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Sustainability in the phosphoric acid industry

An EU-funded project has developed an innovative strategy for minimising waste in the phosphoric acid industry.
Sustainability in the phosphoric acid industry
The 'Waste utilisation in phosphoric acid industry through the development of ecologically sustainable and environmentally friendly processes' (Ecophos) project focused on a number of new techniques for producing phosphorous salts, phosphorous acid and phosphates. The goal was to develop resource and energy industrial process technology for the production of a wide range of phosphorous-containing substances. The consortium improved current methods for utilising and minimising industrial solid waste arising from the production of phosphoric acid. The production of a new generation of phosphoric fertilisers was also studied.

Mathematical models and computer-based engineering tools were used to guarantee the efficient and environment friendly operation of the production system. The goal was to reduce cost, waste and energy usage. The production system is classified according to the properties of the waste and the potential to reduce its environmental impact and increase sustainability.

An expert system enables users to choose the production scheme closest to their requirements. The new methodology will be used and validated by two major industrial partners, one from the EU and one from the Newly Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union.

The Ecophos initiative produced an environment friendly industrial process technology that has the potential to conserve both resources and energy.

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