Veolia to deliver crystalline water-soluble fertiliser plant in Tunisia

Veolia Water Technologies will provide a processing plant integrating HPD® crystallisation systems designed to produce phosphorus fertiliser of maximum purity and solubility.

The need for increased food production is testing the limits on the earth’s supply of land and water resources. Given these constraints, sustaining and further boosting agricultural productivity is essential. This is a challenge that is all the more evident in regions such as North Africa and southern Europe that rely heavily on irrigation to grow crops. The use of advanced agricultural techniques such as fertigation and foliar feeding needs multi-nutrient, fully-soluble fertiliser without any impurities that plug sprays and clog irrigation equipment.

To produce pure crystalline fertilisers of the highest-quality, the ALKIMIA Group, a leading Tunisian chemical holding company specialised in the production of phosphate salts for industrial applications, relied on Veolia to deliver its HPD® crystallisation technologies at a new 25,000 tons per year mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP) plant located in Gabes, Tunisia.

About Veolia’s solution
Integrated to the plant, which will produce higher-value fertiliser for regional export, Veolia designed a circuit to process mono and diammonium phosphate solution through a double crystallisation sequence using HPD® PIC™ technology that allows for minimising the waste purge and achieving higher production yields. The production line includes solid-liquid centrifugal separation, drying, cooling, and screening systems to deliver a product with a large crystal size that has maximum purity (i.e. higher than 99 per cent wt) and solubility (i.e. impurities concentration below 0.2 per cent wt).

Because crystalline fertiliser production operations are complex, delicate and sensitive, Veolia proposed a solution that followed a series of laboratory tests to simulate the crystallisation process and confirm its technical feasibility at a bench-scale. This crucial step reduced the risks and gave the ALKIMIA Group the confidence that the proposed technical and commercial process is both straightforward and scalable.

“We are pleased to help ALKIMIA diversify its product portfolio into higher-value products. This project at Gabes reflects the confidence of leading MAP producers in Veolia’s crystallisation knowhow to deliver fully-soluble phosphorus fertilisers to a market hungry for sustaining crop yields amid increased water scarcity” stated Jim Brown, CEO of Veolia Water Technologies Americas.

Through HPD® evaporation and crystallisation technologies, Veolia helps the global fertiliser industry to crystallise fully-soluble crop nutrient solutions of the highest-purity that deliver the food the world desperately needs while protecting its soil and water resources.