CFI Holding

Research & Development

In an industry that is changing fast, CFI Group must continually develop their design and range of products. With extensive experience in the fertilizers and chemicals fields, CFI Group has willingness to continuously innovate and develop new technologies in order to offer to the market the most advanced processes with the most adapted methodologies. CFI Group has built an R&D center, comprising entire pilot plant and laboratory, in Tunis (Tunisia) to support this vision.

The R&D center perform pilot plant tests to support any kind of R&D work (internal development for new products or new processes, pilot plant tests resulting from contractual obligations), as well as, support any kind of marketing work (demonstration to client analysis, activities linked to a contract).

CFI Group R&D department is established in Tunisia. The R&D department encompasses an area of 800 sq. m. The process modules and skids can be installed and connected together by a 3.5 T bridge crane. Various process units will be able to operate at a semi-industrial scale for easy and safe scale-up.

The pilot plant has a complete granulation train including dosing of raw materials, granulator, pre-dryer or dryer with its burner, cooler, screen, crusher, fluidized bed cooler, coating drum and packing is operating at a capacity ranging between 500 and 2 000 kg/h, depending on the product.

Pilot plant

This system allows simulating:

  • Any type of molten salt granulation to manufacture ammonium nitrate, CAN, ASN, calcium nitrate, magnesium nitrate, potassium or sodium nitrate, etc.,
  • Ammonium sulphate prilling or granulation,
  • Urea ammonium sulphate granulation,
  • Any NPK granulation process to manufacture N-0-0, 0-P-0, 0-0-K, NP, NK, PK, NPK:
    • Steam granulation,
    • Chemical granulation,
    • Pipe reactor granulation.
  • MAP or DAP granulation (using pipe reactor),
  • Phosphate rock, SSP or TSP synthesis and granulation,
  • Any other type of granulation for mineral or organic fertilizer.

Prilling tower unit

A prilling system is also installed to test prilling of molten salt such as ammonium nitrate and derivatives or prilling of crystals by pipe reactor such as AS or MAP at a capacity ranging between 50 and 100 kg/h, depending on the product.

The superphosphate section in construction will be able to test any phosphate rock for producing SSP (0-18-0), TSP (0-45-0) or MSP (0-20-0 to 0-40-0) with its air treatment at a capacity ranging between 100 and 500 kg/h, depending on the product.

Pan granulator unit

The pan granulator mounted in skid with raw material dosing system, liquid distributor facility, powder distributor facility and steam operating at a capacity ranging between 50 and 100 kg/h, depending on the product. This system is used to previously try a formula prior organizing a testing in the bigger granulation pilot plant.

Coating unit

A coating section to develop new CRF (Controlled Released Fertilizer) products is operating at 75 kg per batch. It can be used to manufacture CRF from MAP, urea, potassium nitrate, NPK or any other fertilizer.

A crystallization and evaporation system will allow operating in any configuration for crystallization or evaporation processes. The crystallizer will be capable to operate in forced circulation mode or DTB (Draft Tube Baffle) mode.


CFI Group has also established a fully equipped laboratory, as a part of the facilities, in order to test raw materials and evaluate resulting products qualities. This laboratory is used for process parameter validation, chemical and physical analysis of raw materials and final products. Moreover, the laboratory is qualified to perform many analyses for process evaluation.

The laboratory, sits on an area of 100 sq.m, provides analytical services on a range of analytical instruments for the research, development and analysis of fertilizers. The facilities include a surface analysis lab including spectroscopy analysis, titration analysis and a Kjeldahl instrument. The facilities are equipped with instruments and staffed by teams of research and development.

The Laboratory is capable to perform the below activities:

  • Determination of physical characteristics of solid fertilizers or chemicals (granulometry, angle of repose, bulk density, pour density, oil absorption, oil retention, hardness or crushing strength, abrasion, melting point, etc.).
  • Determination of physical characteristics of liquid fertilizers or chemicals (concentration, density, viscosity, melting point, etc.).
  • Chemical analysis of solid and liquid (water content, free acidity or pH, total nitrogen content, ammoniacal nitrogen content, nitric nitrogen content, total phosphorous content, water soluble phosphorous content, citrate soluble phosphorous content, potassium content, sulphur content, calcium content, magnesium content, etc.).
  • Bench of testing methods for phosphate rock evaluation:
    • For phosphoric acid production,
    • For superphosphate production,
    • For nitrophosphate production.
  • Crystallization testing by a glass crystallizer having capacity of few litres.