Separation of phosphoric acid sludge: effect of flocculation on settling and P2O5 recovery rates
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Engineering, industrial management, and innovation laboratory, faculty of Science and Techniques, University HASSAN I, BP: 577, Settat, Morocco.
Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry and Physico-Chemistry of Materials, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences Ben M'Sik, Hassan II University Av Driss El Harti B.P 795, Casablanca, Morocco.
OCP. SA Jorf Lasfar, El Jadida Morocco.
CBS laboratory, University Mohammed VI Polytechnic, Lot 660, Hay Moulay Rachid 43150, Benguerir, Morocco.
Publication date: 2020-07-12
Corresponding author
Hamid Mazouz   

OCP. SA Jorf Lasfar, El Jadida Morocco.
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2020;56(5):759-771
Phosphoric acid sludge is one of the prominent problems in the phosphate industry. Its formation is co-occurred by considerable losses of P2O5 that affect the process performance. Management and valorization of this waste is a key issue. This work aimed to deal with this industrial concern by studying the influence of the flocculation on the sludge sedimentation and thus the P2O5 recovery rate. The flocculation tests were conducted in the presence of various types of anionic polymers. The effect of dosage, molecular weight, and type of flocculant were examined. The results indicated that all polymers showed settling performance improvement. And, the flocculant with the highest molecular weight (F1), showed the best settling performance with a pace of 3.3 cm/min and the lowest turbidity value of 40.4 NTU using a dosage of 5 ppm. Due to its high molecular weight, this polymer carries a polyelectrolyte bridging mechanism, which allows the absorbed polymer to move further away from the surface of the particle and then increases the particle radius, the number of collisions, and thus the particle size. However, for the P2O5 recovery rate, the sulfonic polymer (F5) was the best performer allowing recovery of 78.8% of the total mass of the sludge. F5 is weakly amphoteric. Polymers containing sulfonic acid groups are known to be inherently powerful than the carboxylic acid groups as they are stable due to their high energy barrier. According to the results, the flocculation increases the recovery of P2O5, which represents a profit of more than 30 kg of clarified phosphoric acid per 1 tone of sludge.
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