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Future Research Needs In PROM Technology
Mineral Process Engineering

•  Beneficiation of low-grade phosphate ores to +32% P2O5.

•  Preparation of minerals such as gypsum, salt petre, muriate of Potash as additives to PROM.

•  Design of a size reduction, plant for high-grade rock phosphate mineral using conventional
/non-conventional equipment, such as jaw/cone crushers, high pressure grinding rolls (roller press), ball mills and fluid energy mills (or equivalent machines that can grind rock phosphate mineral to micron or sub micron size) to produce ultra fine sized high-grade rock phosphate mineral , which is an essential input to PROM. Micronization of rock phosphate mineral may drastically reduce the consumption of the mineral.


Chemical & Other Engineering Fields

The fact that PROM can be produced using the discharge from bio-gas plants opens up many new research/engineering opportunities. The following areas are of importance:

Refining of bio-gas to improve the methane content from approximately 60% to +95% for onward use in bottling the gas (equivalent to CNG) or in electric power generation exclusively based on methane. Recovery of sulphur from bio-gas in a form (elemental sulphur, zinc sulfide etc ) usable as an additive to PROM.


The efficiency of PROM increases if phosphate solublising, nitrogen-fixing bacteria are added. It is also known that certain fungi decompose cellulosic materials much faster. Development of a consortium of microorganism that are compatible with each other consisting of cellulose decomposing, phosphate solubilising, nitrogen fixing microorganism will be of advantage to PROM producers.

Agronomy/Soil Science/Botany/Zoology

It is known that nitrogen added to the soil improves the uptake (mining) of soil phosphorous by plants. Also it is observed that high-grade rock phosphate in fine size if applied with urea works as efficiently as DAP. DAP and high-grade rock phosphate in fine size when applied to soils alongwith organic matter (on equal P2O5 basis) perform equally in the first season. In the second season DAP fails to show good residual effect whereas PROM (rock phosphate with organic manure) shows results as good as those of the first season.

The mechanism of enhanced P2O5 uptake (by plants) when N is added is not clear and needs elaborate experimentation. Also the failure of DAP (with organic matter) to show equal residual effect also needs further research. Use of vermi compost, as additive to PROM requires further studies.

New Business Opportunities

Production of PROM via biomethanation route offers new business opportunities for manufacturers of equipment/machines such as
(i) filters
(ii) slurry pumps &filtrate pumps
(iii) shredders for organic materials (straw of wheat or paddy or sugarcane trash etc ).