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Photo-a-day 101: Prilling tower

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Warning: This post was published more than 5 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

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This is the prilling tower that’s part of the former ICI plant at Haverton Hill, in Stockton-on-Tees. Prilling is a process I heard about in GCSE chemistry, yet I never quite believed it was true.

Essentially, a chemical (ammonium nitrate in this case) is melted and pumped to the top of the tower, and then released in drops which cool and solidify as they fall, resulting in handy little balls of solid ammonium nitrate to use as fertiliser. It’s reminiscent of the shot towers of the 18th century, and it’s a little bit remarkable that such an early industrial technique is still a common way of producing something.

I know that fertiliser is still made at Haverton Hill, but I’m not sure whether the prilling tower itself is still operational. I suspect it probably is, as most of the big industrial sites surrounding it are clearly still active.

This 1,598th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, .






More posts worth reading

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What I’ve been reading this month (published 2nd June 2017)

Post no. 2,000 (published 18th March 2013)

Photo-a-day 90: Winner (published 16th April 2014)

This Blogging Month: January (published 31st January 2005)

Great British designs (published 1st March 2013)


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Trackback received at 17:52 on 11th April 2012.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Photo-a-day 102: Hartlepool nuclear power plant


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