Title Classification and Sorting of Radium-rich Phosphogypsum Tailings
Link to the website of the project
Programme EIT RawMaterials
Project duration 03/2018 – 02/2019
GeoZS role in the project Project partner
GeoZS contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Many Eastern and Southeastern European states (ESEE) and also other European countries have processed phosphogypsum (PG) material in the past and therefore PG has piled up to enormous tailings volumes. PG often contains radioactive radium isotope 226Ra, which is why it represents an environmental and human health hazard with a limited use.

The purpose of this project is a 1-year Strategic Risk Study on Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian PG tailings, which will compile key technical constraints for a low-cost conveyor belt pilot facility for automated classification and separation of low-radioactive 226Ra-bearing PG tailings material. The radionuclide classification and separation system will allow classification, sorting and separation of non-radioactive PG material from radioactive, environmentally hazardous PG. This will minimize the amount of radiologically active PG due for remediation and enable zero-waste recycling of the non-radioactive PG into construction material, whereas the radioactive PG material will provide a resource for further processing into radiopharmaceutical applications as 223Ra for cancer medication.

The actual long-term beneficiaries of this technology will be industry and society in the respective RIS countries. The actual output will be the technological availability upon positive testing to the relevant RIS partners.