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Recovery of Phosphate from Florida Phosphatic Clays



In order to identify the current magnitude of phosphate loss in phosphatic clays, numerous phosphatic clay (slimes) samples were collected from four operating plants in Florida. The average phosphate concentration in these waste clays range from 6.09-14.56 % P2O5. Four techniques were tested for removing clay minerals from phosphatic clays, in order to eventually recover the phosphate values. These techniques included sizing with small hydrocyclones, dispersion/settling, flocculation, and magnetic separation. Two-stage sizing with a 6” cyclone followed by flotation gave the most encouraging results.