The volatile global fertilizer market is hurting farm economy all over the world. In countries with abundant sunshine this can be avoided by linking fertilizer prices to solar cost.
Through Fusion Farming.
Urea is the lowest cost nitrogen fertilizer calculated per tonne of nitrogen (46% N in Urea). The break even for applying Urea to the field is related to the expected gain on yield and the value of the extra crop. For Africa it is documented that the extra yield is low and limited by water and lack of other nutrients. And the value of the extra crop is low compared to the global picture. When the fertilizer prices hiked in 2008 and only came down now in 2013, it was the poorest farmers who were forced to stop applying fertilizer.
Fusion farming will be able to counter this dramatic effect by disconnecting the fertilizer price from the global economy and fixing it to the cost of sunshine. The cost of 1 MWh solar power has now dropped to 150 USD – hence the Fusion Farming plasma technology will be able to provide Nitrate nitrogen at the cost of 1500 USD/tN. After capturing and conserving ammonia in the organic manure, the net cost of the nitrogen will be halved to 750 USD/tN (345 USD/tonne of Urea).
This link is This link is an example from Malawi, Lilongwe, where the farm-gate price is 300 USD/t Urea higher than the global fob price.
The global fob price has for the last 5 years stayed above 300 USD/t Urea, reaching 800 USD/t in 2008. At today’s low international urea price of 300 USD/t, the farmer is paying 1300 USD/tN (600 USD/tonne of Urea). Fusion farming can deliver and capture the same amount of nitrogen based on solar energy for 750 USD/tN (345 USD/t Urea). The break even for the energy efficiency of the technology is 61 GJ/tN (17,4 MWh/tN). Well within the targeted energy efficiency of the Fusion Farming plasma reactor prototype to be installed at Cambi AS in May 2014.
The N2 Applied objective still being to meet the benchmark of today’s Ammonia technology – 36 GJ/tN.