Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: phosphogypsum

5 Impact Assessment of Phosphogypsum on the Groundwater of Sfax-Agareb Aquifer, in Southeast of Tunisia

Authors: Samira Melki, Moncef Gueddari


In Tunisia, solid wastes storage continue to be uncontrolled. It is eliminated by land raising without any protection measurement against water table and soil contamination. Several industries are located in Sfax area, especially those of the Tunisian Chemical Group (TCG) for the enrichment and transformation of phosphate. The activity of the TCG focuses primarily on the production of chemical fertilizers and phosphoric acid, by transforming natural phosphates. This production generates gaseous emissions, liquid discharges and huge amounts of phosphogypsum (PG) stored directly on the soil surface. Groundwater samples were collected from Tunisian Chemical Group (TCG) site, to assess the effects of phosphogypsum leatchate on groundwater quality. The measurements of various physicochemical parameters including heavy metals (Al, Fe, Zn and F) and stable isotopes of the water molecule (¹⁸O, ²H) were determined in groundwater samples and are reported. The moderately high concentrations of SO₄⁼, Ortho-P, NH₄⁺ Al and F⁻ in groundwater particularly near to the phosphogypsum storage site, likely indicate that groundwater quality is being significantly affected by leachate percolation. The effect of distance of the piezometers from the pollution source was also investigated. The isotopic data of water molecule, showed that the waters of the Sfax-Agreb aquifer amount to recent-evaporation induced rainfall.

Keywords: phosphogypsum leatchate, groundwater quality, pollution, stable isotopes, Sfax-Agareb, Tunisia

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4 Producing and Mechanical Testing of Urea-Formaldehyde Resin Foams Reinforced by Waste Phosphogypsum

Authors: Krasimira Georgieva, Yordan Denev


Many of thermosetting resins have application only in filled state, reinforced with different mineral fillers. The co-filling of polymers with mineral filler and gases creates a possibility for production of polymer composites materials with low density. This processing leads to forming of new materials – gas-filled plastics (polymer foams). The properties of these materials are determined mainly by the shape and size of internal structural elements (pores). The interactions on the phase boundaries have influence on the materials properties too. In the present work, the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins were reinforced by waste phosphogypsum. The waste phosphogypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) is a solid by-product in wet phosphoric acid production processes. The values of the interactions polymer-filler were increased by using two modifying agents: polyvinyl acetate for polymer matrix and sodium metasilicate for filler. Technological methods for gas-filling and recipes of urea-formaldehyde based materials with apparent density 20-120 kg/m3 were developed. The heat conductivity of the samples is between 0.024 and 0.029 W/moK. Tensile analyses were carried out at 10 and 50% deformation and show values 0.01-0.14 MPa and 0.01-0.09 MPa, respectively. The apparent density of obtained materials is between 20 and 92 kg/m3. The changes in the tensile properties and density of these materials according to sodium metasilicate content were studied too. The mechanism of phosphogypsum adsorption modification was studied using methods of FT-IR spectroscopy. The structure of the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins was described by results of electron scanning microscopy at three different magnification ratios – x50, x150 and x 500. The aim of present work is to study the possibility of the usage of phosphogypsum as mineral filler for urea-formaldehyde resins and development of a technology for the production of gas-filled reinforced polymer composite materials. The structure and the properties of obtained composite materials are suitable for thermal and sound insulation applications.

Keywords: urea formaldehyde resins, gas-filled thermostes, phosphogypsum, mechanical properties

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3 Assessment of Trace Metals Contamination in Surficial and Core Sediments from Ghannouch- Gabes Coastline, Impact of Phosphogypsum Discharge, Southeastern of Tunisia, Mediterranean Sea: Geochemical and Mineralogical Approaches

Authors: Rim Ben Amor, Myriam Abidi, Moncef Gueddari


The purpose of the present study is to assess the level and the distribution of CaO, SO3, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn incore sediments of Ghannouch-Gabes coast, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisian Mediterranean coast. The XRD analyses indicate that the sediments of Ghannouch-Gabes coast are mainly composed of quartz, calcite, gypsum and fluorine reflecting the impact of the phosphate fertilizer industrial waste. The vertical distribution of surface sediments shows for all the elements analyzed, that the area located between the commercial and the fishing port of Gabes, is the most polluted zone, where the two harbors acted as barriers and limited the dispersion of phosphogypsum discharge. The abundance order of metals was found to be Zn > Cd > Cu >Pb and that the highest levels of heavy metals were found in the uppermost segment of the sediment core compared to lower depth subsurface due to a continuous input of PG release and showed that the area between the two harbor suffered from several types of pollutants compared to reference core C1, collected from non-industrialized area. The level of pollution was evaluated using contamination factor (Cf), pollution load index (PLI) and the geoaccumulation index (Igeo). The obtained results of Igeo allowed us to distinguish that the area between the commercial harbor of Ghannouch and the fishing harbor of Gabes is the most polluted where sediments are strongly contaminated for Pb, Cu and Cd. The pollution load index (PLI) of all sediments collected classified them as "polluted". According to contamination factor (Cf), the sediments can be considered as ‘considerable’ to ‘very high’ contaminated for Pb, ‘very high to moderate’ for Cd, ‘ moderate’ for Zn, between ‘moderate’ and ‘considerable’ for Cu. Statistical analyses show that heavy metals, fluoride, calcium and sulphate are resulting from the same anthropogenic origin. The metallic pollution status of sediments of Ghanouch -Gabes coast is worrying and requires a serious intervention.

Keywords: trace metals, phosphogypsum, core sediments, accumulation factor, contamination factor

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2 Investigation of Utilization Possibility of Fluid Gas Desulfurization Waste for Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Authors: S. Kızıltas Demir, A. S. Kipcak, E. Moroydor Derun, N. Tugrul, S. Piskin


Flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGD) is a waste material arouse from coal power plants. Hydroxyapatite (HAP) is a biomaterial with porous structure. In this study, FGD gypsum which retrieved from coal power plant in Turkey was characterized and HAP particles which can be used as an adsorbent in wastewater treatment application were synthesized from the FGD gypsum. The raw materials are characterized by using X Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) techniques and produced HAP are characterized by using XRD. As a result, HAP particles were synthesized at the molar ratio of 5:10, 5:15, 5:20, 5:24, at room temperature, in alkaline medium (pH=11) and in 1 hour-reaction time. Among these conditions, 5:20 had the best result.

Keywords: FGD wastes, HAP, phosphogypsum, waste water

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1 Transition from Linear to Circular Economy in Gypsum in India

Authors: Shanti Swaroop Gupta, Bibekananda Mohapatra, S. K. Chaturvedi, Anand Bohra


For sustainable development in India, there is an urgent need to follow the principles of industrial symbiosis in the industrial processes, under which the scraps, wastes, or by‐products of one industry can become the raw materials for another. This will not only help in reducing the dependence on natural resources but also help in gaining economic advantage to the industry. Gypsum is one such area in India, where the linear economy model of by-product gypsum utilization has resulted in unutilized legacy phosphogypsum stock of 64.65 million tonnes (mt) at phosphoric acid plants in 2020-21. In the future, this unutilized gypsum stock will increase further due to the expected generation of Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) gypsum in huge quantities from thermal power plants. Therefore, it is essential to transit from the linear to circular economy in Gypsum in India, which will result in huge environmental as well as ecological benefits. Gypsum is required in many sectors like Construction (Cement industry, gypsum boards, glass fiber reinforced gypsum panels, gypsum plaster, fly ash lime bricks, floor screeds, road construction), agriculture, in the manufacture of Plaster of Paris, pottery, ceramic industry, water treatment processes, manufacture of ammonium sulphate, paints, textiles, etc. The challenges faced in areas of quality, policy, logistics, lack of infrastructure, promotion, etc., for complete utilization of by-product gypsum have been discussed. The untapped potential of by-product gypsum utilization in various sectors like the use of gypsum in agriculture for sodic soil reclamation, utilization of legacy stock in cement industry on mission mode, improvement in quality of by-product gypsum by standardization and usage in building materials industry has been identified. Based on the measures required to tackle the various challenges and utilization of the untapped potential of gypsum, a comprehensive action plan for the transition from linear to the circular economy in gypsum in India has been formulated. The strategies and policy measures required to implement the action plan to achieve a circular economy in Gypsum have been recommended for various government departments. It is estimated that the focused implementation of the proposed action plan would result in a significant decrease in unutilized gypsum legacy stock in the next five years and it would cease to exist by 2027-28 if the proposed action plan is effectively implemented.

Keywords: circular economy, FGD gypsum, India, phosphogypsum

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