Researchers from the University of Cambridge developed a process by which the potash rich rock (potassium silicate) from Cerrado Verde could be used to produce traditional potash formulations such as Potassium Chloride and Sulfate of Potash – a discovery that could enable Verde Potash to service an international export market in addition to Brazil.
A process for producing conventional Muriate of Potash (KCl) and Sulphate of Potash (K2SO4) from potassium silicate was developed by Dr. Derek Fray, Professor and Director of Research at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. On December 1, 2010, Verde filed a patent application in the UK for the production of conventional potash products from potash rock from the Cerrado Verde Project. Sponsored by Verde Potash, the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the university invented a method for reacting the rock with a simple mixture of salts to form water-soluble potash. The reactions occur at moderate temperatures of 800-1000°C and most reagents are regenerated in process. This development represents a dramatic increase of the scope of Cerrado Verde, in that the abundant resource of potassium silicate could be utilized to supply the potash needs of farmers around the world.
As announced on August 21, 2013, the Company and its engineering partners are moving forward with a Flex Plant design. The proposed Flex Plant would have a capacity of approximately 1,000 tonnes per day and the capability of both producing ThermoPotash and running the pyro stage of a KCl production route. The successful operation of the pyro stage of KCl production seeks to obtain the desired performance guarantees for Phase 2, large scale KCl production.