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2018 IFS Technical Conference
8 May 2018 - 9 May 2018
2018 IFS Agronomic Conference
6 Dec 2018 - 7 Dec 2018
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2018 IFS Technical Conference

8 May 2018 - 9 May 2018

The next IFS Technical Conference will be hosted by the Crop Research Institute, Prague, Czech Republic.

The Conference will feature eleven papers, covering a variety of topics including a range of innovative developments relating to nitrogenous fertiliser production, forecasts of rock phosphate availability, rapid screening of CRFs, why excellent safety companies still experience catastrophic accidents, and an overview of fertiliser blending technologies.

There will also be ample opportunities for valuable networking, including the Conference dinner.  A tour of the historic centre of Prague will be included in the programme.

Registration will be opening shortly.

To help you with your travel plans, the Conference will start at 09.30 on the 8th, and finish at approximately 15.30 on the 9th.

The presentations at this year's Conference are listed below. 

Elio Strepparola, Casale S A, Switzerland

Opportunities created by the innovative revamping of a methanol plant

This paper describes an innovative way of revamping a methanol plant which creates the basis to define the implementation of an integrated fertiliser project. The long and fruitful co-operation between the plant's owner and Casale, together with the availability of all the required technologies by a single licensor made feasible the realisation of this reference project.

Information is provided on a series of revamping projects of the methanol plant, including the latest one, which considers a new POX unit. The excess hydrogen, along with the spare nitrogen from the new ASU, made possible the production of ammonia, then urea and finally melamine.

The paper provides the details of the various methanol revamping projects and the features of the new fertiliser project with relevant technological features.


Branislav Brežný, VUCHT a.s., Slovakia

Account of a calcium nitrate plant being set up in Czech Republic

Calcium nitrate, also known as Norwegian saltpeter, is an inorganic salt. Besides many other applications, it is mainly used as a component in mineral fertilisers. For this purpose the double salt 5Ca(NO3)2·NH4NO3·10H  2O is mainly used. However a formulation without ammonia - Ca(NO3)2·4H2O and a complex with urea Ca(NO3)2·4[OC(NH2)2 can also be used.

A process for calcium nitrate fertiliser production was developed by the R&D centre  of VUCHT in Slovakia. The process is based on the treatment of limestone with nitric acid, followed by neutralisation with ammonia. The process was tailored to the specific quality of raw materials, particular product properties and the demands of government authorities. Three quality grades can be produced by the process - Greenhouse Grade, Agriculture Grade and Fertiliser Grade. The process has been used at two production plants within the Agrofert Holding in Czech Republic and in Slovakia.


Paz Munoz, Stamicarbon, Netherlands

Dual pressure nitric acid Technology with high energy recovery

Building on its long history in the ANNA industry, Stamicarbon is introducing its dual pressure nitric acid process that is characterised by high energy recovery. Dual pressure single-train capacities range from 600 up to 1600t/day (100% HNO3).

A critical process feature is the relative high tail gas temperature (up to 480°C) that favours the decomposition of N2O in a tertiary abatement reactor and provides higher power generation by the expansion turbine and an extra heat recovery step before releasing the tail gas to atmosphere.  All these advantages are translated into high steam export.


Jens Mathiak, Thyssenkrupp, Germany

A new process to produce granulated ammonium sulphate from dilute solutions

Details of this innovative development will be available shortly.


Lovochemie A.S., Czech republic, author to be confirmed

Wet electrostatic precipitator (WESP) de-dusting for an AN plant

Details of this innovative development will be available shortly.


Thomas Henry, Prayon Technologies, Belgium

New approaches to improving the quality of phosphoric acid

To face the wide range of raw phosphoric acid qualities produced from phosphate rocks, and the growing needs of high quality end products, users are increasingly interested in the purification of their phosphoric acid. Among all the purification techniques available, four are selected and reviewed: the phosphoric acid purification by ion exchange on selective resins, by solvent extraction, by impurities precipitation induced by potassium addition or the acid neutralisation. The working principles of each of the four processes are detailed and simplified working diagrams are presented. The whys and wherefores of each process are reviewed. The handling of the principal waste streams is discussed.


Aida Idrissi Kaitouni, Argus Media Ltd., United Kingdom

Developments in the quality and reserves of rock phosphate 

This paper will present extracts from the recently completed major review of the supply situation for rock phosphate carried out by Argus. It will focus on key trends and developments affecting the phosphate rock market and will provide an outlook for supply for the next 15 years.


Mike McLaughlin, University of Adelaide, Australia

Rapid screening of controlled release fertilisers 

Information on this presentation will be uploaded shortly.


Jan-Petter Fossum, Yara International A S, Norway

The Trap of Management of Change: Why Are Accidents Still Happening in Companies with a Strong Record in Process Safety 

Even chemical companies that are considered to be excellent at safety management have experienced significant lapses. Serious multi fatality accidents have happened in companies such as BP (2005: Texas City; 1987: Grangemouth), DuPont (2016), BASF (2016). Process safety accidents are far rarer and much less predictable that occupational safety incidents. Furthermore, when they occur the outcome can be more serious than occupational safety events, which in general involve single individuals. 

History has shown that many of the causes of process safety accidents includes inadequate management of change (MOC). Modifications and replacement of equipment, organisational changes, lack of resources and the re-sizing of plant output are primary root causes of many accidents.

This presentation will discuss why accidents are still happening in companies with a strong record in Safety. It will cover examples of Process Safety hazards due to improper Management of Change processes (as regularly demonstrated by the chemical industry), and how only "minor" modifications have sometimes resulted in catastrophic events causing multi-fatalities.  It will discuss how, even though Yara has not faced such catastrophic events, serious accidents have occurred. What went wrong and what did we learn to improve our MOC process?


Peter Scott, Origin Fertilisers (UK) Ltd., United Kingdom

An evaluation of fertiliser blending technologies, and a review of progress in ensuring product consistency 

Information on this presentation will be uploaded shortly.