Recovery of high-quality phosphate from steelmaking slag by a hydrometallurgical process

Chuanming Du, Xu Gao, Shigeru Ueda, Shinya Kitamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorus recovery from wastes has become a worldwide concern. The P-bearing steelmaking slag generated from steel plant is considered a potential phosphorus source. In this study, a novel process of selective leaching–precipitation–alkaline wash was proposed to recover high-quality phosphate from steelmaking slag. During leaching, most of the P was dissolved from slag and Fe was almost insoluble. Increasing temperature and solid-liquid ratio significantly suppressed the dissolution of Si due to the formation of silica sols. An excellent selective leaching of P was achieved at pH 3 and 333 K. The dissolution ratio of P reached 83.5% while only 22.6% of Si was dissolved. The residue containing 49.5% Fe2O3 and 0.9% P2O5 can be reused as a steelmaking feedstock, achieving the recycling in plant. In the dilute leachate, the precipitation of Si and Ca was significantly suppressed as the pH increased and a precipitate with higher P2O5 content and lower SiO2 content was extracted. A large amount of SiO2 was removed from the precipitate by alkaline wash. A precipitate containing 30.1% P2O5 and 45.5% CaO was recovered in this process. This study provided a cost-effective approach to recovering high-quality phosphate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153125
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 1


  • Leaching
  • Phosphorus
  • Recovery
  • Resource utilization
  • Steelmaking slag

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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