Large-Scale Dewatering of Phosphatic Clay Waste From Northern Florida
Description:The Bureau of Mines is testing a dewatering technique for phosphatic clay waste that will recover a portion of the water lost using conventional waste disposal methods and produce solids suitable for land reclamation. The technique utilizes a flocculant, polyethylene oxide (PEO), that forms strong, stable flocs that can be dewatered on a static screen followed by further dewatering on a rotary screen. In field tests conducted in northern Florida, clay wastes containing a nominal 2.5 pct solids have been consolidated to greater than 20 pct solids. The rate at which PEO-treated material continues to dewater in a mine cut also was monitored. Preliminary results indicate that PEO--treated material will dewater to 30 pct solids in 140 days. Pretreatment of phosphatic clay waste with lime and H202 was shown to improve the dewatering technique for problem clay wastes.
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