The key difference between potash and phosphate is that potash contains potassium ions as the major chemical element, whereas phosphate contains phosphorus as the major chemical element.
A fertilizer is a natural or synthetic substance composed of chemical elements that can improve the growth and productiveness of plants. There are three major types of fertilizers known as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fertilizers are used mainly by farmers daily to increase crop yield.
What is Potash?
Potash is a water-soluble mineral containing potassium ions. It is produced worldwide in very large amounts because it is very useful as a fertilizer. The natural sources of potash come from natural evaporate deposits.
Often, these ores are buried deep down the earth. These ores are rich in potassium chloride (KCl), sodium chloride (NaCl), and some other salts along with the clay. We can obtain this mineral via mining. Another method is to dissolve the ore prior to mining and evaporate it. In this evaporation method, we can inject hot water into the potash, dissolving the mineral. Then we can pump it onto the surface. Thereafter, we can concentrate the potash via solar evaporation.
After nitrogen and phosphorous, potassium is the most wanted nutrient for crops. It is used as a soil fertilizer. Potash can improve the water retention in soil, can increase the yield, and increase the nutrient value, taste, intensity, and texture of the outcome of the crop. In addition, it is useful as a component in aluminum recycling, production of potassium hydroxide, and metal electroplating.
What is Phosphate?
Phosphate is an inorganic chemical species, but often, we use this term to refer to phosphate-containing fertilizers. The most common types of phosphate fertilizers are diammonium phosphate (DAP), monoammonium phosphate (MAP), NPKs, and SSP. The fertilizer that is mostly used all around the world is diammonium phosphate (DAP).
DAP contains phosphorus and nitrogen. These two are very important for plant nutrition. Typically, this phosphate fertilizer provides an excellent proportion of phosphorous and nitrogen content required by plants and crops such as wheat, barley, fruits, and vegetables. Typically, the global demand for this fertilizer is about 30 million tons per year.
Phosphorous is an important component in fertilizers because it can link to the plant’s ability to use and store energy, which includes the process of photosynthesis. This chemical element is also required for the growth of plants and development. The commercially available phosphate fertilizers come from phosphate rock.
The naturally derived fertilizers consisting of high content of phosphorous include mushroom compost, hair, rock phosphate, bone meal, burned cucumber skins, bat guano, fish meal, cottonseed, worm castings, manure, and compost.
What is the Difference Between Potash and Phosphate?
Potash and phosphate are important types of fertilizers. The key difference between potash and phosphate is that potash contains potassium ions as the major chemical element, whereas phosphate contains phosphorus as the major chemical element. Potash is important as a fertilizer for increasing water retention in plants, improving crop yield, and influencing the taste and nutritional value of many plants, while phosphate is important as a fertilizer for root development, plant maturation, and seed development.
Below is a summary of the difference between potash and phosphate in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Potash vs Phosphate
Fertilizers are used by farmers daily for crop growth and productivity increment. However, housewives also use fertilizers on a mini-scale for the plants in their gardens. Potash and phosphate are two important types of fertilizers. The key difference between potash and phosphate is that potash contains potassium ions as the major chemical element, whereas phosphate contains phosphorus as the major chemical element.
1. “Phosphate Fertilizers.” Indorama Corporation.
1. “Sylvite-halite-carnallite-polyhalite (Salado Formation, Upper Permian; Southwest Potash Mine, Eddy County, New Mexico, USA) 4” By James St. John (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Applying fertilizer on an experimental field” By IRRI Photos (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) via Flickr