HC Deb 24 October 1918 vol 110 cc956-7W

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, in view of our dependence hitherto upon the German empire for the supplies of potash necessary for good cultivation, any and what steps have been taken by the Government to ascertain if potash can successfully be recovered on a commercial scale as a by-product from the manufacture of cement and pig-iron?


A scheme for recovering potash on a commercial scale from the blast furnaces used in the manufacture of pig-iron was approved last year. In consequence the Ministry has encouraged the installation at various iron works of gas-cleaning plant designed to extract from the furnace gases potash-bearing dust. Certain of these plants are now in operation, others are under erection, while others, again, are in course of construction. A factory has also been erected at which muriate of potash, free from deleterious impurities, is being manufactured from such dust. This factory is capable of dealing with all the dust that can be collected by the gas-cleaning plants now under erection and construction. As other gas-cleaning plants are installed it is proposed to erect other factories in suitable localities. A small amount of potash is also being obtained as a by-product of the cement industry, and experiments are, at the present time, being carried on with a view largely to increase the amount so recovered.