Hydro-Potash Technology Commercialization
K is essential in nearly all processes needed to sustain plant life. Functions of K in the plant are numerous and complex, with many of them still not fully understood. Potassium is the 7th most abundant element in earth crust and a common rock-forming element. However, Potash fertilizer is currently only produced from evaporate deposits, at high-cost underground mines or brines.
K-Feldspar (up to 16.9% K2O) is an untapped Potash source and currently not explored due to a technological gap. Huge K-Feldspar rich rock deposits occur at surface level in Brazil, China, Africa, India and USA and could be mined as large scale open pit mines at low cost.
A novel process (developed at MIT – the product is known as HYP) provides an opportunity to produce potash fertilizer with high efficiency and low cost, from K-Feldspar.
HYP is produced by using K-Feldspar rich rock powder as raw material altering the crystalline structure through a low-cost hydrothermal treatment. The process avoids the costly high-temperature route for the extraction and concentration of Potash, and that generates waste and by-products.
PEARL is executing a research and development project to commercialize the process by,
- Investigating reaction and drying thermodynamics and kinetics
- Developing process engineering flowsheet, design the unit operations and cost analysis
- Define reactor selection and design concepts
- Provide expertise to support the EPC company
- Improve the process performance by deploying innovative ideas