IFDC Report, Volume 8, No. 2
This report examines the economic feasibility of utilizing phosphogypsum, a byproduct of phosphoric acid production, as a source of agricultural sulfur in Bangladesh. The study, conducted by an IFDC engineer, aims to address the sulfur deficiency in various cropped areas and its impact on agricultural productivity. Bangladesh can achieve significant foreign exchange savings and improve crop yields by reclaiming phosphogypsum and using it as a sulphur source. The report recommends that the Bangladesh Government continue using phosphogypsum, with coordination by the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) or the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC). Distribution programs involving truck, barge, and rail transport can be developed to move phosphogypsum in bulk to central distribution points, allowing dealers and farmers to access it conveniently. Based on an annual sulfur requirement of 18,000 tons, Bangladesh stands to save approximately 60 million takas (US $2.5 million) per year by utilizing phosphogypsum instead of importing elemental sulfur, even considering the potential transportation costs. Currently, the monthly usage of phosphogypsum is around 2,000 to 2,500 tons, with expectations of a significant increase in the future. The findings of this study highlight the economic benefits of using phosphogypsum for sulfur needs in Bangladesh, emphasizing its potential for foreign exchange savings. By effectively utilizing this byproduct, Bangladesh can address its sulfur deficiency and achieve agricultural and economic gains.