Kinetics of dispersion of fine phosphate particles associated with organic matter

This research project seeks to improve the process which is used to recover fine phosphorous particles from mine tailings. Phosphorus based fertilizers are important for plant growth and essential to large-scale, high-efficiency farming methods. However, the processing method used to obtain phosphate from phosphate-bearing ore is not very efficient. Upward of 13 % of the available phosphate is lost to the waste stream during processing, which represents a major inefficiency and creates a large environmental problem. This research will consider the reaction conditions, such as mixing time and temperature that contribute to the improved recovery of phosphate during the reprocessing of mine tailings. As a result of this project, the industrial partner, a firm specialized in environmental consulting, will have an improved understanding of the behaviour of fine phosphate particles during reprocessing. This knowledge will contribute to the development environmental remediation strategies for phosphorous-bearing mine tailings.

Michael MacIver
Faculty Supervisor: 
Marek Pawlik
British Columbia
Partner University: