David worked at ICI Agricultural Division (later ICI Fertilizers) and Terra Nitrogen in the fertiliser area for nearly 35 years and is aware that much of the information regarding fertiliser technology in ICI has never been collected into a single document. This is not just a history lesson but, hopefully, provides a reference document for those in the industry who need to be able to find technical information relating to their own manufacture of fertiliser.
In the middle of the last century there were many people involved in fertiliser technology whereas in present years there are very few. A danger in any industry is the loss of corporate knowledge, it is hoped that this provides information on the ICI technical memory and encourage others to provide information to their own companies’ history – at the very least to their newer colleagues.
The areas covered include Research and Development, and the manufacture of NPK, ammonium nitrate and urea.
After leaving full time work, he has been a part-time consultant to the industry. This has been mainly centred on the various problems encountered with the shipping of fertilisers with many incidents being investigated. A summary of this work is included.
Throughout the paper there was a focus on personal “Learning Points”, which he hopes will be of interest and value to people now active in fertiliser production, plus those who are considering becoming so. The presentation concludes by highlighting aspects of the industry practice that the author’s experience indicates are still capable of improvement.