Fertilizer additives improve the quality and stability of fertilizers and soil, avoid loss of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur, and prevent corrosion of the container used for transportation. They also provide anti-foaming and anti-caking characteristics to the fertilizer.
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Foam causes serious problems to surface coatings. In case of fertilizers, it could prompt insufficient absorption of nutrients by soil as well as plants leading to stunted to almost no plant growth and loss of soil fertility over time. There are several chemical formulae which prevent foam formation.
Caking refers to the formation of lumps in granular or powdered materials. Since quite a few fertilizers are available in these forms, chances of their caking are high, which results in product loss. To avoid this, anti-caking agents are available, which enable easy packaging, transport, and consumption.
These additives are used either in the production stage of the fertilizers or mixed during their application in the field.
Since nitrogen is the most essential nutrient required for plant growth, most fertilizer additives are not only rich with nitrogen, but also increase the amount of nitrogen released. However, this does not mean that other macro and micro nutrients are not present in them. A majority of fertilizer additives are utilized in nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium fertilizers. Sometimes they are also employed to increase the amount of micro nutrients (such as calcium, magnesium, and sulphur) in the fertilizer.
Soil depletion is the result of untreated loss of fertility. Soil fertility decreases over time or when its productive constituents are removed and not replaced. Fertilizer additives help expand the life span of soil, resulting in better crop yield.
Ammonium formulations are commonly used fertilizer additives, in which ammonium acts as a nitrogen supplier. A few examples include ammonium thio-sulphate, mono-ammonium phosphate, and di-ammonium phosphate.
Asia Pacific holds a share of more than 50% in the global fertilizer additives market. China and India are major consumers of this product owing to the vast agricultural zones in these countries. Agriculture is the primary occupation of India, which is expected to drive the fertilizer additive market here in the near future.
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Key players operating in the fertilizer additives market include Clariant, KAO Corporation, Novochem Group Calnetix Technologies LLC, Filtra Catalysts & Chemicals Ltd., Solvay, Arrmaz, Chemipol, Forbon Technology, Michelman, Tolsa Group, ChemSol LLC, and Amit Trading Ltd.