About Salt
From how it’s madeto its many uses.

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 As the leading manufacturer of pure dried vacuum salt products, British Salt plays a crucial role in keeping the UK's industry moving.

British Salt

With a reputation for quality of products, service and reliability of supply, at British Salt we provide over 400,000 tonnes of pure white salt to our customers every year and have sufficient salt reserves available for production for many generations to come.

With over 14,000 known applications, the salt produced by British Salt is used in a wide range of sectors such as in food production, chemical industries, water treatment, animal feeds, textiles and tanning, de-icing and for flavouring food on the table.  Salt is a vital commodity - one that is essential to daily life.

Salt and the Human Body

Salt is an essential nutrient for both human and animal health and has been used as a food stuff, ingredient and preservative throughout human history. Salt is the main dietary source of sodium, which is required to maintain a number of healthy bodily functions including regulating blood pressure and pH, supporting nerve and neuron function, optimising osmotic processes and cell health and ensuring healthy function of muscles. Salt replacement is particularly critical for treating dehydration and other conditions where the body can quickly become deficient of vital nutrients.

Did you know? An adult human body contains about 250g of salt and any excess is naturally excreted?

 How our Salt is Made

From our Warmingham brinefields in Cheshire, to the purification process, evaporation, drying and grading stages - there’s plenty of work that goes into producing the highest quality salt.

Step 1: Warmingham Brinefields

Located 5km from our Middlewich production facility, our Warmingham Brinefields contain extensive salt reserves.

At a depth of 180m to 500m below the surface, salt deposited over 300 million years ago - when Cheshire was in the tropics - sits in between layers of rock.

The salt is extracted using sustainable solution mining techniques, whereby the salt is converted to brine which is then pumped across to the main salt plant.

Over time, the extraction of salt forms large cavities that can be 100m wide.

Many of British Salt’s old production cavities are in use for storing natural gas, providing the UK with gas storage used to help balance gas supplies.

Did you know? 95% of all water used in British Salt’s Middlewich site is recycled and sent back to collect more salt.

Step 2: Purification

Once the brine is pumped to the main plant it goes through a multiple stage purification process, removing impurities which are naturally present in the salt deposits. The brine is purified through a series of settlement tanks and reaction vessels.

  • Three stages of purification remove magnesium, sulphate and calcium carbonate impurities.
  • The quality of brine is constantly monitored via an advanced analysis and monitoring system, to produce the highest purity final salt and ensure efficient operations.
  • The impurities extracted are returned to the brine field in a mature cavity.
  • The purified brine is then either used in the next stage of production, the evaporation process, or is available for purchase for use as a finished product.

Step 3: Evaporation

The purified brine undergoes a final filtration before being passed into the first of six evaporation vessels. The brine is boiled under vacuum, a process which is highly energy efficient.

The heat used in this evaporation process is generated from the onsite combined heat and power plant (CHP), and the steam is ultimately re-used in the process, ensuring nothing is wasted.

The salt crystals which are formed as the brine is evaporated are separated from the brine in clarifying vessels and then, finally, using centrifuge technology.

The salt produced at this stage is Undried Vacuum (UV) salt, which is used as a product in its own right or which can be dried further to form PDV.

 Step 4: Drying, Grading & Storage

The UV salt is then mixed with hot air inside fluidised dryers.

The smallest salt crystals are extracted from the air in the dryers and transferred to the compaction plant.

The remaining dried salt is then graded through a series of screens, which separates the salt crystals based on their particle size to form Fine 50, Fine 60 and Tanker Fine and Tanker Coarse products.

The remaining salt crystals are packaged as standard Pure Dried Vacuum (PDV) salt.

Step 5: Compacted Products

The smallest salt crystals and salt dust are transferred to a compaction plant.

This material is compacted into our water softening range known as Aquasol and Granulite.

Block salt is produced through the compaction of salt and is available as a popular water softening product.

 Step 6: Packaging

Once the product is ready for market, it’s then packaged on site at British Salt’s Middlewich plant.

British Salt’s plant has two high speed packlines.