27 February 2013 20:44 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)—Proving the time worn adage that one man’s trash can be another’s treasure, urea producer BioNitrogen announced on Wednesday they have signed an exclusive agreement with fertilizer manufacturer CF Industries for the removal of woody biomass from phosphate mining operations to be converted into bulk urea.
Based in Doral, Florida the company bills itself as an environmentally friendly company with a goal of creating plants that are not only safe and cost effective but that can utilise these materials that are a byproduct of mining which would in the past be viewed as lacking any future value.
The biomass is transformed into urea through a gasification technology process and catalytic conversion and would be a change from traditional urea plants which use natural gas as a feedstock. The new facility will create urea by taking in biobased syngas as its feedstock.
Work on the $175m project is expected to commence during first half of 2013 with the proposed 200,000 square foot plant anticipated to produce 15 short tons of urea per hour, which company officials said would result in 360 short tons per day, or 124,200 short tons per year of the vital crop nutrient by the first quarter of 2014.
The facility is located within close proximity to the Port of Tampa and Port of Manatee with expectations that the urea will be sent primarily to the Midwest by barges via the Mississippi river.
The company said they have already received approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the biomass collection activities on their 600 acre site located in Hardee County, Florida.
“We are pleased to be working with CF Industries. This agreement will not only grow our secured biomass supply, but it will also promote sustainability in Florida,” said Bryan Kornegay, BioNitrogen president.
“Most of the trees in rural phosphate mining areas such as Hardee County are burned. It’s great to see a company such as CF Industries promoting environmentally friendly approach to phosphate mining and creating positive impacts for the community,” he said.
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