The largest and least expensive source of phosphorus is obtained by mining and concentrating phosphate rock from the numerous phosphate deposits of the world. Some phosphate rock is used to make calcium phosphate nutritional supplements for animals. Pure phosphorus is used to make chemicals for use in industry. The most important use of phosphate rock, though, is in the production of phosphate fertilizers for agriculture.
The most significant application of rock phosphate is for making fertilizers for the agricultural industry. The phosphate rocks used in agricultural applications typically comprise of phosphorous pentoxide (P2O5) in 30% concentration, calcium carbonate in 5% concentration, and 4% or less of aluminium and iron oxides. Virtually all common fertilizers have an “N-P- K” rating. Phosphorus is the “P” in fertilizers. Phosphorus is involved in numerous plant functions, but its most important role is helping plants capture the sun’s energy and begin the photosynthesis process.
Besides, fertilizers and chemicals, the other areas where rock phosphate is applied, include:
2. Water treatment
5. Anti-corrosion agents
6. Animal feed supplements
The significance of phosphorous for the existence of life and life forms cannot be underrated. And rock phosphates play a huge role in satiating the phosphorous needs of the world. In fact, in most applications, there is no substitute for rock phosphate.