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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 9

I Introduction

II The Australian Chemical Industry
i Beginnings 1865-1919
ii Fertilisers
iii Raw materials from gasworks and coke ovens
iv The beginnings of industrial chemical research - in the sugar industry
v Explosives

III Pharmaceuticals

IV Chemists In Other Industries

V The Dawn Of Modern Chemical Industry - High Pressure Synthesis

VI The Growth Of Synthetic Chemicals - Concentration, Rationalisation And International Links

VII Australian Industrial Chemical Research Laboratories

VIII The Plastics Industry

IX The Paint Industry

X Acknowledgements



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Fertilisers [14] (continued)

Between 1922 and 1939 the list of chemical elements which were found to be indispensable for the growth of higher plants in cultures in solutions under laboratory conditions was increased to include manganese, zinc, boron, copper and molybdenum. Deficiencies of these trace elements or micro-nutrients were identified under field conditions in Australia between 1939 and 1950. As pasture improvements spread to less fertile sandy soils in the 1950s and 1960s in Southern Australia, the importance of applying copper and zinc, and occasionally molybdenum, became apparent. Superphosphate has generally been used as the carrier for applications of trace elements. Initially mixtures containing combinations of sulphates of zinc, copper and manganese were supplied, but it was later found to be more cost-effective to add oxides to the mixer prior to acidulation. As with trace elements, superphosphate has also been used as a carrier of insecticides. Applications have been limited to the control of soil-inhabiting grubs, caterpillars and adult beetles.

Post-war developments saw large capacity increases. By 1974 over five million tonnes of superphosphate were produced and in the early 1980s the total cumulative output had exceeded 150 million tonnes.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Austral-Pacific Fertilisers Ltd, Gibson Island, Brisbane

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 636 - 637, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher