Anticaking Agent
Granular fertilizer has a very beneficial effect on plant growth, by regulated release of nutrients, by avoiding washing away of fertilizer salts, and by making NPK application uniform. Poor storage conditions and long storage without conditioning result in formation of lumps and powder thereby the benefits of granulation/prilling are largely lost by non uniform application, washing away of powdery fertilizer, and also making mechanical application of fertilizer impossible. This poor conditioning can lead to a sizable percentage reduction in yields of the farm; all this when a considerable amount of capital is deployed and cost is incurred in NPK/urea plants especially to provide granular/prilled product.

Prevention of such caking of fertilizer and making the fertilizer retain its customer values, are achieved by providing a uniform coating of cationic/anionic complex forming chemical formulations, in the final steps of manufacturing process of fertilizer.

FERTIBON Anticaking agents, help preserve the granular nature of the fertilizer. A wide variety of chemicals of specific nature are required to effectively prevent caking of fertilizers, depending on whether it is urea, urea based NPK, CAN or nitro-phosphatic NPK.

Fertilizers such as superphosphates, ammonium sulphate, and DAP (in that order) generally do not call for anticaking treatment owing to their reasonable dry, limited hygroscopic nature, when compared with urea, urea based NPK, ammonium nitrate, CAN and other NPK fertilizers, which show increased hygroscopicity. In general, an increase in the components of NPK makes the fertilizer more and more hygroscopic.

Factors contributing to caking of fertilizers are Hygroscopicity, Moisture Content, Granular Size, Pressure, Ambient Temperature and Storing Conditions.
Dosing Anticaking Agent
Dosing of Anticaking Agent
Factors contributing to Fertilizer Caking
The following are the factors contributing to fertilizer caking problem:
1. Hydroscopicity
  One of the primary causes of caking in fertilizers is their Hydroscopicity. It is well known that all commercial salts exhibit a higher level Hydroscopicity at critical humidity than pure salts due to minor impurities contained. One also has to consider the environmental relative humidity at various points of distribution, right up to the end-user storage. The hygroscopic nature of the fertilizer increases their tendency to bind together and cake on storage.
2. Moisture content
  Fertilizer granules always carry a certain amount of moisture due to limitations in achieving complete drying of a fertilizer product. The varying humidity conditions during the storage of a fertilizer product and constant repeated phenomenon of migration of saturated solution to the neck of the adjacent fertilizer granule and its recrystallization resulting in the formation of strong bonding is continuously observed.
3. Granular Size
  The granular Size, Shape, Strength, Uniformity and Porosity of the fertilizer are other factors that determine the extent of severity in the caking of fertilizers. Large sized uniform granules exhibit low bond strength power unit mass on storage and hence caking observed in such condition is generally low. Small sized uniform spherical granules show medium bond strength per unit mass on storage. Caking tendency is more than that observed with large sized uniform spherical granules. Granules in wide size rage exhibit severe caking tendency due to very much increased number of contact points. Bond strength per unit mass of the fertilizer is very high in this case. The problem is further compounded if increased porosity and low granular strength are also present. Increased percentage of fines in the fertilizer product increase the total surface area under contact leading to compaction of the fertilizers kept under storage.
4. Pressure
  If the granules are packed in bags and stacked over one another, or alternatively large quantities of fertilizer (more than 10,000 metric tons) are stored in an open silo, the pressure on the bags/ fertilizer granules at the bottom layers of the pile force the granules in closer contact of a wide size rage. Due to this compaction can be quite severe and in extreme cases where the granule strengths are low, the granules can be crushed. The solubility of the fertilizer increased with the increase in pressure; copious quantities of solution may be formed under high local pressure at the points of contact. The solution will then tend to flow into voids where pressure is lower and recrystallize, forming hard cakes.
5. Ambient Temperature
  The major effects of variation in ambient temperature are nitrogen loss of the fertilizer at higher temperatures and humidity variations leading to caking and saturated solutions thus formed, losing Nitrogen even at lower temperatures.
6. Storing Conditions
  The method of storage also plays an equally important role in the nature of caking. Occasionally, the storage yards and the silos are dehumidified. The humidity in the silo is maintained below the critical humidity of the fertilizer to ensure lesser degree of caking of fertilizers on long storage. Depending on the nature and porosity of the fertilizer HDPE, HDPE lines with Polythene, Polythene lines jute bags or jute bags are selected for bagging the fertilizer. If the bag is more permeable to moisture attack from outside, more is the tendency of fertilizers to cake. Finally the length of storage also determines the extent of caking. Greater the period of storage, more intensive is the caking.
Product without the use of Anticaking Agent Final Products after using Anticaking Agent
Anticaking Agent Anticaking Agent
FERTIBON Anticaking Agents are incorporated with active ingredients based on surface activity and ionic activity relating to crystal growth modification/suppression during storage of fertilizers, a host of promoters, migrating aids, lubricants, softeners and carrier solids and liquids, apart from coupling agents that are required to enable the organic chemicals to effectively interact with the hydrophilic fertilizer salt surfaces. FERTIBON Anticaking Agents are non-rubber reactive as compared to normally used oil vehicles/carriers which cause distress to the product conveyor belt system. . FERTIBON Anticaking Agents are non-toxic in nature, and do not cause any skin toxicity/irritation, plant/micro-organism toxicity related to agricultural use of NPK. In the specific case of urea, since it is additionally used as a technical-industrial product in resin manufacture, the use of Anticaking agents will have to be compatible with such technical uses of urea.

FERTIBON Anticaking Agents are tailor-made based on specific process problems and needs, over a wide span of fertilizer salts. FERTIBON also provides engineering service requirement in installation and operation of the dosing systems for controlled, cost effective dosing of FERTIBON Anticaking Agents onto Fertilizer

FERTIBON Anticaking Agents can be evaluated by IFDC procedures in laboratory as well as in the field. Details of the procedures can be provided on request. It is our earnest endeavor to be of assistance in achieving customer's objectives by use of FERTIBON Anticaking Agents and be rid of problems associated with conditioning of Fertilizer.
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