30 Aug Transforming ag waste into urea fertilizer
Posted January 25, 2012 in AgProfessional Magazine
BioNitrogen Corp. officially launched its commercial website today positioning itself to become a global, mass manufacturer of high-quality, urea fertilizer. Utilizing patent-pending technology, the company is able to convert biomass waste – from household garbage to plant stalks and husks – into high-nitrogen content, urea fertilizer.
Fact: Every year the world consumes 170 million tonnes of fertilizer for food, feed, fibre and fuel; where 48 percent of the world’s food is produced with the use of nitrogen fertilizer. Without the use of fertilizer, 2 billion more people would be threatened by hunger (source:International Fertilizer Association)(source:2011).
BioNitrogen’s revolutionary technology produces urea at a substantially lower cost than traditional methods. The Company Model focuses on building small-scale, fully operational plants on a turnkey basis. Each production facility is estimated to manufacture 15 tons of urea fertilizer per hour for a total annual production of approximately 124,200 tons per plant.
Local Presence, Global Opportunity
Moreover, since our plants are small in size and modular in design, we enjoy the logistical benefit of being able to locate them in rural, crop-producing areas. Local farmers in the communities will both supply us with biomass materials to fuel our operations and later purchase our products to fertilize their next generation of crops. Additional advantages of our small-scale, localized production approach include lower costs for land acquisition, material handling, and transportation.
Zero Footprint, Environmentally Friendly
Currently over 90 percent of the urea produced utilizes natural gas as the feedstock. Significantly, the feedstock used our process is common agricultural waste products and other natural biomass, not chemicals or natural gas. The by-products created by the process are electricity, which is used to help run the plants and also generate power for the grid secondary revenue stream, fly ash, which can be sold to cement manufacturers as a secondary revenue stream, and water, which is reused in the process in a closed loop system.
And because we use surface biomass products as a carbon source, rather than subterranean fossil fuel, we do not release previously trapped subterranean carbon into the atmosphere. Additionally, our manufacturing method recycles the harmful greenhouse gases that are separated out during the gasifying and reforming processes. As a result, our urea production system has virtually no negative impact on the environment, and the process qualifies for carbon credits.
An Indispensable Global Industry
The market for urea is strong and growing. Urea accounts for 60% of total nutrient consumption worldwide and is anticipated to reach 70 percent by the end of 2020. According to a study conducted by the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) in 2010, global demand for urea will grow at 3.8 percent per year from 2009 to approximately 192.5 million tons in 2014; the bulk of this increase is expected to come from growing demand for urea fertilizer. The IFA also forecasted that industrial applications for urea, accounting for 12 percent of total consumption, are expected to grow by 7 percent per year between 2009 and 2014. In a study conducted by the IFA in May 2011, demand for urea is predicted to increase 10.7 percent from 168.6 million tons to 188.8 million tons in 2014.
In North America, consumption of urea has grown by 1.2 percent per year for the past six years. In 2009, the IFA estimated that North American consumption was 14.3 million tons annually. In the United States alone, in 2009, the IFA estimated that urea consumption was at 11.44 million tons, while production came to just 6.38 million tons. The IFA stated that with growing demand and unchanged capacity, urea imports by the United States are likely to grow to around 7.7 million tons per year.