Skip to comments.Warning of world phosphate shortage
Posted on 03/11/2008 2:02:47 PM PDT by BGHater
The exponential growth in global food production has not only sent the price of fertilisers skyrocketing, but could lead to a world shortage of phosphate within decades.
Beyond a temporary market spike driven by richer developing countries and increased supply of biofuels, researchers are warning that the world could face dwindling supplies of phosphate by 2040 unless steps are taken to use it more efficiently and recover it from human waste.
But unlike oil, which can be managed by substituting other sources of energy, there is no substitute for the critical role of phosphate in plant development and production.
Mineral phosphorous fertilisers come from mined phosphate rock found in places such as Christmas Island, Nauru and Morocco, which is the world's biggest exporter of the resource.
"Quite simply, without phosphorus we cannot produce food," says Dana Cordell of the Institute of Sustainable Futures, based in Sydney.
Growth in demand for food in China and India, coupled with increased switching of food crops to biofuels in the US, have increased the demand for fertilisers, raising the world price fourfold in the past year.
Despite the development of phosphate mining at Mount Isa to replace declining supplies from Nauru and Christmas Island, Australia still imports about 75 per cent of its fertiliser.
Ms Cordell is researching the scale of the looming shortage and methods to improve the efficiency of phosphate use.
"There is no global organisation looking at global trends in phosphorus and how we're going to ensure we'll have phosphorus production into the future," she said.
(Excerpt) Read more at theaustralian.news.com.au ...
mining for phosphate causes selenium poisoning to livestock.
Loading up on POT
Jordan Phosphate Mines Company
JPMC was established as a private company on March 1949 to exploit phosphate deposits in Jordan. It was registered as a public shareholding company in 1953 with an initial share capital of JD 250,000 and now operates under Law No. 22 of 1997. JPMC currently operates three mines in Jordan producing phosphate rock, with a fourth mine at Al-Ruseifa having ceased production in 1985, and a downstream fertilizer and chemicals plant at Aqaba in the south of Jordan producing phosphoric acid, diammonium phosphate ("DAP"), sulphuric acid and Aluminum fluoride.
One word. Milorganite.
I see that Jordan Phosphate is a private corporation.
Holy bat poop! Were guano run out of phosphate.
And two words: glauconitic sands. I wrote a thesis on this very premise way back in 87.
I told you a million times -- don't exaggerate!
Algore will be the death of us yet.
Here in Florida we face the same problems with mining of phosphate that we do drilling for oil.
There is enough phosphate in Bartow that they could supply as much as is needed BUT the tree huggers won’t let it happen.
You have to mine it as a pit and they won’t let that happen just like they won’t let us drill for oil in the gulf or atlantic. So what are ya going to do?
Fish bone meal.
We're all gonna die!!
Has Chicken Little been informed of this development?
Maybe they will stop using phosphoric acid in soft drinks, and go back to citric acid. Tastes better, IMO.
Just don’t get caught with it. ;)
Two words. B.S. There is a limitless supply in DC.
It makes sense to utilize human waste if it can be done cost-effectively. It would solve 2 problems at once. But if I read this pdf report correctly there doesn't appear to be any real shortage of phosphate-bearing rock. Increased prices will spur more exploration and make new recovery methods more affordable.
Glauconitic sands are a good source of Potassium, but not of Phosphorus. Memory getting a little fuzzy?
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