The Irish Fertiliser Industry
This unique research-based book explores the development of the fertiliser industry in Ireland, an important sector of Irish industrial history that has so far been somewhat neglected in the literature. The exploration includes detailed analyses of changes in the raw materials used by the industry, the quantity and range of products made and imported, the process technology employed, the organisation and structure of the industry and the roles played by certain key individuals. The development of the industry is considered in a series of five time periods. The first of these looks at the antecedents of the industry prior to its birth in the middle of the nineteenth century. There follows an essential digression to show that scientific progress in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a prerequisite for the emergence of a fertiliser industry. The genesis and development of the industry is then considered in four time periods spanning 1840 to 1990. Throughout the book both demand and supply side factors that influenced the development of the industry are identified. It is shown that participation by firms in product and/or process development was an essential ingredient for their competitiveness and survival in the industry. Finally the future of the industry in Ireland is considered in the light of evidence of excessive use of fertilisers, as well as potential health and environmental problems arising from the pollution of surface and ground water supplies.
Publication Date: 10/1/2004