Fertilisers play an important role in modern day agriculture, increasing the production of biomass in plants, boosting yields, and contributing to the major challenge of feeding a growing world population. Potassium derivatives from Vynova are a key ingredient in liquid complex fertilisers that help to ‘feed’ plants so they can grow stronger, faster, and larger.
The main components of fertilisers
Fertilisers essentially work by replacing the nutrients that crop remove from the soil. Modern fertilisers contain as many as seventeen essential nutrients in differing quantities depending on the plant they will be used for and the type of soil. The three primary or major nutrients in so-called NPK fertilisers are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
Nitrogen has a positive impact on chlorophyll and protein production, increasing leaf size, growth rates, final yields, and protein content.
Phosphorus is important for root development, the ripening process, and helping the plant become established early in the season.
Potassium helps to regulate the water within the plant, including water loss from the leaves. This helps encourage healthy growth, renders the crops more resistant to drought, pests, frost, and disease, and improves the quality of the produce. Due to these reasons, potassium is known as the 'quality' nutrient.
Potassium in more detail
As we’ve seen, potassium is essential to maintaining and improving crop yields. When crops have a potassium deficiency, their growth is restricted, and their leaves are often dark green in colour. It is also possible that the leaves develop brown spots, yellow edges, or yellow or brown veins. This happens more frequently on light sandy soils than on heavier clay soils, so it is more commonly used in countries where the weather is very hot and arid.
Vynova produces two main types of liquid potassium for use in fertilisers: liquid potassium hydroxide (KOH lye, also known as KOH solution, KOH liquid, or caustic potash) and liquid potassium carbonate (K2CO3).
Liquid potassium hydroxide (KOH lye)
While potassium hydroxide is available in different forms, including pellets, powders, and flakes, it is usually used as a liquid in liquid fertilisers in dilution as it dissolves better in solution, giving a more even distribution and preventing the solution from acidifying the soil. It also allows a highly concentrated potassium formula with a low concentration of chlorine which might negatively impact the soil content. Its low salt index is important for improving the drought tolerance of the crop.
Liquid potassium carbonate (K2CO3)
Potassium carbonate is commonly used in chemical fertilisers, as well as a raw material for compound fertilisers. It has best results when used with crops that are sensitive to chloride ions, such as fruits and vegetables. Liquid potassium carbonate can increase soil temperature, neutralise soil acidity, and promote crop growth.
Other agricultural applications for potassium derivatives
As well as their use in fertilisers, potassium derivatives can be found in other agricultural products. For example, liquid potassium carbonate is used in complex formulations for fungicides and herbicides. And potassium bicarbonate, produced by reacting potassium carbonate from Vynova with carbon dioxide, is a naturally occurring substance used to protect fruit and vegetables against several important fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and blight.
Vynova is a leading European supplier of potassium derivatives with manufacturing sites in Belgium and France. Our potassium derivatives are used in numerous applications that benefit health and improve our quality of life - like potassium derivatives used for fertilisers and other agricultural applications. Find out more about potassium derivatives from Vynova or contact one of our sales representatives here.