- Phosphate rock or
phosphorite is a general description applied to several kinds of rock
which contain significant concentrations of phosphate minerals.
- The two main sources
for phosphate are guano, formed from bird droppings, and rocks
containing concentrations of the calcium phosphate mineral, apatite.
- Phosphate rock can be
any rock or sediment with sufficiently high concentrations of some form
of the mineral fluorapatite.
- Phosphorus-rich rock
is deposited in a body of water in which there is no oxygen; this is
called an anaerobic environment.
- Phosphate rock is
mined, beneficiated, and either solubilized to produce wet-process
phosphoric acid, or smelted to produce elemental phosphoric acid or
smelted to produce elemental phosphorus.
- Phosphate rock is
formed in oceans in the form of calcium phosphate, called phosphorite.
- The phosphatic rock
is characterised by filaments of wavellite, turquoise and quartz.
- Almost all phosphate
rock is mined by strip mining.
- Commercial phosphate
rock is usually sedimentary in origin and is used primarily as a plant
- Several scientists
the world over have been trying to develop1,2 low-cost phosphatic
fertilizers. Indian scientists were successful in testing low-grade
phosphate rocks3–5 for direct application.
- Nitrates and
phosphates are the main agronutrients mined by current sub-Saharan small
scale agricultural practices.
produced with phosphate rock (PR) plus sulphur (S) inoculated with
Acidithiobacillus can promote plant growth and increase available P in
- Technically and
economically feasible beneficiation technology is used for processing
dolomite pebbles which is needed to recover phosphate value.
- The Florida phosphate
industry has been practicing the current flotation technique for
concentrating phosphate minerals for half a century.
- Flotation is one of
the most efficient techniques applied for phosphate upgrading. Desliming
of flotation feed is a critical pre-request step for successful
phosphate/gangue separation by flotation.
- The United States is
the world's leading producer and consumer of phosphate rock.
- China, the United
States and Morocco are the world's largest miners of phosphate rock.
- Most of the U.S. and
world phosphate rock resources are widely distributed marine phosphorite
- Total capacity of the
phosphate rock industry in the U.S. is 56 million tons, with mines
currently operating at about 90 percent of capacity.
- There are markets
such as those of Malaysia and Brazil, where directly applied phosphate
rock makes good sense from an agronomic or economic point of view.
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