December 27, 2021
Science is moving the globe toward a “zero waste” future. It’s especially true in phosphate manufacturing, where efforts to create more sustainable manufacturing operations are underway.
How do we become more sustainable? By reducing waste, turning byproducts into new products and becoming more efficient.
Scientists are looking for ways to take materials produced in the phosphate manufacturing process (like phosphogypsum) and find new, innovative ways to use them.
Thirty-year-old regulations require phosphogypsum be stored in gypstacks, but allow for limited agricultural and scientific uses. There are 25 gypstacks in Florida, containing more than a billion tons of phosphogypsum.
And scientists are studying phosphogypsum. In fact, research has discovered 55 different innovative uses for phosphogypsum — so far.
Dr. Tim Townsend, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of Florida, is one scientist studying ways phosphogypsum could play a role as a component for innovative products or processes.
Those innovative uses include road construction, reforestation and rare earth element extraction… just to name a few!
Globally, over 20 countries have acknowledged science and are recycling phosphogypsum by turning it into useful products.
If other countries can do it, so should the United States.
Watch this short video to learn more about Dr. Townsend’s research into phosphogypsum.