Potash is a term generally used to describe potassium chloride (KCl), also called Muriate of Potash or MOP, but it is also a classification that includes more specialty compounds such as Sulfate of Potash (K2SO4), Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) and other mineral ores containing potassium salts which are generally called “potash ores”. By far the largest end use of these potash products is for potash fertilizers, where the K2O content provides potassium (K), one of three essential plant nutrients. Potash fertilizers are inorganic salts produced mostly in dry form with particle sizes ranging from granular to coarse to fine.
One of the challenges of potash fertilizer production and use is that the product tends to cake and to undergo crystal breakage during handling which results in undesirable dust. Caking can cause severe safety issues in large bulk warehouses because the caked product may “cliff” and upper portions of a pile may collapse unexpectedly when product is being removed by loaders from the bottom of the pile. It can also create unwanted delays when discharging from bulk vessel holds. Downstream from production, caking problems can also negatively impact bulk blending systems and can cause clogging of application equipment in the field.