The first China Phosphorus Resources
Development Seminar was held in Yichang City, Hubei Province from 22nd to 23rd of June. Many experts in the seminar were of the opinion
that with the decline of pure phosphorus rocks worldwide, a lot of countries
tend to develop and utilize middle low-grade phosphate rocks. Hence, scientifically
developing middle low-grade phosphate rocks has become one of the primary tasks
Phosphorus is one of the essential
nutrients for plants as it helps them in their growth. Guanzhou Qiu, an
academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that phosphorus has become
the bottle neck on agricultural production in many countries. As a result, it
is very important to improve the utilization rate of phosphorus in soil.
“Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan
are the main phosphorus resource rich areas, also called fluorine resource rich
areas”, Qiu added. In China, over 80% of
phosphate rocks are used for producing phosphate fertilizer, with over 1.5
million tonnes of fluorosilicic acid coming out every year. The by-products
which contain fluorine are barely used. A large number of fluorine resources
are emitted in the form of exhaust, effluent, as well as waste and residues,
which severely contaminate environment. Hence, it is essential that the
fluorine from phosphate rocks should be cleaned efficiently.
According to Cunwen Wang, the principal of
Wuhan Institute of Technology, China owns 187 million tonnes of phosphate rocks
in total. However, 90% of them cannot be directly utilized as middle low-grade
phosphate rocks. 50 million tonnes of phosphogupsum are also produced each year
as solid waste, but only 64% of them can be utilized. Hubei ranks highest in
the total reserve of rock phosphate, the annual extraction and the industrial
value of phosphorus chemical industries. A lot of companies and industries in
Hubei are located alongside the Changjiang River and Han River. With the
development strategy of the Changjiang river economic zone, it is of great
importance to realize the transformation and update of industries and the
control of environmental pollution.
Ruan Chi, an academician of Xingfa School
of Mining Engineering, Wuhan Institute of Technology said that the
characteristics of rock phosphate lie into four parts. First, most of the
resources are grouped in one area with inconvenient transportation. Second, the
number of low-grade rocks is more than that of high-grade rocks. Third, low-grade
refractory ores account for a large percentage of the beneficiation. Fourth, it
is difficult to extract them due to the different degrees of depth.
He also added that problems on the
extraction and utilization of rock phosphate also remain, such as low rate of
recovery for small enterprises; high expenses on dressing ores; high cost of
transportation especially for those ore districts far away from the river.
A majority of industrial wastes are generated
during the production of phosphorus chemical enterprises. phosphogypsum and yellow phosphorus slag are
two main types of phosphorus chemical waste with large emissions. the vice
general manager of Guizhou Kailin Group Co., LTD said that the utilization rate
of phosphogypsum in China is less than 40% with a total number of over 300
million tonnes. Nearly a hundred of areas are used for stacking phosphogypsum,
which pose a potential threat on environment. It is urgent that phosphogypsum
should be disposed of scientifically and environmentally friendly.
For more information about China's phosphorus market, please have a look at our monthly newsletter Phosphorus Industry China Monthly Report.