Potassium (K) fertilizer is commonly added to improve the yield and quality of plants growing in soils that are lacking an adequate supply of this essential nutrient. Most fertilizer K comes from ancient salt deposits located throughout the world. The word "potash" is a general term that most frequently refers to potassium chloride (KCl), but it also applies to all other K-containing fertilizers, such as potassium sulfate (K?SO?, commonly referred to as sulfate of potash, or SOP). And there are many kinds of sulfate raw material for different usages, such as potassium sulphate, magnesium sulphate, zinc sulphate, ammonium sulphate, etc.
Potassium is needed to complete many essential functions in plants, such as activating enzyme reactions, synthesizing proteins, forming starch and sugars, and regulating water flow in cells and leaves. Often, concentrations of K in soil are too low to support healthy plant growth.
Potassium sulfate is an excellent source of K nutrition for plants. The K portion of the K?SO? is no different from other common potash fertilizers. However, it also supplies a valuable source of S, which protein synthesis and enzyme function require. Like K, S can also be too deficient for adequate plant growth. Further, Cl- additions should be avoided in certain soils and crops. In such cases, K?SO? makes a very suitable K source. Potassium sulfate is only one-third as soluble as KCl, so it's not as commonly dissolved for addition through irrigation water unless there's a need for additional S.
Except for sulphate, there are also many nitrate raw materials, and magnesium nitrate is one of the most widely used one.
Magnesium nitrate is an inorganic hygroscopic salt, which is composed of magnesium, nitrogen and oxygen with the chemical formula Mg(NO3)2. It naturally occurs in caverns and mines as nitro magnesite. This is not a common form, although it could be present in places where guano comes in contact with magnesium rich rock.
Magnesium nitrate is primarily used as a dehydrating agent or a desiccant, in the preparation of nitric acid. Apart from this, magnesium nitrate is commonly used as a catalyst in the manufacture of fireworks and petrochemicals. It is also used as viscosity adjusters, intermediates and construction materials.
This inorganic chemical compound finds applications in the agriculture, printing, chemical and ceramics industries. Fertilizers containing magnesium nitrate are normally used in the hydroponics and greenhouse trade.