the production of sufficient agricultural products needed to sustain human life.
The fertilizer industry relies heavily on various chemical inputs in addition to the basic nutrient raw material building blocks required for fertilizer production. These inputs contribute to production efficiency, product quality and economic viability, as well as to workplace safety and environmental protection. Some examples of such inputs are defoamers, flocculants and corrosion inhibitors which perform as manufacturing process aids. There are also functional additives such as dust control coatings, anti-caking coatings, granulation aids and colorants which, as conditioning agents, actually become part of the finished fertilizer product and make beneficial contributions to its quality, durability, marketability and value without detracting from its agronomic efficacy.