Leaching kinetics on the removal of phosphorus from waste phosphogypsum by application of shrinking core model

Tebogo Mashifana, Freeman Ntuli, Felix Okonta

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28 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the removal of phosphorus from waste phosphogypsum by using citric acid as a leaching reagent, evaluated the potential environmental effect of the final product produced and provide recommendations for the application of developed products. A dissolution process was applied and three variables were studies namely, concentration, stirring speed and temperature. The results showed that Phosphorus can successfully be removed from waste phosphogypsum and the optimum leaching conditions were at the concentration of 0.5 M and temperature of 40 °C, with no effect observed on varying the stirring speed. Shrinking core model (SCM) was used to determine the best fit for the experimental data. For the pore diffusion model (KD), all correlation coefficients yielded were above 0.9, illustrating a positively linear correlation of KD and leaching behavior for phosphorus. Pore diffusion proved to be the effective rate controlling mechanism for the removal of phosphorus from phosphogypsum. The analysis of moments of particle size distribution (PSD) also showed a reduction in particle size, indicating the dissolution of the solid particles. The application of Toxic Leaching Characteristic Procedure (TLCP) showed low concentrations on the effluent, indicating that the developed product will not contaminate the environment through leaching. The obtained leachate concentrations were within the South African effluent discharge standards. The results also showed that dissolution had a significant contribution on the moments of particle size distribution, in terms of the volume, surface area and particles number. In respect to unconfined compressive strength the products developed can be used for load bearing and as backfill material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalSouth African Journal of Chemical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Citric acid
  • Kinetics
  • Leaching
  • Phosphogypsum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Education
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Filtration and Separation


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