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Beneficially using PG

Good for the Environment. Supporting a Strong Economy.

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Watch Our Video on PG Storage in Gypstacks

PG Storage in Gypstacks

Vast structures and heavily regulated, gypstacks are a federal requirement for PG storage.

Storing Phosphogypsum (PG)

Innovative PG Use Benefits the Environment And Our Communities

Beneficial use of PG will result in smaller, less visible stacks

Innovative uses such as substituting PG for finite natural resources benefits the environment and meets strict regulatory standards

PG use means less waste and a more sustainable economy

Smaller gypstacks means more land for conservation and wildlife habitat

Other Countries Are Already Benefiting From PG Use

From forestry to road building, soil treatment to agriculture, PG is used in nearly two dozen countries, with 55 beneficial uses already researched.

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PG use Is Good For The Environment, Economy, & Infrastructure

PG use has been extensively studied and many beneficial uses have been discovered. These are innovations that will benefit our environment, economy, and infrastructure.

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Q & A

Your questions about gypstacks & PG use - answered.

1What is phosphate?
Florida’s abundant phosphate reserves formed millions of years ago when the area was covered by nutrient rich ocean waters, with sediments forming a layer of phosphate ore. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient that is derived from the phosphate minerals typically found in that ore. Phosphate promotes healthy plant growth and has no synthetic substitute. Typically, it enters the food cycle through the soil where it nourishes crops, and in turn, nourishes people and animals when those crops are eaten.
2How is phosphorus made and manufactured?
Once an operations site is permitted and environmental preservation and reclamation plans have been submitted, machines called draglines are used to extract the “matrix” which can be found approximately 40 feet below the earth’s surface. The “matrix” that contains phosphate rock is mixed and becomes a slurry when water is added to enable it to be pumped to a separation plant. Here, the phosphate is separated from other materials and later transported by rail, truck or ship to a fertilizer manufacturing plant. The fertilizer plant transforms the phosphate into a water-soluble form that plants and animals can use. The basic process involves mixes an acid with the matrix. During the process, the calcium from the matrix combines with the sulfur in the acid to produce calcium sulfate. Calcium sulfate is gypsum – a common industrial mineral. In the fertilizer industry this calcium sulfate byproduct is called phosphogypsum, or “PG” is created. That PG is stored in gypstacks. Fertilizer produced with Florida made phosphate is then shipped to farmers and used to grow the food that the world needs.
3What is phosphogypsum (PG)?
Phosphogypsum, or PG for short, is calcium sulfate, a product created during the phosphate manufacturing process. For every ton of phosphorus produced, approximately five tons of PG is made. PG is a durable product and its stacked while wet and later hardens to hold its shape. In the US, PG use has been limited to certain agricultural applications and scientific research. Other countries, however, looked at phosphogypsum as a beneficial material that can be used in agriculture, forestry, building materials, concrete and more.
4Why is PG stored in stacks in the US?

Over 30 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required PG storage in stacks based on very conservative radioactivity risk exposure – science based on decades of additional research now tells a different story. PG contains NORM, naturally occurring radioactive materials. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), PG is considered a NORM residue – meaning it is a material that remains from a process and contains NORM. During manufacturing, once the phosphate is removed, these materials are more concentrated, but maintain the same low-level of radiation. PG can be further classified as TeNORM, meaning it is technologically enhanced during the manufacturing process.

IAEA confirms that commercial use of PG has been restricted in the US because of concerns about its NORM content, even though such concerns appear to be without scientific foundation. Outside of the US, countries are already beneficially using their PG and at least 55 different uses have been researched worldwide.

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About The Florida Phosphate Council

Providing essential products for farmers while pioneering innovative environmental and business practices.

Florida is home to abundant phosphate deposits, an essential nutrient needed to grow healthy crops and put food on the table for all Americans. The phosphate industry supports 13,000 direct and connected jobs in the Sunshine State and accounts for $5 billion in annual economic impact.

Today, the industry is pursuing innovative and environmentally-sensible approaches to reduce impacts of its operations with the ultimate goal of zero waste.

Learn more about the Florida Phosphate council here.

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About The Florida Phosphate Council

Providing essential products for farmers while pioneering innovative environmental and business practices.

Florida is home to abundant phosphate deposits, an essential nutrient needed to grow healthy crops and put food on the table for all Americans. The phosphate industry supports 13,000 direct and connected jobs in the Sunshine State and accounts for $5 billion in annual economic impact.

Today, the industry is pursuing innovative and environmentally-sensible approaches to reduce impacts of its operations with the ultimate goal of zero waste.

Learn more about the Florida Phosphate council here.