History | AlzChem

History

Calcium cyanamide – an agricultural production resource with a long tradition and a bright future

Adolph Frank und Nikodem Caro

Calcium cyanamide originated in 1895 when Adolph Frank and Nikodem Caro discovered that gaseous nitrogen is taken up by alkaline earth carbides.

The nitrogen obtained through air separation binds with calcium carbide at temperatures around 1,100°C, to form calcium cyanamide. Calcium cyanamide was the first mineral fertilizer that enabled atmospheric nitrogen to be used for plant nutrition.

At first it was used as a nitrogen and lime fertilizer, but it was soon discovered that it had a positive secondary effect on the health of soils and plants.

This is because it converts in the soil over a longer period of time, so its nitrogen is protected to a large extent against nitrate leaching and also against emission as nitrogen oxide, particularly beneficial from the point of view of environmental protection.  Calcium cyanamide has been a reliable partner in agriculture and horticulture for more than 100 years, and can be relied upon in the future as well.