Phosphorus is an essential element for plant and animal nutrition and is consumed primarily as a principal component of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) fertilizers. Phosphate rock minerals are the only signiﬁcant global resources of phosphorus.
Worldwide, the United States is the leading producer and consumer of phosphate rock, and the leading producer, consumer, and supplier of phosphate fertilizers. Unless otherwise noted, mine production is reported in terms of marketable production, which refers to beneﬁciated phosphate rock that has a suitable phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) content suitable for phosphoric acid or elemental-phosphorus manufacturing.
phosphate rock processing
The separation of phosphate rock from impurities and nonphosphate materials for use in fertilizer manufacture consists of beneficiation, drying or calcining at some operations, and grinding. The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code for phosphate rock processing is 1475. The 6-digit Source Classification Code (SCC) for phosphate rock processing is 3-05-019.
Phosphate rock from the mines is first sent to beneficiation units to separate sand and clay and to remove impurities. Steps used in beneficiation depend on the type of rock. A typical beneficiation unit for separating phosphate rock mined in Florida begins with wet screening to separate pebble rock that is larger than 1.43 millimeters (mm) (0.056 inch [in.]) or 14 mesh, and smaller than 6.35 mm (0.25 in.) from the balance of the rock. The pebble rock is shipped as pebble product. The material that is larger than 0.85 mm (0.033 in.), or 20 mesh, and smaller than 14 mesh is separated using hydrocyclones and finer mesh screens and is added to the pebble product. The fraction smaller than 20 mesh is treated by 2-stage flotation. The flotation process uses hydrophilic or hydrophobic chemical reagents with aeration to separate suspended particles.
phosphate rock processing equipment
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