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Photo-a-day 101: Prilling tower

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

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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 post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, .

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17:52
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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