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Interaction of aqueous inorganic orthophosphate and phosphate rock


Zoltek, John Jr. (1973) Interaction of aqueous inorganic orthophosphate and phosphate rock. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/8957-0Z94.


An experimental study was made of the interaction of phosphate rock and aqueous inorganic orthophosphate, calcium, and hydroxyl ions. A model of the reaction was developed by observing electron diffraction patterns in conjunction with concentration changes of chemical components. The model was applied in explaining the performance of batch suspensions of powdered phosphate rock and packed columns of granular phosphate rock. In both cases the reaction consisted initially of a rapid nucleation phase that occurred in a time period of minutes. In the batch system the calcium phosphate nuclei then ripened into larger micro-crystals of hydroxyapatite, which eventually became indistinguishable from the original phosphate rock surface. During column operation the high supersaturation ratio that existed after the rapid nucleation phase resulted in a layer of small nuclei that covered a slowly growing hydroxyapatite crystal.

The column steady-state rate constant was found to increase with increasing temperature, pH, and fluoride concentration, and to decrease with increasing concentrations of magnesium sulfate, ammonium chloride, and bicarbonate ion.

An engineering feasibility study indicated that, based on economic considerations, nucleation of apatite on phosphate rock ore has a potential use as a wastewater phosphate removal treatment process.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Environmental Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Environmental Science and Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Morgan, James J. (advisor)
  • McKee, Jack E. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:20 October 1972
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04182014-102433018
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8193
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:18 Apr 2014 19:37
Last Modified:09 Nov 2022 19:20

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