Fertilizers market can be divided into big areas:
This group includes essentially mineral fertilizers: produced through the synthesis process starting from methane (production of ammonia, urea, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate), sulphuric acid, from phosphate rocks and from potassium salts. We speak about simple products when only one principle element is present, while we say they’re compounds (from a physical mixture or from a reaction) when they contain 2 or 3 main elements.
The characteristics of these products are big volumes, consolidated technologies and the fact that they are products with a specification, that means that their chemical-physical characteristics have been completely described.
This group includes:
- Organic fertilizers and soil improvers. The productive processes that characterize these two fertilizers and more linkable to biochemical processes than to real synthetic reactions. The stabilization of the natural organic substance (of animal or vegetal origin) is essential condition to the point that nutritive elements contained in the manures are as available as possible for the crops.
- Organo mineral fertilizers: they are obtained through a reaction or mixture of mineral fertilizers with organic matrix, in order to create a synergic action that aims to combine the nutritive action with the best environmental performance.
The alteration of the properties of release of the mineral elements contained in fertilizers, the solubility of the compounds, the bio-stimulating properties of some organic compounds are some of the characteristics that productive processes of the so called “Specialities” intend to control. They are product, which have a completely different behaviour in their categories, every one of which aims to obtain certain performances. The applied technologies, both chemical and biochemical/enzymatic, are peculiar for this sector, that requires a high degree of technology and specialization.