Some of the Sources of Chemical Fertilizers

Percentage composition of materials used as sources of nitrogen (German Kali

Works, N.Y. City)

 

Nitrogen

Equivalent to

Ammonia

Potash K20

Phos. Acid Total

Nitrate of soda . .

15 to 16

18 to 19 1/2

   

Sulfate of ammonia .

19 1/2 to 21

24 to 25 1/2

 

-------

Dried blood (high grade).....

13 to 14

16 to 17

 

2 to 3

Dried blood (low

10 to 11

12 to 13

 

1 1/2 to 2

 

5 to 9

6 to 11

 

9 to 16

Dried fish scrap

9 to 10

11 to 12

 

5 1/2 to 7

Cottonseed meal

6 1/2 to 7 1/2

71/2 to 9

1 1/2 to 2

2 to 3

Castor pomace

5 to 6

6 to 7

1 to 1 1/2

1 1/2 to 2

Tobacco stems . .

2 1/2 to 3

3 to 3 1/2

2 to 10

1/2 to 1

Composition of materials used as sources of phosphoric acid (Kali Works)

 

Total

Available

Insoluble

Nitrogen

Equivalent

TO

Ammonia

Potash K20

Acid phosphate

16 to 19

14 to 17

1 to 2

     

Carolina phos. rock

26 to 27

 

26 to 27

     

Dissolved bone black ....

17 to 20

16 to 18

1 to 2

     

Bone meal .

20 to 25

5to 8

15 to 17

1 to 4 1/2

1 1/4 to 5 1/2

 

Dissolved bone

15 to 17

13 to 15

2 to 3

2 to 3

2 1/2 to 3 1/2

 

Thomas slag . .

22 to 24

 

22 to 24

     

Peruvian guano

12 to 15

7 to 8

5 to 8

6 to 10

7 1/4 to 12

1 1/2 to 4

Marketed production of phosphate rock in the United States, from the beginning of the industry in 1867 to 1909, in long tons (Van Horn, U.S. Geol. Surv.)

Fertilizer Materials 19

World's production of phosphate rock, 1905-1907, by countries, in metric tons

(Van Horn)

Fertilizer Materials 20

Average composition of Stassfurt potash salts (German Kali Works)

Fertilizer Materials 21

Potash salts produced in the United States, 1850 to 1905 1 (Phalen, U.S. Geol.

Survey.)

Census

Number of Establishments

Product

Average Price per Pound

Quantity lb.

Value

1850......

569

 

$1,401,533

 

1860......

212

 

538,550

 

1870......

105

 

327,671

 

1880......

68

4,571,671

232,643

$0.051

1890......

75

5,106,939

197,507

0.039

1900......

67 2

3,864,766

178,180

0.046

1905......

39 2

1,811,037

104,655

0.058

1  Munroe, C. E., Bull. 92, Census of Manufactures, Bur. Census, 1905, p. 38.

2 Includes establishments engaged primarily in the manufacture of other products.

There was a time when the United States produced a large part, if not all, of the potash it consumed. The burning of wood and the lixiviation of the resulting ash to extract the potash, though of minor importance so far as the monetary value of the product is concerned, is one of the oldest of the purely chemical industries in this country. Cognizance was taken of it in the census reports as early as 1850, so that data are available for comparing the condition of the industry for each decade since that year. The above table gives the quantity and value of potash produced in the United States from 1850 to 1905.

Potash salts are used extensively in the United States. They are essential to numerous industries that are vitally connected with the welfare of the American people — the most notable being the fertilizer industry. They are used also in the manufacture of glass, in certain kinds of soap, in some explosive powders, and in the chemical industries, including the manufacture of alum, cyanides, bleaching powders, dyestuffs, and other chemicals. (Phalen.)