Fertilizer Industry

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The Fertilizer Industry -1934

Commercial fertilizers were developed because harvesting crop after crop wears out the soil and robs it of nutrients. The use of nitrate, one of the basic materials of commercial fertilizers was discovered accidentally by a Spanish missionary to Chile.

Some Chilean Indians extinguished a campfire and noticed a peculiar reaction of the hard, dry earth to the hot coals, They carried several pieces of the hard earth to their priest for an explanation. He, of course, could not explain it and when the Indians left, threw them into his garden. After several months, he noticed increased vegetation at the spot where he had thrown the nitrate.

Virginia-Carolina Fertilizer is located in Fairmont City on Route 111. Another large producer of commercial fertilizers is American Agricultural Chemical Company whose plant is located at the Stock Yards. Nitrates from Chile, phosphate from Florida and potash from California are some of the basic materials. After dry materials are mixed, bucket-type elevators take it to the wet mixing tank where acid is admitted to the process. Acids are stored outside the main buildings and are pumped inside to the main mixing units. From the storage bins the materials are moved to the bagging units and prepared for shipment.

 

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