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Fate and Consequences to the Environment of Reagents Associated with Rock Phosphate Processing



This study was designed to determine the fate and environmental consequences of reagents used for beneficiating Florida phosphate minerals. The project consists of five major components: 1) establishing an in-plant reagent balance by surveying and sampling and analysis of all plant streams; 2) investigating the leaching process and degradation pattern of the reagents by laboratory bench scale testing; 3) identifying the environmental fate of the reagents using sophisticated sample extraction and separation techniques and advanced assaying instruments; 4) determining the impact of reagents on ground water by soil boring and analyses, and well installation and monitoring; and 5) determining biodegradation rates for fatty acid, amine and fuel oil. Extensive data generated from this study indicate that the chemicals used in phosphate beneficiation pose little environmental problem.