October 26th, 2010


Crazy fact of the day from SciAm

Plants like phosphorus. That's good!
People eat plants. That's also good!
People strip-mine calcium phosphate rock to make fertilizer. That's... um.
Every ton of phosophoric acid generated by the industrial process produces 4 tons of phosphogypsum. That's kinda wasteful.
Marine phosphate deposits contain significant levels of uranium and other radioactive elements. That's bad.
So phosphogypsum tends to give off radon. That's very bad.
Thus, the EPA has banned the use of phosophogypsum. That's good!
Therefore, there are a billion tons of phosphogypsum heaped up in giant 'stacks' in Florida alone. That's horrible.
A large stack can cover 740 acres and reach 200 feet in height. That's ridiculous.