Recently, good news came from the Potash Branch of China Inorganic Salts Industry Association that after strict evaluation and public announcement by the expert committee, Lehigh Institute honored the title of "Meritorious Enterprise in China’s Sylvite and Potash Fertilizer Industry,” and its workers Zhang Baoquan, Ge Zhaomin and Li Hongxing were awarded the title of “Meritorious Figure in the Sylvite and Potash Fertilizer Industry.
The awarding aimed to select a group of enterprises and figures with appeal and influence who have been well-recognized in the industry, and have made outstanding contributions to the development of China’s sylvite and potash fertilizer industry, and to include them in the book “70-Year Development of China’s Sylvite and Potash Fertilizer.” A total of 12 “Meritorious Enterprises in China’s Sylvite and Potash Fertilizer Industry” and 31 “Meritorious Figures in China’s Sylvite and Potash Fertilizer Industry” were selected in a rigorous manner.
Lehigh Institute, formerly known as the Chemicals and Mine Design Institute under the Ministry of Chemical Industry, is the first chemicals and mine research & design institute since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Since its inception in 1962, we have always taken the construction and development of China’s national potash fertilizer industry as our historical mission and responsibility. The company has applied for 100-plus patents in the fields of salt lake brine and potassium resources mining; carnallite mining and equipment; production process and analysis method of potassium chloride, potassium sulfate and potassium nitrate. Currently, 48 patents are valid in the sylvite industry. It is worth mentioning that Lehigh Institute built the first set of industrial potassium chloride production equipment in Qarhan Salt Lake in the early 1990s through original technological innovation and, with the help of No.4 patent technology, it filled the gap of industrial potassium chloride products in China, providing raw materials guarantee for the development of potassium carbonate, potassium hydroxide, potash and alkali industries as well as the electronic sector in China.
The development of Qarhan Salt Lake in Qinghai embodies the painstaking efforts of multi-generation Lehigh’s staff members. The company has participated in the scientific and technological research on the extraction of potassium from brine and the construction of Qarhan Salt Lake at different periods, as well as the engineering design and commissioning of the potassium fertilizer plant, developing a number of independent intellectual property rights, national standards for potassium chloride and potassium sulfate, and engineering design specifications for the development and construction of salt-lake resources. As the main drafting and formulating unit, Lehigh Institute published China’s first standard for potassium chloride products and analytical methods as early as 1986 and hosted the revision for two times in 1996 and 2010. As a supporting member of the Chemicals and Mine Standardization Committee of Chemical Industry and the National Chemicals and Mine Design Center Station, Lehigh Institute has presided over or participated in the formulation of over 120 national and industrial standards regarding chemical ore, mineral products, and chemicals and mines.
We are brave enough to explore and guarantee the development of China’s potash fertilizer industry. The “Qinghai Salt Lake Million-ton Potash Fertilizer Project” was one of the first ten landmark projects of the western China development in 2002. As the main design institute, Lehigh Institute was responsible for the design of the single largest potassium chloride plant in China. The project was completed at the end of 2003 and reached the production standard in 2006, which raised China’s potash fertilizer production capacity to the fourth place in the world. This marked that the development of Qarhan Salt Lake resources entered a new stage. Around 2000, the R&D team of Lehigh Institute started from living in the “underground cave,” participating in the technology development and testing of potassium sulfate extraction from the brine of the Lop Nor’s salt lake, to undertaking the engineering design and supervision of the 1.2 million t/y potassium sulfate plant and the capacity expansion project completed in recent years, making China the world’s largest producer of water-soluble potassium sulfate. Also, the institute formulated the first national product standards for potassium chloride and potassium sulphate, which helped to promote China’s “going global” strategy of potash fertilizer.
Lehigh Institute has been committed to development and research, engineering design and technical consulting services of potassium resources, winning nearly 30 awards at the national, provincial and ministerial levels. Specifically, it won the First Prize of National Scientific and Technological Progress in 2013 for the "Technology Development of 1.2 Million Tons/Year Potassium Sulfate in the Lop Nor Salt Lake"; the Second Prize of National Scientific and Technological Progress in 2008 for the "Technology Development and Industrialization of 1 Million Tons/Year Potash Fertilizer Production in Qinghai Salt Lake"; and the Gold Prize of the Fourteenth National Excellent Engineering Survey and Design Award in 2015 and the "National Excellent Survey and Design Project" in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the new China for the "1 Million Tons/Year Potassium Chloride Project in Qinghai Salt Lake."