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Shell’s sulphur enhanced fertilizer technologies enable the cost-effective and safe development of a new, unique family of fertilizers.

With customised combinations of the four major plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur), this new generation of fertilizers can deliver significant increases in crop-yields from sulphur-responsive soils while aiming to deliver meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Challenge of Sulphur-Deficient Soils

Progressive fertilizer manufacturers are only too aware of the problems of sulphur-deficient soils and the impact of such deficiencies in limiting crop yields.  These problems assume high priority at a time when the world needs to grow 40% more food by 2020, with 80% of the increase coming from existing cultivated areas.

The Science of Sulphur Enhancement

Shell Thiogro - Sulphur in Fertilizers

Shell Thiogro - Sulphur in Fertilizers

Patented Shell Thiogro technology allows the incorporation of micron-sized particles of elemental sulphur within the world’s most widely used phosphate fertilizers, such as MAP, DAP, TSP and NPK’s.

The oxidation of the micronised elemental sulphur particles to sulphate sulphur, the form of sulphur which the plant absorbs, helps the plant to better utilise nitrogen and phosphorus, along with other essential plant nutrients, allowing more efficient plant growth. 

Field trials, using fertilizers produced using Shell Thiogro technology, have demonstrated increased crop yields in sulphur responsive soils.

The Commercialisation of Innovation

Scientific breakthroughs alone are insufficient to meet the challenges facing world agriculture. Realising the potential benefits of sulphur-enhanced fertilizers will require new mind-sets from all stakeholders in the agricultural value chain including farmers, retailers, distributors, manufacturers and government agencies.

Shell Thiogro technology offers exciting new benefits to:

Fertilizer manufacturers

  • The opportunity to create a unique new family of fertilizers.
  • The flexibility to customise formulations of NP and NPK fertilizers to optimise yields and satisfy both crop needs and specific soil requirements.
  • The ability to embrace easily adaptable new technologies in existing and new P, NP and NPK fertilizer plants at relatively low capital costs.


  • Time and temperature-linked sulphur releases allows crops to benefit through the full growth cycle.
  • High nutrient density means more efficient fertilizer application, resulting in reduced time, labour and transportation costs.

The Wider World

  • Significant potential to increase global food supplies through increased crop yield and quality.
  • Confronting and resolving the challenge of sulphur-deficient soils.
  • Greenhouse gas benefits via enhanced plant growth.
  • Opportunities for reduced land pressure from increased productivity: reduced deforestation and enhanced reforestation.