CSIRO fires up phosphate production

CSIRO Head Office

Monday, 18 February, 2019


CSIRO fires up phosphate production

CSIRO has developed a smelting process to produce soluble phosphate for fertiliser from low-value ores, eliminating hazardous waste and making production more economically and environmentally sustainable.

Phosphate is a key ingredient in fertilisers and essential for plant health and growth. The AU$73 billion global phosphate market continues to grow as demand for fertiliser increases to meet food production needs.

CSIRO team leader Keith Barnard said the CSIRO-developed PyroPhos process offers a simpler, safer and more efficient alternative to conventional phosphate production processes.

“The PyroPhos smelting process uses high temperature to extract phosphate from ores, producing prized phosphate feedstock and a glassy gravel that can be used in road base construction and Portland cement,” he said. “A major benefit of the process is that it can be used on lower-grade ores giving phosphate miners and processors the opportunity to increase their productivity in an environmentally sustainable way.”

The PyroPhos process is exclusively licensed to PyroPhos, a subsidiary of Process Capital. Director of PyroPhos Mark Muzzin believes it’s a unique technology offering in the soluble phosphate fertiliser market.

“Our networks and investor base give us the ability to connect PyroPhos technology to the global phosphate industry,” Muzzin said. “We have had an excellent response from the industry and believe it has the ability to make a major impact.”

PyroPhos technology has emerged out of decades of research from CSIRO’s award-winning Sirosmelt innovation and pryometalurgical expertise.

Image: CSIRO

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