Published December 1974
The wet process phosphoric acid industry is in a greater state of flux and change than at any previous time in its history. Phosphate rock raw material is in short supply and at record prices. After years of surplus production, phosphoric acid producers are suddenly unable to supply demand. High interest rates and new environmental considerations are retarding construction of new rock and acid facilities. Rapidly rising costs of energy and new construction together with advances in technology are altering the economics of many phosphoric acid industry operations.
The objective of this report is to evaluate those technical and economic changes that have occurred in the wet process phosphoric acid industry since the previous Process Economics Program (PEP) studies on this subject in 1966 and 1967. An effort has been made to maintain the coherence and continuity of the previous PEP reports on wet process phosphoric acid, but with a minimum of repetition of the material in these reports.
The status of the older dihydrate technology, relative to that of the newer hemihydrate and hemihydrate-dihydrate processes, has been evaluated. The large amount of research and development in recent years on wet process phosphoric acid purification has been reviewed, and the economics of two solvent extraction processes have been estimated. New patents and improvements in wet process phosphoric acid concentration have been summarized, and the capital and operating costs for this operation have been updated. In addition, possible industrial applications for by-product gypsum and fluorine have been considered.
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