July 26, 2019 -- Ponds In The Desert
Ponds in the Desert of Canyonlands National Park?? -- No, those blue “ponds” in the distance are not lakes or naturally occurring ponds. They are potash evaporation ponds managed by Intrepid Potash, Inc., the United States’ largest producer of potassium chloride.
To extract potash from the ground, wells are drilled into the mine and hot water pumped down to dissolve the potassium. The resulting brine is pumped out of the wells to the surface and fed to the evaporation ponds, which are lined with rubber to keep retain the salts as the water evaporates. The sun evaporates the water, leaving behind crystals of potassium and other salt. This evaporation process typically takes about 300 days and the resulting potassium chloride salts are processed & used in the manufacture of various fertilizer products, soap, glass, ceramics and batteries. This one mine produces 700-1000 tons of potash per day.
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