Uranium fuel as byproduct of phosphate fertilizer production

Magdi Ragheb, Mohammed Khasawneh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The world has substantial unconventional energy resources in phosphate rock deposits and sea water which contain vast amounts of dilute uranium. The South Mediterranean region, as a remnant of the ancient Tethys Sea, is endowed with large supplies of uranium fuel that is embedded in the phosphate rock being processed into fertilizer. Establishing a phosphate fertilizer industry that uses the appropriate processes would allow extraction of the uranium as a byproduct. Uranium from phosphorites constitutes a large and long term resource base compared with the short-lived high concentration ores which have been depleted in the deposits exploited for export such as at the Gabon Republic. An increased price of U3O8 would make its extraction from phosphate rocks potentially economical. What makes this feasible is that the fuel cost is a minor part of the nuclear electricity price, making it possible to exploit higher cost ores, particularly for the purpose of long term energy independence and security for countries desiring to produce future nuclear electricity and desalted water. In addition, the development and implementation of more efficient extraction methods such as the liquid membrane approach may also make it more economical. This would turn the region along the ancient Tethys Sea shores into a future nuclear energy fuel source as well as a food energy source as fertilizer for the world. The extraction of uranium as a byproduct in the wet phosphoric acid production process is discussed. The Liquid Membrane (LM) technology, even though not industrially developed, is identified as possessing the potential to efficiently separate and concentrate uranium from process phosphoric acid and is thought to be superior to the solvent extraction methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 14 2010
Event2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy 2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10 - Amman, Jordan
Duration: Mar 21 2010Mar 24 2010

Publication series

Name2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10

Other

Other2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy 2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10
CountryJordan
CityAmman
Period3/21/103/24/10

Fingerprint

Phosphate fertilizers
Uranium
Byproducts
Liquid membranes
Phosphates
Rocks
Phosphoric acid
Fertilizers
Ores
Deposits
Electricity
Membrane technology
Solvent extraction
Energy resources
Nuclear energy
Costs
Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Cite this

Ragheb, M., & Khasawneh, M. (2010). Uranium fuel as byproduct of phosphate fertilizer production. In 2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10 [5462550] (2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10). https://doi.org/10.1109/INREC.2010.5462550

Uranium fuel as byproduct of phosphate fertilizer production. / Ragheb, Magdi; Khasawneh, Mohammed.

2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10. 2010. 5462550 (2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Ragheb, M & Khasawneh, M 2010, Uranium fuel as byproduct of phosphate fertilizer production. in 2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10., 5462550, 2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10, 2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy 2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10, Amman, Jordan, 3/21/10. https://doi.org/10.1109/INREC.2010.5462550
Ragheb M, Khasawneh M. Uranium fuel as byproduct of phosphate fertilizer production. In 2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10. 2010. 5462550. (2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10). https://doi.org/10.1109/INREC.2010.5462550
Ragheb, Magdi ; Khasawneh, Mohammed. / Uranium fuel as byproduct of phosphate fertilizer production. 2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10. 2010. (2010 1st International Nuclear and Renewable Energy Conference, INREC'10).
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