The Process

Breakthrough uranium technology.

An innovative and patented technology, the PhosEnergy Process was developed to recover uranium as a by-product from wet process phosphoric acid (WPA), an intermediate product in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizer.

The PhosEnergy Process was developed by PhosEnergy and Cameco Corporation in conjunction with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technical Organisation (ANSTO), world leaders in uranium leaching and extraction technology.

The PhosEnergy Process can be incorporated into new projects or be an add-on to existing phosphoric acid facilities.

The primary objectives in developing the PhosEnergy Process were:

  • Low capital and operating costs (lower 1st and 2nd quartile of uranium producers),
  • Long project life (>20 years), and
  • Production (>500 klb/a).

With secondary objectives being:

  • Improved operability over the past SX processes,
  • A process which is robust and simple to operate,
  • High uranium recovery (>90 %), and
  • Limited or/no radioactive waste generation requiring disposal.

Building on over two decades of technical development and operational experience in SX recovery of uranium from Central Floridian phosphate streams, the PhosEnergy team has drawn on a significant base of technical expertise from both the uranium and  phosphate processing sectors in an effort to develop the substantially more robust ‘PhosEnergy Process’. The PhosEnergy Process demonstrates improved cost structures, improved operational efficiency and improved environmental outcomes as compared to historical SX processes.

The pre-treatment and impurity removal stages of the PhosEnergy Process have demonstrated that the technology is capable of coping with large variations in feed quality, and can be applied to processes that utilize lower quality phosphate rock. In addition, this removal of scaling species and the elimination of the addition of deleterious metal impurities is advantageous to the phosphoric acid producer in terms of operability and fertilizer quality requirements.