Mixing Mixing, Reaction and Granulation: Continuous “All-in-One Process” for the Production of Animal Feed and Fertilizers

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

In the production of high-quality monocalcium phosphate (MCP), the role of high-capacity technology is as important as the quality of the raw materials. The Russian producer of animal feed and fertilizers Balakovo Mineralnie Udobrenia (BMU) had to meet a challenge on a large scale: to find a suitable mixing system that ensures a production of 20 tons MCP per hour.

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Lödige Ploughshare mixer type KM–D (Picture: Lödige)
Lödige Ploughshare mixer type KM–D (Picture: Lödige)

According to a survey published by the UNO Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in February 2010, the worldwide meat consumption continues to increase enormously: the FAO estimates that livestock farming will keep on growing in the next decade. The organization expects that the yearly meat production will be doubled to 463 millions tons worldwide by 2050.

The increase of livestock farming is also expected to lead to a rising demand for high-quality mineral fodder. To be competitive on the world market, the producers of animal feed will have to increase their capacity while at the same time improving and rationalizing their production processes.

This is especially important for the production of monocalcium phosphates (MCP). The Calcium salts with the molecular formula Ca(H2PO4)2 x H2O are, just like phosphates, important components of animal feed and mineral fertilizers. Dried they form a colourless powder that is slightly soluble in water and can be produced through the reaction of pure phosphoric acid with calcium carbonate.

High Throughput — Small Particles

The large scale production of MCP plays a decisive role for the Russian producer of fertilizers and animal feed Balakovo Mineralnie Udobrenia (BMU).

High quality raw materials are essential to ensure production of an endproduct with good phosphorous digestibility, high purity and low content of undesirable substances. Another important point is the application of high-capacity process technology.

BMU started to plan a new mixing and granulation unit in 2006 with two main requirements: a throughput of 20 tons per hour (t/h) and a particle size of 0.2–2.0 millimeters in combination with a product yield of 70% at least. BMU decided to make use of a continuous Ploughshare Mixer of type KM–D specially designed by German manufacturer Gebrüder Lödige Maschinenbau in accordance with this application.