Verde Agritech PLC (TSE:NPK) says its flagship Super Greensand fertiliser has great benefits for the sugarcane industry because it is free from chloride, as it also revealed the Toronto-listed firm had joined Bonsucro.
The latter is an international non-profit organization of over 480 members, dedicated to improving sustainable sugarcane.
READ THE BIG PIC: Verde Agritech looks to shift the dial for farmers and food consumers with Super Greensand
As reported previously, Super Greensand contains 70 elements and trace minerals including potash, potassium, magnesium, manganese and plant-available silicon but does not contain chloride.
Chloride is harmful across the sugar production chain as it harms the development of sugarcane roots and kills beneficial soil microorganisms, said Verde Agritech.
In terms of farming, it also catalyses aggressive corrosion of machinery, leading to its early replacement.
KCl, otherwise known as potassium chloride, is the most commonly used potash fertiliser and contains 52.6% potash and 47.4% chloride.
Producers often use 250kg of KCl per hectare per year on sugarcane fields.
In Brazil, around 9mln hectares are cultivated with sugarcane, said the firm, so one can estimate that Brazilian sugarcane-covered soils receive 1.07mln tons of chloride every year due to potassium chloride use.
Meanwhile, points out Verde Agritech, toxic chemicals dioxins and furans, which have carcinogenic effects, are formed by burning the sugarcane biomass left over from the juicing process.
"Biomass burning is one of the main sources of toxic gases, particulate matter and greenhouse gases on the planet. One of the gases released by this burning is chlorine. If the residue has chlorine in its composition, it may result in the formation of HCl, dioxins and furans," the company said it a detailed regulatory statement today.
There is another benefit of using Verde's product too in the sugarcane world..
Super Greensand can be used to enrich sugarcane filter cake, which is the accumulated residue from cane juice filtration.
For each ton of ground cane, about 25kg of filter cake is produced, so about 90mln tons of filter cake is produced each year in Brazil.
"Filter cake can pollute soil and water, and in some sugar factories, it is considered a waste that requires special disposal. Some producers, however, are now recycling this residue as a fertilizer or adding it to composting processes," said Verde.
"By mixing Super Greensand to the filter cake, it becomes enriched with nutrients, helps hold adequate moisture during the composting process and absorbs ammonia that increases the compost nitrogen content. Consequently, the addition of Super Greensand boosts the sustainability of sugarcane filter cake, rendering it a useful byproduct rather than a hazardous waste."
Cristiano Veloso, the president and chief executive of Verde Agritech, said on Wednesday: "It is an honour to receive a Bonsucro membership.
"Super Greensand brings several solutions to the 21st Century challenges in sustainable sugarcane production.
“In Brazil alone, Bonsucro certified mills have the potential to consume about 1 million tons of Super Greensand as they migrate from conventional potash salt source to our sustainable product. We are eager to help the environment by serving this important market."
Shares in Verde Agritech gained over 7% to C$0.90 each.