Phosphate is a key element in all living organisms. It is found in phospholipids in every biological membrane, as a component in adenosine triphosphides (ATP) which fuel cell functions, and in bones and teeth as calcium phosphate. There is no synthetic substitute for phosphate, which makes the responsible and sustainable mining of phosphate deposits worldwide vital to the health and wellbeing of our global population.
Mined phosphate is sold to processing plants that digest the rock using sulfuric acid to make phosphoric acid. The vast majority of phosphoric acid is used in the production of fertilizers to grow the food the world needs, but phosphoric acid is also used as an additive in livestock feed and even in food products.
When phosphate is brought out of the ground it is naturally mixed with unwanted material called gangue. Gangue is removed from the phosphate ore through beneficiation, a process which includes screening at varying size fractions, washing and flotation. During phosphate beneficiation, producers use ArrMaz’s anionic flotation reagents to selectively separate the desired phosphate from the gangue with a focus on maximizing the amount of phosphate recovery possible.