K+S’ products in close-up

Man cannot live on bread alone

Potash is an essential fertilizer which provides agricultural crops with vital nutrients. Only by using potash fertilizers can enough food be produced of sufficient quality to feed the world’s growing population. K+S’s potash- and magnesium-containing fertilizers are therefore indispensable in basic food production.

However, potash also has other uses. It is found in numerous everyday items and is used as an additive or auxiliary material in many production processes. In fact, it is almost as versatile as the ubiquitous sodium chloride.

K+S KALI GmbH’s range of raw materials consists of the following product groups:

  • Epsom salts
  • Potassium sulphate
  • Potassium chloride
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium sulphate

We also produce high-purity potassium chloride and potassium sulphate for the food and pharmaceutical sectors.

The applications listed below show that K+S’ industrial potash products are a permanent fixture in our everyday lives.

K+S’ industrial products make…

sugar beet more productive: in the “Quentin procedure”, the solubility of sucrose and therefore the sugar yield of sugar beet is increased. Magnesium chloride solution is an important auxiliary material in this procedure.

leather more pliable: high-grade, pliant leather is produced by using magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) in the tanning process, which helps the tannins to bind with the skin.

water softer: potassium chloride is used in water treatment plants for regenerating ion exchangers and it is used to soften water in swimming pools and laundries.

paper whiter: magnesium sulphate is used in the environmentally-friendly process of oxygen bleaching of cellulose to help ensure that the residual lignin, which is responsible for the brown colour of the cellulose, is properly removed.

streets safer: magnesium chloride solution is used as a component of damp salt spreading and as a de-icing agent in winter road clearance to ensure free and safe driving in winter, even in extremely low temperatures.

hard-wearing, durable plastics: whether for Lego bricks, machine housing or technical components, magnesium sulphate is practically indispensable in ABS plastics production.

white walls: potassium chloride, potassium sulphate or magnesium sulphate (depending on the procedure) are used in the production of the pigment titanium dioxide in order to obtain the purest whiteness possible and an ideal particle size.

vibrant colours: colours provide emphasis and liven up and decorate our surroundings. Pigments and dyes are produced using potassium chloride. It also provides heightened intensity in fireworks, producing a violet sparkling effect.

modern textiles: before viscose is produced from cellulose, and from that the base material for modern textiles, a spinning solution is pressed by jets into a bath of magnesium sulphate. This creates fine fibres which are spun into yarn.

rustproof steel: durable steel parts and sheet metal (for example for high quality cars) are galvanised. Potassium chloride is used in galvanising baths to regulate the cycle and quality of the process.

high-grade aluminium alloys: in the smelting of aluminium scrap, a mixture of sodium chloride and potassium chloride is used to cover the molten metal. The scrap can thus be recycled into valuable products – tyre rims, profiles, window frames and many other everyday objects.

These are just some of the ways in which our products are used. Potassium and magnesium salts are also used in fire protection technology and construction chemistry, as well as in petroleum and gas production, chemical process technology and biotechnology. Highly pure potassium chloride, potassium sulphate and magnesium sulphate salts, which are used in the production of pharmaceutical products and reduced-sodium food, are particularly important for health and well-being.

 

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