2014-Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit
SIPS 2014 Volume 2: Mineral Processing

Editors:Kongoli F
Publisher:Flogen Star OUTREACH
Publication Year:2014
Pages:446 pages
ISSN:2291-1227 (Metals and Materials Processing in a Clean Environment Series)
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    Processing of Phosphate Rocks in Latin America

    Michael Schorr1; Benjamin Valdez1; Juan de Dios Ocampo1;
    Type of Paper: Regular
    Id Paper: 12
    Topic: 2


    Phosphate rocks (PR) are constituted by a calcium phosphate mineral: apatite. Two main rock types are used: marine sedimentary and volcanic igneous; for the production of phosphoric acid (PA). It is an important industrial chemical, utilized as an intermediate in the fertilizer industry, for metal surface treatment in the metallurgical industry and as an active additive for solid food , fruit juices and beverages, e.g. Cola-type drinks to impart tasty, slight acidity and to avoid iron sedimentation. Direct application of ground PR is practiced in tropical acidic soils to increase the pH and to improve the soil texture. PR is converted into PA by two processes: the wet process (WPA) by leaching with H2SO4 and by a novel process by treatment with HCl followed by separation applying solvent extraction (SX) technology. PRs contain many impurities; fluoride, chloride, Fe and Al oxides, pyrites and fossilized organic matter, which interfere with production, impair the PA quality and enhance corrosion of the plant equipment engineering materials. Sometimes clays and silicates are added to the WPA reactor to reduce the reaction corrosivity. The PA industry is spread out in LA countries: Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and Peru, which operate PR mines and produce PA and phosphatic fertilizers. The production problems and the solutions implemented to increase gypsum filterability reduce corrosion, and noxious gases emission and improve the quality of the product, will be presented and illustrated, based on the author's experience and knowledge.


    phosphate rocks, phosphoric acid, fertilizers, metals, corrosion

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    Cite this article as:

    Schorr M, Valdez B, Ocampo J. Processing of Phosphate Rocks in Latin America. In: Kongoli F, editors. Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit SIPS 2014 Volume 2: Mineral Processing. Volume 2. Montreal(Canada): FLOGEN Star Outreach. 2014. p. 261-266.