Shell Launches Sulphur-enhanced Urea Technology
May 6, 2015
Shell has announced the development of Shell Thiogro Urea-ES technology, the second generation of its Shell Thiogro sulphur-enhanced fertiliser technologies. This technology enables fertiliser manufacturers to incorporate micronised sulphur particles into urea—an industry first—producing a differentiated sulphur-enhanced urea product.
“As Shell’s integrated sulphur management business, we are proud to be able to help meet the global demand for sulphur as a plant nutrient by launching a technology that can deliver sulphur to plants through the most widely-used nitrogen fertiliser in the world – urea,” said Mike Lumley, General Manager of Shell Sulphur Solutions.
The Shell Thiogro team has already produced various high nutrient density grades of sulphur-enhanced urea, ranging from 7 to 18 per cent elemental sulphur, over the course of two successful pilot runs at IFDC (the International Fertilizer Development Centre), in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The team is now focused on testing this product in agronomic and scientific trials, and integrating the technology with various urea forming technologies.
Shell Thiogro Urea-ES technology utilises Shell’s patented micronisation technology to emulsify the particles of elemental sulphur evenly throughout the urea, forming a homogeneous granule. This is in contrast to existing elemental sulphur-containing urea technologies, which typically coat urea in a layer of elemental sulphur. The microscopic size of the sulphur particles, at under 40 micrometres (µm), promotes the oxidation of the sulphur within the crop season.
It is expected that the technology will also be able to incorporate micronutrients like zinc and boron into the granule, enabling urea manufacturers to produce customised grades that meet local needs.
Shell has taken the product to the lab and into the fields to validate the many anticipated benefits of a homogeneous sulphur-enhanced urea fertiliser, including potential for reduced sulphate-leaching losses and increased yields. Inaugural field trials in Brazil, conducted by the São Paulo State University (UNESP), are expected to yield results in mid-2015. Additional field trials are underway across the diverse climates, geographies and soil types of Brazil, the USA and Canada.
This new technology follows in the footsteps of Shell Thiogro phosphates technologies, which have enabled fertiliser producers to safely incorporate micron-sized particles of elemental sulphur and other nutrients into some of the most widely used phosphate fertilisers, including MAP, DAP, TSP and NPKs*.
Shell’s Thiogro sulphur-enhanced phosphate fertiliser technologies have been licensed and installed in fertiliser plants in Asia, North America and Australia, and have produced more than one million tonnes of sulphur-enhanced fertilisers to date. More installations are underway in these and other regions.
For more information about Shell Thiogro technologies for sulphur-enhanced fertilisers, visit www.shell.com/sulphur/thiogro or contact David Fillo, Shell Thiogro Global Business Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Shell Sulphur Solutions
Shell established a dedicated sulphur business over 50 years ago to manage the complete value chain of sulphur. Shell Sulphur Solutions is committed to delivering world class marketing of elemental sulphur and the development of value added applications for sulphur. We have established a global reach and diversified supplies, strengthened further by our robust marketing capabilities. Shell Sulphur Solutions is dedicated to finding innovative solutions and products to support our customers.
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