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Thermal Beneficiation of Sra Ouertane (Tunisia) Low-Grade Phosphate Rock

Abstract : Low-grade phosphate rock from Sra Ouertane (Tunisia) was beneficiated using a thermal treatment consisting of calcination, quenching, and disliming. Untreated phosphate rock samples (group 1), calcined phosphate rock samples (group 2), as well as calcined, quenched, and dislimed (group 3) phosphate rock samples, were investigated using inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD). Besides, the particle size distribution of the aforementioned three groups was determined. The proposed thermal treatment successfully increased the P2O5 content of the untreated phosphate rock from 20.01 wt% (group 1) to 24.24 wt% (group 2) after calcination and, finally, 27.24 wt% (group 3) after calcination, quenching, and disliming. It was further found that the concentration of relevant accompanying rare earth elements (Ce, La, Nd, Pr, Sm, and Y) was increased and that the concentration of Cd could be significantly reduced from 30 mg/kg to 14 mg/kg with the proposed treatment. The resulting phosphate concentrate showed relatively high concentrations in metal oxides: Σ MgO, Fe2O3, Al2O3 = 3.63 wt% and silica (9.81 wt%) so that it did not meet the merchant grade specifications of a minimum P2O5 content of 30 wt% yet. Removal of these elements could be achieved using additional appropriate separation techniques.
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Noureddine Abbes, Essaid Bilal, Ludwig Hermann, Gerald Steiner, Nils Haneklaus. Thermal Beneficiation of Sra Ouertane (Tunisia) Low-Grade Phosphate Rock. Minerals, MDPI, 2020, 10 (11), pp.937. ⟨10.3390/min10110937⟩. ⟨emse-02997988⟩



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