2015 Rahmanian Urea Finishing Process- Prilling versus Granulation
Solid urea is the largest nitrogen fertilizer product which is produced in two forms of granules and prills. Although the chemical properties of both prills and granules remain similar, their different physical and mechanical properties are distinguishable and make them suitable for different application either as fertilizer or raw materials for chemical industry. The objective of this work is to analyses physical and mechanical properties of urea granules produced in two different plants in Malaysia using fluidized bed process and compare them with the imported urea prills to the country; hence make a process-product relationship for urea finishing processes. Results of size distribution of the samples show that the most of the granules fall in the size range between 2.82 and 3.06 mm, whereas the prills size is around 1.65 mm. Strength measurement using side crushing test also shows that the prills with the average failure load of 3.80 N remain significantly weaker than the granules with failure load of 10-17 N. Strength distribution of the particles also shows that a more uniform strength distribution is observed for the prills than the granules. It is concluded that the urea prilling process is the finishing process which produces the weaker and the more uniform size and strength of the particles than the fluidized-bed granulation process.