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Prediction of Future Phosphate Rock: A Demand Based Model

B. Li1, I. Boiarkina1, B. Young1, W. Yu1,*, N. Singhal2

  1. Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

*Corresponding author. Tel: +64 9 923 5027; fax: +64 9 373 7421. E-mail address: (W. Yu).


As phosphorus (P) is an essential element and phosphate rock a non-renewable resource that is depleting rapidly, a robust phosphate production model is becoming essential for future resource management. However, the majority of current production models are based on either time series analysis or mathematical regression, neglecting the effect of human demand. Thus, this work proposes a new phosphate rock supply model based on historical phosphorus demand. The population was used in conjunction with the average P fertilizer consumption as the key parameters for the demand model, which also considered the consumption differences between developed and developing countries. The model results indicate that without proper management phosphate rock will be depleted within the next 70 ~ 140 years. A conceptual phosphorus management system is proposed and substantial recovery would be required to have a significant impact on the depletion time, on the order of 50 % to defer depletion by 50 years.

Keywords: phosphorus, phosphorus depletion, phosphorus management, phosphorus recovery

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