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Haifa Blog

16Jan2022
Farewell to Prof. Avraham Baniel
 

Last week, Prof. Avraham Baniel, a man of great deeds and a brilliant inventor, passed away. Somewhere in the late 1960s, Baniel presented his innovative idea for the creation of potassium nitrate by using potash and pure nitric acid, in order  to assist the young State of Israel, which was looking for ways to improve and exploit its assets in foreign currency.

He achieved the idea thanks to original processes  developed  by the Israel Mining Industries Ltd. (IMI TAMI) that he founded. These processes were so innovative that even today 56 years later,they are still admirable  and lead the  world's most advanced plant nutrition industry.

At the base of his idea, a reaction had to be generated between potassium and  nitrate in  order to  obtain a new product that is potassium nitrate,but this reaction resulted in salicylic acid as a companion to the process and therefore had to be removed continuously.  
After the development was completed, Baniel  approached Haifa Group (Haifa Chemicals Ltd. at the time), with the aim of implementing these processes. Due to these processes, Haifa Group established a factory for the production of potassium nitrate that served as a unique fertilizer in agriculture, thus making Haifa within two years an attractive new star in the international fertilizer market.

We will always remember Prof. Avraham Baniel as a visionary, a brilliant scientist and a pioneering inventor who thought outside the box and contributed greatly to the State of Israel.
**From obituary written by Amir Makov (the second CEO of Haifa Group).