01 January 2018 – 31 March 2019
Eastern and Southeastern European states including Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Kosovo, but also other European countries such as Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, and Finland have processed phosphogypsum (PG) material in the past (often originating in northern Africa) and therefore PG has piled up to enormous tailings volumes.
PFIC Greece, Agropolychim Bulgaria, and Elixir Prahovo Serbia are among the leading phosphogypsum processing and storage companies and/or institutions in the respective RIS countries, and therefore the main beneficiaries of the technology to be assessed and tested in raPHOSafe.
The benefit from this project for the ESEE region is a win-win scenario in which PG tailings stakeholders (e.g. phosphate industry, PG tailings management company, radiation agency, other government bodies) will finally be able to zero-waste recycle and remediate PG tailings in the ESEE region (with potential for worldwide application). Zero-waste recycling of PG tailings in the ESEE region will significantly reduce regional environmental and human health hazards and allows reuse of PG tailings sites for alternative income (e.g. agriculture, tourism).
The solution (technology)
This patented radionuclide classification and separation system allows to classify, sort and separate non-radioactive PG material from radioactive (i.e. PG radiation above legal radiation limits for tailings), environmentally hazardous PG. This will minimize the amount of radiologically active PG due for remediation and enables zero-waste recycling of the non-radioactive PG into construction material (e.g. dry-walling gypsum boards, cement), whereas the radioactive (226Ra-bearing Alpha radiation) PG material provides a highly sought-after resource for further processing into radiopharmaceutical applications as 223Ra for cancer medication. (e.g. Xofigo, Bayer Pharmaceuticals).
- DMT GmbH & Co. KG, Germany (Lead partner)
- Geological Survey of Slovenia (GeoZS), Slovenia
- Mining and Metallurgy Institute Bor, Serbia
- Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria
- National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece
- Nuclear Research Group (NRG) Arnhem, Netherlands
- New University of Lisbon – Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT NOVA), Portugal
- Université de Liège, Belgium