IFDC Report, Volume 2, No. 4
The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is working on a new fertilizer manual to provide a comprehensive reference source on fertilizer production technology, economics, and industry planning for developing countries. This manual, a joint project between IFDC and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), is designed to replace the outdated UN Fertilizer Manual published in 1967. The objective of the new manual is to present clear and concise descriptions of major fertilizer processes, their requirements, advantages, disadvantages, and economic evaluations through illustrative examples. The manual is organized into five parts covering various fertilizer production and usage aspects. Part 1 introduces the history of fertilizers, the global outlook, the role of fertilizers in agriculture, raw materials, and a glossary of industrial terms. Part II focuses on producing and transporting ammonia and nitrogen fertilizers in liquid and solid forms. Part III discusses the characteristics of phosphate rock, the production of sulfuric and phosphoric acid, and essential phosphate fertilizers, including nitrophosphates and ammonium phosphates. Part IV delves into potash fertilizers, covering ore refining, chemical manufacture, compound fertilizers, secondary and micronutrients, controlled-release fertilizers, and physical properties of fertilizers. Part V includes chapters on planning a fertilizer industry, pollution control, and the economics of production and transportation of significant intermediates. In addition to the manual, IFDC is actively involved in various research initiatives to improve the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers, particularly in rice cultivation. Collaborative efforts with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) aim to develop and introduce more effective nitrogen fertilizer materials and management practices for lowland rice-growing areas. IFDC is also initiating a research program to address the increasing incidence of sulfur deficiencies in tropical agriculture. Furthermore, IFDC is exploring the potential of combining deep placement and controlled release of fertilizers to minimize nitrogen losses and enhance crop productivity.