Large quantities of waste produced by the phosphate fertilizer industry are perceived to have minimal market value and represent significant disposal and storage problems. There have been several reports that many of these waste products contain varying amounts of uranium and rare earth elements. Given the high cost of rare earth element and uranium ore mining, attention has turned to the use of technogenic sources to obtain these materials. To date, an efficient and economically viable low environmental impact process to extract and recover rare earth and other elements, such as uranium, from phosphate fertilizer production waste products has not been reported.
Periodic Products Inc.’s patented Chelok® technology is a polymer-based chelating compound possessing multiple industrial applications. Applying our proprietary extraction technology and patented polymer-based metal isolation procedures, we have successfully isolated rare earth elements and uranium from phosphate amine tailings.