Feds invest in fertilizer production

Feds invest in fertilizer production
Dec 21, 2018

KSM has developed a method to make fertilizer more efficiently

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The federal government is helping a Quebec company produce fertilizer efficiently.

Yesterday, KSM Fertilizers received almost $1 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to further its work on using mining residue to produce fertilizer. The technology will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“By 2025, farmers will need to produce three times more food per acre to meet the world’s growing population,” Leah Lawrence, president and CEO of SDTC, said in a statement yesterday. “KSM has found a way to help with that by producing fertilizer using less energy and at a lower cost.”

The process helps the company produce potassium and magnesium sulfate, said David Lemieux, president of KSM.

“We take potash and we make a reaction with sulfuric acid to make potassium sulfate,” he told Farms.com. “We also use ore from mines to access magnesium units. We use the remaining acid to extract the magnesium as magnesium sulfate which is further combined into the potassium sulfate.

“At the end of the process, we have SOP and SOPM. The products aren’t new, but we’re manufacturing them in a way that’s much more energy efficient. Our approach is a more cost-effective way to produce existing fertilizers.”

The $1-million contribution from the government is part of $2 million in total company financing to help KSM build and operate a demonstration plant in Thetford Mines, Que.

“We hope to kick off the project in the first quarter of 2019 and we’re looking at a one-year period to run demonstrations of our process,” Lemieux said.

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