SOP Production Methods

There are two methods used in the production of SOP. Primary production methods include directly extracting SOP from mineral ores containing both potassium and sulphate. This method is currently rare and may yield by-products, which can contribute additional revenue. SOPerior Fertilizer Corp. plans to use this method of production at the Blawn Mountain Project.

The most common secondary production method is referred to as the Mannheim Process and involves the reaction of KCI with sulphuric acid. This method for producing SOP accounts for 50% to 60% of the global. The Mannheim Process is the most expensive method of producing SOP due to energy requirements and high cost of purchasing MOP and sulphuric acid. Secondary production is also possible through the reaction of KCI with sulphate salts.


Cash Cost by Production Method

1 CRU 2013

 
Process Method and Cost Comparisons


 Region Process
Method
World
Capacity
Process
Inputs
Products Avg
Cost /
Tonne
 Future
Outlook
 China/
Europe
Mannheim 43%
  • MOP
  • Sulfuric Acid
  • Energy
  • SOP
  • Hyrdochloric Acid
$453  High cost/
By-Product
limits growth
 Europe MOP and Kieserite 22%
  • MO
  • Kieserite
  • Energy
  • SOP
  • Magnesium Chloride
$440  No
Additional
Deposits
 China/
USA/
Chile
Salt Lakes 35%
  • Lake Brines
  • Energy
  • SOP
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Sodium Chloride
$381  No 
Additional
Suitable Lakes