Single superphosphate (SSP) was the first commercial mineral fertilizer, and it led to the development of the modern plant nutrient industry. This material was once the most commonly used fertilizer, but other phosphorus (P) fertilizers have largely replaced SSP because of its relatively low P content.

Ground phosphate rock is reacted with sulfuric acid to form a semi-solid, which cools for several hours in a den. The plastic-like material is then conveyed to a storage pile for several weeks of additional curing. The hardened material is then milled and screened to the appropriate particle size or granulated.