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  • 1 Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Zagazig University, El-Zagazig, El-Sharqia, Egypt
  • | 2 Nuclear Materials Authority, P.O. Box 530, El Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
  • | 3 Atomic Energy Authority, P.O. Box 13759, Cairo, Egypt
Open access


Phosphogypsum (PG) is a residue of the phosphate fertilizer industry that has relatively high concentrations of harmful radioactive materials. The reduction in concentration of the radionuclides from PG was investigated. The removal process is based on leaching of radionuclides using suitable organic extractants. The studied radionuclides were 226Ra, 210Pb, 238U and 40K. The factors affect the leaching process such as type of leaching materials, contact time, concentration of the desired solvent, liquid to solid ratio, and temperature were studied. Based on the experimental results, about 71.1, 76.4, 62.4, and 75.7% of 226Ra, 210Pb, 238U and 40K respectively were successfully removed from the PG. The reduction in the concentration of radionuclides was accompanied by reduction in the concentration of rare earth elements (∑REE) equals to 69.8%. Using the desired organic extractant under optimum conditions for treatment of the PG waste leads to obtain a decontaminated product that can be safely used in many industrial applications.