JDCPhosphate, Inc says it has successfully used its proprietary Improved Hard Process technology to produce high-quality super-phosphoric acid (SPA) using low-quality phosphate rock tailings without creating toxic phosphogypsum waste during continuous operation of its new demonstration plant in Fort Meade, Florida.The Improved Hard Process – or IHP – for producing phosphoric acid for agricultural and industrial use it says “is one of the most significant advancements in many decades for the phosphate industry. The patented technology is a kiln-based process that avoids direct acidulation of phosphate rock, minimising the amount of waste and completely avoiding phosphogypsum production. Instead, IHP co-produces a commercially useful aggregate for construction and road building called J-Rox.”During recent operations at its demonstration plant, JDC was able to operate its entire process continuously – including feed preparation and agglomeration, induration, reduction, oxidation, and acid production – to produce super-phosphoric acid using low-quality phosphate rock waste tailings from local mining operations.The phosphate raw material contained an average of about 14% phosphate as P2O5, with high levels of silica and other impurities, including magnesium oxide. The company combined this low-quality phosphate material with clay and petroleum coke to make its kiln feed.The feed was then processed in the kilns and acid plant at the demonstration plant to produce super-phosphoric acid at a concentration of 68% P2O5 with less than 2.5% impurities, including less than 0.3% CaO, 0.2% MgO, 0.3% SO4, 1.0% Fe2O3 , 0.1% F and 0.1% Al2O3. The super-phosphoric acid also contained about 2 ppm of cadmium, with about 80-90% of cadmium in the phosphate feed being eliminated during the process and captured in pollution control scrubbing systems. The process also significantly reduces levels of other trace heavy metals, such as lead and arsenic.“This is a major milestone for JDC and our technology, showcasing IHP’s value as a cost-efficient and scalable new process,” said Timothy Cotton, CEO of JDCPhosphate. “Our company, management team and stakeholders have dedicated a great deal of time and effort to prove the efficacy of this breakthrough process and we are very pleased with these recent achievements.”“Given the limited phosphate rock reserves in the world, it will be critical for future generations that we waste as little as possible of these vital resources. At the same time, we need to minimise the production of toxic phosphogypsum wastes and reduce the level of harmful impurities in phosphate products,” Cotton said. “The IHP technology will become a critical part of the global phosphate production chain.”Luc Maene, former Director General of the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), said: “For many years I have been hoping that innovative technologies will improve the sustainability of the phosphate sector, which is so critical for food production and so dependent on a limited natural resource. JDC’s IHP technology can make a major impact on phosphate sustainability by opening up new sources of phosphate rock while significantly reducing wastes. This squarely addresses some of the most pressing issues confronting the industry.”Over the next several months, JDC will further upgrade its commercial demonstration plant for on-demand and sustained operations. By early 2019 the Fort Meade plant will be capable of testing various qualities of phosphate ore raw material, allowing potential licensees to validate the process for the phosphate ore and silica sources they have available. JDC will then complete its process design engineering for commercial-scale applications of the IHP technology.The company also is exploring optimal routes to commercialisation of IHP, including expanding its operations in Florida. Chris Fountas, a JDCPhosphate board member and General Partner of Arsenal, which manages the Florida Opportunity Fund, said: “JDC’s IHP technology will be key to extending the life of the phosphate industry in Florida and globally. The phosphate industry is an important economic driver in Florida that has seen operations curtailed due to diminishing local phosphate reserves and competitive pressures from producers around the world.”JDC has been granted multiple US and international patents covering its IHP technology. JDC will continue to expand its base of intellectual property as it makes further technology improvements.