‘Reducing phosphogypsum waste is key’ says Calcium Solutions
Updated: Dec 1, 2021
Swift action was needed this week to prevent a wider catastrophe at an old phosphate plant site in Tampa Bay, Piney Point. It posed a risk to homes, businesses, and the environment – and underscores the need to reduce phosphogypsum waste.
While in Tampa Bay, the escaping water was said to have little to no radioactivity, it held around 300 million tons of water which could have devastated local communities.
But the stack owners have their own challenges: the stacks are enduring, take up valuable land, and are costly to maintain.
The responsibility for cleaning up the old plant has often passed between private owners and the state over the last 20 years and still, the waste remains. Florida is estimated to have about a billion (US) tons of phosphogypsum kept in about two dozen stacks and this continues to grow by about 30 tons a year.
Mike Frith, CEO of Calcium Solutions in the UK, explained: “Reducing the amount of phosphogypsum waste around the world now is key. If the volume of the waste stacks continues to increase, the potential risk of leaks and spills from the Phosphogypsum stack ponds will also grow”.
Calcium Solutions has developed an environmentally friendly process which is designed to extract clean gypsum and REEs from the Phosphogypsum feedstock, resulting in the reduced volumes of waste Phosphogypsum that would go into the operational waste stacks.
Calcium Solution’s Carbon-based Mineral Purification (CMP) process is particularly useful to the Phosphoric Acid producers who would significantly reduce the quantities of Phosphogypsum going to potentially hazardous waste stacks and increase revenue from the sale of clean gypsum and, potentially, Rare Earth Elements (REE) to the supply chain.
Calcium Solutions patented CMP process can be used to clean up a wide range of low-grade chalks and gypsums.
The CMP process can be integrated into an existing Phosphoric Acid production plant workflow or used as a standalone plant.