Fertiliser production – the move to net-zero

Fertilisers are at the start of a global food chain that stretches from the factory to fork in every country, every street and for every family.

The fertiliser industry helps farmers grow the food that sustains the world’s population.  Fertilisers are at the start of a global food chain that stretches from the factory to fork in every country, every street and for every family.

Producing fertilisers is energy-intensive and farmers that use them are increasingly under the spotlight to ensure they are used efficiently and sparingly. Awareness of net-zero and the need to act sustainably is at the forefront of every country, and especially here in the UK. Every market participant in the food supply chain is duty-bound to scrutinize every step they take as part of a global approach to energy efficiency.

At Brineflow we have invested in the most modern facilities to address concerns around Net Zero and Ammonia emissions.   We are driving an industry change that supports farmers to help them meet the challenges of producing food with cleaner air, purer water, less waste and less energy consumption.

Our new Nitrasol fertiliser system provides a system change that helps farmers demonstrate that they are taking the steps needed to reduce environmental impacts and recognise public expectations of treading lightly on our earth.

In our latest article, we share with you some of the key points around its development, and what it can mean for you.

Aiming for Net Zero

Anyone that has grabbed 5 minutes to watch Clarkson’s Farm will be able to tell you that fertiliser plays a huge part in UK Farming. With fertiliser being used to grow the food we need, without the presence of this key component nearly 5 billion people globally would not have access to the food they need to sustain themselves and their families.

Feeding the world comes at a significant energy cost. We recognise that nitrogen fertilisers are one of the most impactful input in the global food chain.  Here in the UK, Defra figures estimate that fertilisers are responsible for 31% of total greenhouse emissions in UK agriculture. 

We’ve thought carefully about how to minimise both the energy consumed on the whole journey that fertilisers take from factory to the field and also the other emissions like ammonia that can harm air quality and damage public health.

Starting from a blank sheet of paper, in designing our whole Nitrasol system, we have made the infrastructure investments and production innovations that reduce our own total emissions, so that in turn British farmers and growers can farm more sustainably.  This is the Nitrasol promise.

The Other Consideration Factor – Minimising Movement 

At it’s heart, our system has been engineered to reduce the number of times that our fertilisers are handled or moved. And, for every movement that remains, we have focused on using low energy transfers like gravity where possible. That’s because we know that every time fertiliser is energy is consumed, with attendant risks of spillages, wastage or even contamination. 

Where a movement or processing step is unavoidable, we contain our product within a sealed or contained vessel to prevent gaseous emissions, leakage or spillage.   There is no place for open lagoons in the Nitrasol system or the double handing, dilution and contamination that follows.

And in all circumstances, our system uses high efficiency pumps or gravity to move fertilisers in bulk direct to fieldside tanks by sealed tankers that employ dry-fit couplings rather than use single use plastic packaging and the multiple handling steps involving damage and movements within and between stores.

National Coverage

We have made significant infrastructure investments at the start of Britain’s food chain in two East Coast locations in Great Yarmouth and Sunderland which give national coverage.

Some of the ways in which we deliver our promise of treading as lightly on our environment as possible include:

  • Terminals Built to EuroCodes Standards – the hardest test
  • Bunded Sites for Total Environmental Containment
  • Rainwater recovery to boost efficiency
  • Oversized pipes to reduce friction losses & energy consumption
  • Gravity aided fluid transfers
  • Sealed vessels to eliminate production losses of ammonia losses for clean air
  • No double handling to minimize logistical steps including leakage and transport losses
  • No lagoons – no dilution, contamination or ammonia volatilization
  • Meeting consumer expectations with No Single-Use Plastics
  • Optimised two-way haulage, Dry-fit connectors and Compressed air purging
  • Delivered directly to field tanks – No additional handling logistics on-farm – no machinery emissions

The cumulative effects of focusing on a large number of small marginal gains all the way from the factory to field mean our fertilisers have about fifth lower emissions and about half the processing steps of any comparable nitrogen fertiliser used in the UK 

The first time our product meets the atmosphere is when it emerges from the nozzle.

None of this attention costs more than competing products.   And we deliver this within the regulatory reassurance of FACTS and FIAS compliance and the responsibility of Agricultural Industries Confederation membership.

To Conclude

With net-zero becoming a major talking point globally, Brineflow has taken a leading role in UK Agriculture Sustainability with products that are safe, effective and efficient. 

If you’re serious about your farming journey to Net Zero, we want to hear from you.  Our terminals have shifted the dial on how farmers can manage their most impactful input to deliver purer water, less waste, lower carbon and lower emissions – the best way to farm more sustainably.