It’s Monday morning, January 6, and Wayne Norsworthy with El Dorado Agricultural Products flipped the switch to the inflator fans. A 115-foot diameter by 92.5-foot tall Airform began to inflate. Soon the tallest building in Elkhart, Texas is a Monolithic Dome Airform.
The new dome will store 20,000 tons of granular ammonium nitrate fertilizer. It will replace the 5,000-ton storage which will be retasked to store other fertilizer products.
The completed facility will load ammonium nitrate from railcars through an elevator and conveyor system into the dome. The product will pour — inside at the top — into a pile that is easily contained by the steel-reinforced concrete structure. The storage volume of the domed silo is significantly larger than the wood building it replaced without using any additional land.
A strong, steel door at the dome opening will allow nitrate to flow out into the tunnel where front-end loaders can retrieve material to be mixed with other fertilizer components and sold to area farms.
HVAC units on the tunnel will force cool, dry air into the dome, maintaining an even temperature and dry climate — optimal for storing ammonium nitrate.
The finished structure will open in the Spring.