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The challenge

Meeting demand for phosphate-based fertiliser

Phosphorus, in the form of phosphate is essential for life in humans, animals and plants and is a key component in fertiliser.

The global demand for phosphates for fertilisers continues to rise. Currently, the global value of the phosphate market is estimated to be around AUD$73 billion (US$52 billion).

As the world population grows, more pressure is put on global food productions and the need for fertiliser increases.

The most widely used process to produce phosphates (the wet acid process) also produces large amounts of phosphogypsum waste.

Approximately 3 billion tonnes of phosphogypsum waste containing heavy and toxic metals and radionuclides (radioactive particles) is stockpiled annually, presenting a significant environmental hazard.

Our response

Overcoming hazardous waste

We developed a new smelting technology for the pyrometallurgical processing of phosphate ores.

We invented a new smelting process to produce phosphates for fertiliser.

This technology innovation, based on the decades of research which produced SiroSmelt technology (also known as top submerged lance), eliminates harmful waste found in other phosphate production processes and creates a valuable by-product which can be used in construction.

Called pyrophos (from ‘pyro’ meaning heat and ‘phos’ for phosphate), this process uses high temperature to extract phosphate from phosphate-bearing ores.

A key advantage of this process is that it produces a non-toxic, inert slag as waste, which has value as a material for road base and as an aggregate in Portland cement.

The results

PyroPhos for a global market

PyroPhos can be used on low grade ores and so make previously uneconomic phosphate-bearing ores viable, delivering significant economic and environmental benefits.

We partnered with new Australian company, PyroPhos Pty. Ltd, a subsidiary of Process Capital, to further develop PyroPhos to take to market.

PyroPhos Pty. Ltd now have an exclusive license for the technology and are leveraging their extensive networks to open up the process to global phosphate suppliers and producers.

For commercial enquiries contact PyroPhos Pty. Ltd. directly.

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