The authors have been developing a process which converts FGD-gypsum to ammonium sulfate fertilizer with precipitated calcium carbonate as a by-product during the conversion. Preliminary cost estimates suggest that the process is economically feasible when ammonium sulfate crystals are produced in a granular size (1.2 to 3.3 mm), instead of a powder form. However, if additional revenue from the sale of the PCC for higher-value commercial application is applicable, this could further improve the economics of the process. Ammonium sulfate is known to be an excellent source of nitrogen and sulfur in fertilizer for corn and wheat production. It was not known what impurities might co-exist in ammonium sulfate derived from scrubber gypsum. Before the product could be recommended for use on farm land, the impurities and their impact on soil productivity had to be assessed. The objectives of this phase of the study were to evaluate the chemical properties of ammonium sulfate made from the FGD-gypsum, to estimate its effects on soil productivity, and to survey the marketability of the two products. The results of this phase of the study indicated that the impurities in the ammonium sulfate produced would not impose any practical limitations on its use at application levels used by farmers. The market survey showed that the sale price of solid ammonium sulfate fertilizer increased significantly from 1974 at $110/ton to 1998 at $187/ton. Utilities currently pay $16 to $20/ton for the calcium carbonate they use in their flue gas scrubber system. The industries making animal-feed grade calcium supplement pay $30/ton to $67/m-ton for their source of calcium carbonate. Paper, paint, and plastic industries pay as much as $200 to $300/ton for their calcium carbonate filers. The increased sale price of solid ammonium sulfate fertilizer and the possible additional revenue from the sale of the PCC by-product could further improve the economics of producing ammonium sulfate from FGD-gypsum.
Additional publication details
Utilization of the gypsum from a wet limestone flue gas desulfurization process
Widener Univ School Eng
Chester, PA, United States
Larger Work Title:
Proceedings of the International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management
Proceedings of the International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Mangement