Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

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ESPP meetings
Stakeholder meeting to discuss EU Fertilisers Regulation
European Nutrient event – phosphorus recovery workshop and EU R&D meeting
New ESPP members
Prayon
Vienna City
Policy
EU fertiliser criteria proposals for struvite, biochars, ashes (STRUBIAS)
EU Fertiliser Regulation proposal progressing through Parliament
Germany passes law making phosphorus recycling obligatory
Finland nutrient recycling policy and projects
EU court action against UK for sewage treatment resolved
Networks for transition to a bio-based and circular economy
North Sea Resources Roundabout
Netherlands Policy Brief: circular economy food system
Innovation
Do you have a technology to remove excess phosphorus from freshwater bodies?
Phos4Life demonstrates 95% phosphorus recovery to phosphoric acid
Scenarios for sewage works energy and resource recovery
Overview of feasible technologies for phosphorus recovery in Switzerland
Nitrogen mineralisation from digestate
Yara position on the circular economy and examples of actions
Phytase safe and performance-effective in fish feed
Review of biochars as fertilisers
DVO “Phosphorus Removal” system makes fertiliser from digestate
Media
Newtrient manure nutrient processing catalogue
IFA Nutrient Management Handbook
Cow urine finds a market
High quality fertilisation
From urine to ‘Pisner’ beer
Why organic farmers need recycled phosphorus fertilisers
GWI sludge treatment technology perspective
Correction Kjerstadius et al. LCA in ESPP eNews n°11
Events
ESPP Members
 

ESPP meetings

Stakeholder meeting to discuss EU Fertilisers Regulation

Tuesday 5th September, Brussels  9:00 – 17:00:
- Status of EU Fertiliser Regulation: amendments voted to date – main stakeholder positions relevant to nutrient recycling - outstanding issues – areas requiring input to the conciliation process
- Draft STRUBIAS criteria for struvite, biochar &  ash-based products : discussion of JRC proposal as published 24/5/17 (see ESPP website)
- To participate register via

European Nutrient event – phosphorus recovery workshop and EU R&D meeting

Wed 18th – Thursday 19th October – Basel, ESPP in collaboration with Phos4You:
- Swiss - German phosphorus recovery workshop and EU research & development  meeting. More information and the programme are online. To participate register via this link.
- Stands to enable nutrient recovery technology providers to meet utilities, engineering companies, water companies …
- Wed. 18th October: workshop on technology choices for implementation of the Swiss and German legislations which (will) require phosphorus recovery from sewage
- Thur. 19th October: meeting of R&D projects on nutrient recovery (Horizon 2020, LIFE, Interreg EU funded, national funded …) with technology and recycled nutrient users
 

New ESPP members

Prayon

Belgium-based Prayon Group is one of the world leaders in phosphate creativity, with more than a century of industrial experience. Prayon Group is owned jointly by the Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) and the Wallonia Regional Investment Company (SRIW). Prayon manufactures purified phosphoric acids, phosphate salts and fluorine products at sites in Belgium, France and in the United States and serves a global customer base. Prayon products are used in food (including baked goods, meat, processed cheese, fish and seafood, cereals, fruit and vegetables), drinks, pharmaceutical products (including toothpaste, oral hygiene products and excipients) and a broad range of industrial applications (e.g. paper, ceramics, glass, metal, and so on). The Prayon wet processes for phosphoric acid production and associated equipment (e.g. Prayon Filters) are marketed throughout and are used to produce over 50% of the world’s merchant grade phosphoric acid. In order to diversify raw materials, Prayon has engaged some 20 different projects over the last two years, mostly business-to-business (confidential with concerned customer), covering food industry by-products, biomass energy and other ashes and spent reagents (on average 8 000 t/y of phosphoric acids recycled since 2000) see SCOPE Newsletter n°123.
Prayon website www.prayon.com

Vienna City

Vienna is a fast growing city with around 1.9 Mio inhabitants and one of the most livable cities in the world, among other things due to eco-friendly focusing and strategic planning. With regard to the closing of broken nutrient loops, already up to 45 000 t/year of high quality compost is produced every year from 100 000 t of organic waste collected in the city, containing around 110 t of phosphorus (P). This compost is used as a valuable fertiliser even in organic farming and the production of a valuable, natural earth. In the near future, also phosphorus from wastewater, more specifically from sewage sludge ash should find its way back to agricultural soils as a valuable fertiliser. The whole wastewater of the city of Vienna is treated in one wastewater treatment plant (capacity 4 Mio. population equivalents). The arising sewage sludge is incinerated in three fluidized bed reactors. The political will is to recover the c. 1 100 tP/y of valuable phosphorus present in the 12 000  t of sewage sludge ash. The municipal department 48 (MA 48) is responsible for waste management, street cleaning and vehicle fleet in the City of Vienna, and so for the residues from the incinerators, and is developing strategies to recover the phosphorus in the near future. Vienna City  joins ESPP for comprehensive exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience in the field of phosphorus recovery. Furthermore, they believe that within a strong community of interest, it is possible to steer things in the right direction: closing of broken nutrient cycles.
Vienna city website www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/ma48


 

Policy

EU fertiliser criteria proposals for struvite, biochars, ashes (STRUBIAS)

The European Commission (JRC) has circulated first draft “nutrient recovery rules” (outline for possible CMC – Component Material Category – criteria under the revised EU Fertilisers Regulation) for struvite (widened to recovered phosphate salts), biochars and pyrolysis products and ashes - STRUBIAS. The report and annexes include a detailed assessment explaining these proposed requirements. It is open to comment and can be consulted on the ESPP website www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory . Please note that the Commission will only accept comments submitted by members of the STRUBIAS Expert Group, which includes ESPP, DPP (German Phosphorus Platform), ECN, EBA, EFPRA, Suez, Vienna City, Italpollina and Fertilisers Europe, as well as Member State representatives. If you have comments, please therefore send to ESPP by end July (), because ESPP must submit consolidated comments in August. This will be discussed at ESPP’s stakeholder meeting with the European Commission on 5th September.
STRUBIAS interim report and draft proposed “nutrient recovery rules”, 24 May 2017 www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory


EU Fertiliser Regulation proposal progressing through Parliament

The proposed new EU Fertiliser Regulation is moving through the European Parliament decision process. The new regulation  will enable sale of some specified recycled nutrient products across Europe and give “End-of-Waste” status to those products, so opening the EU market for nutrient recycling technologies. A total of around 1 900 amendments were tabled to the four committees which are addressing the Regulation (Environment ENVI, Agriculture AGRI, Internal Market IMCO and international trade INTA). Some important amendments proposed by ESPP, with Fertilisers Europe and the European Organic-Based Fertilizer Industry Consortium (ECOFI), have been partly adopted be one of these committees but this does not guarantee that they will be included in the final Parliament text (e.g. definition of “mineral” fertilisers and creation of a category to cover fertilisers with 1 - 7.5% organic carbon content, authorisation use of by-products such as sulphuric acid in fertiliser production …). The Parliament plenary vote is set for 13th September. At the same time, the Council (Member States) is also working on the proposal. As well as the issues above, other important questions are not today resolved, including use of ashes as a raw material for fertiliser production, animal by-products, traceability, interactions with the Nitrates Directive and REACH.
See for more information about the revision of the Fertiliser Regulation www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory

Germany passes law making phosphorus recycling obligatory

Germany is the first EU member state to legislate to make phosphorus recycling from sewage sludge obligatory. The “Order for new organisation of sewage sludge valorisation”, approved by Federal Parliament 24th May 2017 (promulgation underway) modifies Germany’s legislation on sewage sludge management (Sewage Sludge Ordonnance) with two main objectives: to ban land application of biosolids for larger sewage works and require phosphorus recovery, and to fix tighter quality requirements and contaminant limits for biosolids applied to land. The new law will require phosphorus recovery if sewage sludge contains more than 2% phosphorus, such that either 50% of the phosphorus is recovered or such that the concentration is reduced to < 2% P, within either 12 or 15 years (works of > 100 000 or >50 000 p.e.). The phosphorus recovery can either be directly from the sewage sludge, or after thermal treatment of the sludge, or could be installed upstream in the sewage works, subject to achieving the required final recovery objectives. The larger sewage works, where phosphorus recovery will be obligatory, represent around 2/3 of German sewage sludge today. Today, just under 30% of German sewage sludge is used in agriculture.
Deutscher Bundestag Drucksache 18/12495. “Verordnung zur Neuordnung der Klärschlammverwertung” http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/124/1812495.pdf (in German) and summary in English in SCOPE Newsletter n°122

Finland nutrient recycling policy and projects

Finland’s current Government Programme (29/5/2015) fixes as objectives that 50% of sewage sludge and of manure should undergo advanced processing by 2025, in particular in eutrophication sensitive catchments such as the Baltic region. This has led to targeted funding for water protection and nutrient recycling in the Rural Development Programme. CIRCWASTE is a 7-year, 19 million € LIFE project (12 M€ EU funding), coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE addressing a range of industrial and municipal wastes. Within this, LUKE is responsible for demonstrating the circular economy in the food chain in Southwest Finland, including nutrient recovery and recycling. This will address reducing food waste, using vegetable oils, finding food applications for agricultural by-products, nutrient recycling and biogas production from manures. A project from VTT is developing a ‘Resource Container’, within the RAK12 Ministry of the Environment programme, to treat wastewater and recover organic soil improver and nutrients. The containerised transportable plant will enable installation in small communities with significant summer population increases around the Baltic. In another project, BIOUREA, led by Käymäläseura Huusi Ry (Finland global dry toilet association), urine and composted faeces will be tested with farmers, to assess social acceptance, collection and management technologies, cost, crop effectiveness and regulatory aspects.

EU court action against UK for sewage treatment resolved

The European Court has found that the UK failed to respect Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive obligations in 12 agglomerations, including failure to remove phosphorus in eight agglomerations in eutrophication Sensitive Areas in England. Issues in other agglomerations included storm overflows. However, all of identified compliance failures in the UK have now been resolved, except Gibraltar. Therefore, the UK was not fined by the European Court, and has had to pay legal costs only. In Gibraltar, municipal wastewater is not treated at all, but compliance is announced for end 2018. Spain is not reported to have commented.
European Court Judgement, 4th May 2017 http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=190336

Networks for transition to a bio-based and circular economy

Funded by EU Horizon 2020, BioSTEP aims to engage citizens and stakeholders in the development of the EU’s bio-economy. BioSTEP has published a policy paper identifying necessary actions, and centred on the need for networking to support the bio-based and the circular economy. Recommendations include supporting SMEs in networks, including technology transfer and links to R&D centres, increasing civil society involvement, developing public awareness, instruments for stakeholder and public engagement, and public participation in policy definition.
“Creating networks for the transition to a bio-based and circular economy”, BioSTEP, April 2017 www.bio-step.eu

North Sea Resources Roundabout

The partners of the North Sea Resources Roundabout Green Deal (The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France and Flanders) met in Brussels, at the Netherlands Embassy, on 4th April, to discuss progress after one year. Denmark, Austria and Germany were also present and interested to join the initiative which aims to facilitate recycling  markets between participant countries through collaboration between regulators and companies. Sectors addressed to date are bottom ash, PVC, compost and struvite. Compost reported positive progress towards the objective of exporting Netherlands Twence company compost to the UK, with definition of logistics chains and progress towards End-of-Waste status. For struvite, discussion is underway to enable “mutual recognition” of authorisation of struvite as a fertiliser in some countries by other Member States where struvite is not authorised as a fertiliser (such as France).
Contact via the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affaires  

Netherlands Policy Brief: circular economy food system

A 40-page brief document by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) discusses policy objectives for circular food systems. Priorities are identified as: management of natural resources (land, soil, water, biodiversity and minerals), optimum use of food (including moving towards a diet with less animal protein and less processed foods) and use of residue streams to avoid loss of biomass. Moerman’s Ladder and the Value Chain Pyramid are emphasised, with the order of priorities for actions: preventing food waste, recycling to human food, animal feed, use for bio-materials industry, fertiliser production (methanisation and composting), and lastly energy production. In the chapter on closing mineral cycles, it is noted that nutrient surpluses and environmental losses have been considerably reduced (e.g. phosphorus surplus reduced by 88% between 1986-2013) but challenges remain.  Nitrogen from chicken litter is lost in incineration. Some nutrients in slaughterhouse waste, in food and beverage industry by-products and in household organic wastes, and much of the nutrients in sewage sludge are today not recycled. Also, data on nutrient flows in the Netherlands food system needs updating, since the most recent study is for 2011 (Smit et al. 2015).
PBL Policy Brief 2878, 2017 “Food for the Circular Economy” www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/publicaties/PBL-2017-Food-for-the-circular-economy-2878.pdf  and "A substance flow analysis of phosphorus in the food production, processing and consumption system of the Netherlands.", Smit, A. L.  et al., 2015, in Nutrient Cycling Agroecosystem https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10705-015-9709-
 

Innovation

Do you have a technology to remove excess phosphorus from freshwater bodies?

The Everglades Foundation George Barley Water Prize Stage 2 (US$ 80 000) is open for submissions. Deadline to request materials = 15th July 2017 at no cost. It is recommend to make your request far in advance of the deadline. This is critical to allow for ample shipping and testing time.
Stage 2 applicants must demonstrate their technology effectiveness in lab conditions for  consecutive weeks at the laboratory scale (processing c. 24 litres/hour see exact specifications in application materials). Applicants will submit daily inflow and outflow samples from their technology.
This competition stage is open to all contestants, without any pre-assessment or qualification criteria, irrespective of whether or not you submitted to Stage 1 of the Prize. Applicants will use a provided phosphorus standard to run their technology, collect and test samples, then provide evidence supporting their technology.
Read more about Stage 2 of the Prize at www.barleyprize.com. To assist you in building your Stage 2 submission, review the webinar recording about the judging criteria, application process, and logistical details.  Email with any questions.  Deadline to request materials = 15th July 2017.

Phos4Life demonstrates 95% phosphorus recovery to phosphoric acid

Phos4life is the name now used for the process for phosphorus recovery process from sewage sludge incineration ash (SSIA), for which development is led by Zurich Kanton (AWEL) and ZAR (Zentrum für nachhaltige Abfall- und Ressourcennutzung).  A 3.3 million Swiss Franc (CHF) industrial development and pilot program was announced in 2015 (see SCOPE Newsletter n° 119). The process developed together with Técnicas Reunidas and successfully tested under micro-pilot plant operation in Madrid uses sulphuric acid (at 96%) to solubilise phosphorus and other elements in the ash, then hydrochloric acid and solvent extraction to separate phosphorus acid from iron chloride solution and heavy metals. The full scale process is planned to treat 30 000 t/year of SSIA, to produce 11 000 t/year of 74% phosphoric acid (after concentration using steam), 34 000 t/y of 40% iron chloride solution for recycling as coagulant agent in waste water treatment plants and 42 000 t/y of a residue which can be used by the cement industry. Heavy metal contaminants are nearly completely (>85%) transferred to a metal concentrate for metal recycling. The initial test results show the following recovering rates of the total potential in the SSIA: Phosphorus >95% (as phosphoric acid); iron: >90% (as iron-chloride solution). The total net cost for the thermal treatment of the digested and dewatered sewage sludge (DDSS), at 30% dry matter, including the Phos4life-process to recover the above materials out of the SSIA is around 170 CHF/t DDSS after deducting around 60 CHF (55 €) estimated revenues for phosphoric acid and other products. This is 70 CHF/ t DDSS higher than the thermal treatment only of DDSS today, but is lower than the treatment of DDSS before the system change to a single centralized mono-incineration plant for the entire Zurich Kanton.  These initial test results will be presented to stakeholders 6th September 2017, Zurich, Switzerland.
Photo: Phos4Life pilot plant. Further information www.klaerschlamm.zh.ch (in German only) - News in French - To participate on 6th September register via  eo.morf(a)bd.zh.ch


 

Scenarios for sewage works energy and resource recovery

Energy and resource recovery potential are compared in a conventional chemical phosphorus removal waste water treatment plant (WWTP) with anaerobic sludge digestion, an upgraded plant and a new design WWTP. The upgraded plant included adding thermal sludge hydrolysis to increase degradability and so maximise biogas production in anaerobic digestion, and an nitritation/Annnamox process to remove the increased ammonia generated in the anaerobic digester. The new design (Batstone et al.) has very short secondary biological treatment time minimising nitrogen consumption, with Pherodox (A/O) biological P-removal, thermal hydrolysis of sludge to maximise methane production potential, anaerobic sludge digestion, struvite precipitation and nitritation/Annamox. About 29% of influent COD was converted to biogas in the conventional plant, compared to 36% and 34% in the upgraded and new design plants. Energy self-sufficiency was possibly with some influent C/N ratios in the upgraded plant and achieved for all influents in the new design plant.
T. Fernández-Arévalo et al. “Quantitative assessment of energy and resource recovery in wastewater treatment plants based on plant-wide simulations” Water Research 2017 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2017.04.001  and D. Batstone et al. “Platforms for energy and nutrient recovery from domestic wastewater: A review” Chemosphere, 140, 2-11, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.10.021

Overview of feasible technologies for phosphorus recovery in Switzerland

A 63 page report for BAFU, the Swiss Federal Environment Office, identifies and provides a comparison table between 20 different technologies for phosphorus recycling. The technologies were identified as being feasibly available for implementation within the delay fixed by Swiss legislation (see SCOPE Newsletter n°105) which requires phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge and meat and bone meal ash within 10 years. The processes considered include phosphate precipitation from sludge/liquor, acid and thermochemical digestion of sludge and of incineration ashes. 14 criteria and 25 sub-criteria were assessed including potential P-recovery rate, environmental performance (chemical consumption, waste, removal of contaminants), recovered product market and legal constraints (fertiliser authorisation, REACH), compatibility with Swiss infrastructure and legal context, and costs. The overall conclusion is that a number of technologies are available and feasible within the 10 year legal obligation horizon, but that processes must be further assessed for compatibility with specific local conditions. Technologies assessed are: struvite precipitation (Ostara, Struvia, NuReSys, Crystallactor, Airprex and Ekobalans); acid sludge digestion followed by phosphate precipitation (Budenheim, Gifhorn and Stuttgart); thermochemical slag or bio-coal (Kubota, Mephrec, Pyreg and Susteen), P-recovery from ashes (EcoPhos, AshDec, ICL thermal P4 production, LeachPhos and ZAR, Reco-Phos Germany, TetraPhos).
Ernst Basler + Partner for BAFU (Bundesamtes für Umwelt), Switzerland, January 2017 “Beurteilung von Technologien zur Phosphor-Rückgewinnung Gesamtheitliche Beurteilung der Nachhaltigkeit und Realisierbarkeit von P-Rückgewinnungstechnologien im Schweizer Kontext” www.bafu.admin.ch/dam/bafu/fr/dokumente/abfall/externe-studien-berichte/Beurteilung%20von%20Technologien%20zur%20Phosphor-Rueckgewinnung.pdf.download.pdf/EBP-Bericht_P-Technologien.pdf  and summary in German by German Phosphorus Platform DPP www.deutsche-phosphor-plattform.de/bafu-bericht

Nitrogen mineralisation from digestate

Nitrogen transformation to nitrate during 90 days soil aerobic incubation (60% water WHC, 25°C) was compared between urea mineral fertiliser, anaerobically stabilised sewage sludge (sewage works configuration not specified, digestate (input half bovine slurry half maze silage) and compost (input lingo-cellulose residues and organic fraction of municipal waste). The organic materials were dried at 105°C for 24 hours, presumably eliminating biological activity. Materials were added to soil at levels defined to provide the same total nitrogen, equivalent to 16.2 t/ha compost, 6.5 t/ha sewage sludge, 1.9 t/ha digestate and 0.7 t/ha urea. After 90 days, 87% of the urea was converted to nitrate, compared to 86% for digestate, 71% for compost and 66% for sewage sludge. Even after 30 days, the mineralisation of the digestate was not statistically different from that of the urea. The authors conclude that “around 90% of the nitrogen content in the digestate is short acting” and that “digestate could replace traditional mineral fertilisers”.
“Nitrogen mineralization from digestate in comparison to sewage sludge, compost and urea in a laboratory incubated soil experiment”, F. Tambone & F. Adani J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 2017, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jpln.201600241

Yara position on the circular economy and examples of actions

Fertiliser company Yara, which also exploits Europe’s only phosphate rock mine in Finland, has published a 3-page position paper on the circular economy. Around 11 million tons nitrogen (N) and 1 - 1.5 million tons phosphorus (P) are used in mineral fertilisers annually in Europe. Yara “sees the circular economy as an opportunity to improve sustainability performance in our markets, potentially leading to new business avenues”. Yara’s priorities are avoiding waste (food waste and losses of nutrients from fields), industrial symbiosis and closing the nutrient cycle.  Yara is working on a circular approach to nutrients from secondary raw materials, with criteria of guaranteeing food safety, ensuring crop availability of nutrients, and respecting worker and environmental health and safety. Yara’s actions include nutrient analysis and recommendation services to farmers, use of gypsum as a phosphorus trap to reduce field run-off, N-SensorTM precision farming system, recovering phosphorus from mine tailings, industrial symbiosis (use of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, waste energy), and use of pyrite from another company’s mine tailings to help process phosphate rock.
Yara “Our position on – Circular Economy”, February 2017 www.yara.com/doc/247755_PP_CircularEconomy.pdf

Phytase safe and performance-effective in fish feed

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has published an assessment of the safety and efficacy of phytase as a feed additive for fish. The enzyme phytase is today widely used in poultry and pig feed because it improves digestability of phytate, in which molecule is found a significant part of phosphorus in plant products and in particular grains, and which is not accessible to mono-gastric animals. The EFSA Scientific Opinion assesses OPTIPHOS®, a preparation of 6-phytase, produced by a genetically modified strain of Komagataella pastoris (previously Pichia p., DSM 23036) and follows previous EFSA Opinions (2011, 2015) on OPTIPHOS®, assessing safety and efficacy for pig feed and considering the environment, the consumer, the user and the genetic modification. The latest ESFA Opinion concludes, based on studies in trout and salmon, that the product is safe and efficacious for all finfish species.
“Safety and efficacy of OPTIPHOS® (6-phytase) as a feed additive for finfish”, EFSA Scientific Opinion adopted 23rd March 2014 http://dx.doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2017.4763

Review of biochars as fertilisers

A review of over 140 studies of biochars summarises how biochars can impact crop productivity and factors impacting their effectiveness. See also the summary of two 2016 literature review on biochars, Lichun Dai et al. and Fernanda Aller in SCOPE Newsletter n°123. This review notes that biochars can improve soil characteristics by increasing soil pH, by providing a substrate for soil microbial activity (due to biochar porosity), by improving nutrient and water retention and soil carbon content, but underlines that effects are very-much locally specific to soil – crop – biochar interactions. The review notes that most biochars tested to date, derived from wood biomass or crop wastes, have low nutrient content, whereas biochars from manures or sewage sludge will also bring nutrients to soil. Some biochars, particularly from municipal food waste or sewage sludge, may have negative effects on crop response because of high sodium content (increasing soil salinity). Levels of contaminants such as VOCs (volatile organic carbons) or heavy metals will depend on pyrolysis conditions and input materials and should be verified as appropriate.
“Crop response to soils amended with biochar: expected benefits and unintended risks”, R. Subedi et al., Italian Journal of Agronomy, funded by EU 7th FP Marie-Curie programme http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ija.2017.794

DVO “Phosphorus Removal” system makes fertiliser from digestate

DVO, with local onsite engineering company WithersRavenel, have installed the biggest biogas digester in North Carolina at Storms Farm, Bladenboro, treating manure from 29 000 pigs and 444 000 chickens and producing 600 kWh of electricity, now increased to 975 kWh. The project upgraded pig housing to a scraper system, which reduces manure dilution as well as reducing in-stable ammonia emissions, and uses a 3.2 million litre in-ground Two-Stage Mixed Plug Flow™ heated mesophilic digester, designed by DVO. The digestate is then treated in the DVO ‘Phosphorus Recovery’ system, which employs a bio-degradable polymer to bind and remove phosphorus, organic nitrogen and other valuable micro-nutrients from manure slurry, enabling recovery of phosphorus-rich organic solids. These solids containing 90% of the manure phosphorus content and are a stable, stackable, transportable, organic fertiliser product, pathogen-reduced to the point where harmful pathogens such as e-coli and salmonella are often not detected (DVO can add heat treatment/pasteurisation is required). The purified water after flotation has a fraction of the ‘pollution potential’ of raw animal wastes and can be irrigated locally. DVO digesters make up 31 of the 34 American Biogas Council (ABC)’s first Longevity Awards, operating continuously for more than 5 years, and in 7 cases more than 10 years. DVO’s Phosphorus Recovery system was one of the top 10 awards in the US EPA’s Nutrient Recycling Challenge Award for Phosphorus Recovery 2016.
Case study Storms Farm www.dvoinc.com/case-studies/Storms-Hog-Waste.pdf and www.withersravenel.com/case-studies/storms-farm and “Hog farm now recovers 90% of its phosphorus from manure” www.prweb.com/releases/2017/04/prweb14287616.htm


 

Media

Newtrient manure nutrient processing catalogue

Newtrient (www.newtrient.com) is established by the US dairy industry to address manure nutrient sustainable management, with the aim of converting manure from a problem for farmers into an opportunity. Its members represent over half of total US milk production and the totality of US milk quality validation. The company has established an online catalogue of manure nutrient technologies and suppliers, ranging from solid-liquid separation to nutrient and energy recovery. The searchable catalogue covers 180 technologies identified as currently operating on the market and are included in the searchable catalogue, of which 60 specifically address nutrient recovery. After assessment, Newtrient has labelled some of the suppliers/technologies as “Recognised” or “Emerging Technology (identified as promising and heading in the right direction). Information from other technology suppliers to extend and update the catalogue is invited.
Newtrient online manure technology catalogue: www.newtrient.com/Catalog/Technology-Catalog

IFA Nutrient Management Handbook

The 35 page Nutrient Management Handbook published by IFA (International Fertilizers Association), with the World Farmers’ Organisation and GACSA (Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture) summarises why plants need nutrients, what are nutrient use efficiency and effectiveness, nutrient loss pathways, the need for soil fertility, nutrient stewardship and links to sustainability. Plants need seventeen elements: C, H and O; three primary macro-nutrients (N, P, K), secondary macro-nutrients (S, Mg, Ca) and micro-nutrients (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, Mo, Cl and Ni). Nutrient use efficiency (NUE) is defined as the percentage of total applied nutrients (from all sources) which is taken up by the crop. This does not always mean optimal effectiveness, as high can be achieved by depleting soil nutrients or by low crop productivity. Nutrient stewardship is based on the 4 R’s: right source (fertiliser in the right form according to crop needs), right application rate, right time and right place (ensuring that the nutrient stays in the root zone where the plant can access it). Data from nearly 200 studies is cited showing that fertiliser application leads to a c. 10% increase in soil carbon (compared to no-fertiliser controls). Environmental impacts (losses to water and climate change emissions) for different fertiliser types and applications are discussed. A key conclusion is that mineral fertilisers must not be considered in isolation from the use of organic nutrients, crop variety selection, water and soil management.
“Nutrient Management Handbook”, IFA, WFO and GACSA, November 2016 www.fertilizer.org/en/images/Library_Downloads/2016_Nutrient_Management_Handbook.pdf

Cow urine finds a market

Not for nutrient recycling, but distilled cow urine sells for around 1.5 €/litre in India, and can now be found on sale in the UK.  India’s indigenous Bos indicus cows are considered sacred by Hindus. Collection of urine from the country’s retired dairy cows, which cannot be slaughtered or eaten, can contribute to the costs of their keep. The urine is used in religious ceremonies, but also in various traditional medicines. Scientists warn however that it can also transmit diseases such as leptospirosis, arthritis-causing brucellosis or Q-fever. The UK Food Standards Agency states that it is illegal to sell cow urine for human consumption. In India, cow urine is also processed into floor cleaner (Gaunyle, from the Holy Cow Foundation), soaps, disinfectants and elixirs. A difficulty is the urine collection, unlike for milking, it is difficult to predict when cows will urinate.
“Cow Urine Can Sell for More Than Milk in India”, Bloomberg, 18th July 2016 www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-17/cow-urine-can-sell-for-more-than-milk-in-india and “Cow urine sold alongside food in London shops”, BBC, 10th March 2016 www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-35749269

High quality fertilisation

Fertilizers Europe have published a 4-page illustrated fact sheet to support discussion of the EU Fertilisers Regulation. The industry estimates that mineral fertilisers account for 50% of global food production, so are essential to feed the world. The importance of organic fertilisers, indicating that manures account for over 60% of phosphorus inputs to agriculture in Europe. Mineral fertilisers however offer advantages of transport, predictable effect on crop yield and nutrient use efficiency. Only 55g of mineral fertiliser are needed to produce 1 kg of bread. Fertilizers Europe identifies several priority concerns in the Fertilisers Regulation proposal: the need for a proper definition of “mineral fertilisers” (very low organic carbon and phosphorus solubility), cadmium limits, biodegradability requirements for polymers used in slow release fertilisers, and reduced bureaucracy.
“High quality fertilization”, Fertilizers Europe 2017 – see “New Regulation Position Paper” at www.fertilizerseurope.com/index.php?id=531

From urine to ‘Pisner’ beer

Danish Brewery Nørrebro Bryghus has released a beer made from barley fertilised with 54 000 litres of human urine collected from the Roskilde Music Festival, near Copenhagen, Northern Europe’s largest music festival with 100 000 public. The urine was applied sprayed onto fields in Spring 2016, replacing manure or mineral fertiliser, and producing 11 tonnes of malt barley and some 60 000 bottles of ‘Pisner’. The “beercyling” project was supported by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC) to change the image of waste, and because the festival urine was posing issues to the sewage treatment system. Previously, Ghent University had produce “Sewer to Brewer” beer from Roskilde urine, using solar energy to evaporate the urine, then a membrane separation system to produce clean water (this was then used in beer production) and fertiliser nutrients, without needing an electricity supply.
“From Sewer to Brewer”, 27th July 2016 www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/belgian-scientists-turn-urine-sewer-brewer-beer-article-1.2728599  and “Piss beer? Danish brewery makes pilsner from urine barley” 8th May 2017 www.beerstreetjournal.com/norrebro-bryghus-pisner  and BBC 5th May 2017 5/5/17 www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39817245/theres-a-new-beer-made-withhuman-urine-from-a-danish-music-festival

Why organic farmers need recycled phosphorus fertilisers

A 30 minute online tutorial, summarising conclusions of the EU-funded FP7 CORE Organic IMPROVE-P project, presents the importance of phosphorus for organic farming and opportunities offered by recycled phosphate fertilisers. Aspects covered include available technologies, phosphorus plant availability, life cycle assessment, regulations and stakeholder attitudes. About 40% of organically farmed fields in Germany are low in phosphorus. Recycled P fertilisers show better plant nutrient availability than phosphate rock, which is used as in organic farming. Attention needs to be engaged to avoid pollutants such as pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, plastics or heavy metals, but only 25% of interviewed stakeholders considered that the use of recycled fertiliser is negative for the image of organic farming.
Video tutorial, IMPROVE-P, 2017 “Phosphorus recycling for organic agriculture” www.coreorganicplus.org/currently/nyhed/artikel/video-tutorial-phosphorus-recycling-for-organic-agriculture

GWI sludge treatment technology perspective

Global Water Intelligence magazine provides an 8-page overview of developing technologies for energy and resource recovery from sewage sludges. Pyrolysis and thermal hydrolysis processes are presented as having potential to recover energy potential as syngas or hydrogen, with a number of technology suppliers active including Kore Infrastructure, PHG Energy, Metawater, Tsukishima Kikai, Gennifuel, Antaco and AVA-CO2. Struvite phosphorus recovery is presented (e.g. Ostara, NuReSys, CNP) including after prior acid dissolution to increase soluble phosphorus available for recovery. Ecophos and Remondis technologies for phosphorus recovery from sludge ash, and Budenheim for P-recovery from sludge are cited. Other potentially recoverable materials in sewage sludge are cited as plasmids (DNA strands), bio-isoprene (for rubber manufacture) and rare metals.
Global Water Intelligence, January 2017 “Market map. Beating the burn rate for resource and energy recovery from sludge” www.globalwaterintel.com/global-water-intelligence-magazine/18/1/market-map/beating-the-burn-rate-for-resource-and-energy-recovery-from-sludge

Correction Kjerstadius et al. LCA in ESPP eNews n°11

In eNews 11, we presented two Life Cycle Analysis studies by Kjerstadius et al. comparing source separation of domestic wastewater and food waste to current conventional sewage treatment systems, concluding that higher nutrient recovery rates result from the former. The authors underline that their conclusions result from data that only around ¼ of sewage biosolids are currently returned to agriculture in Sweden. In theory all sewage biosolids could be recycled to agriculture, but they note that debate about pollutants in sewage biosolids poses an obstacle to this. The LCA also compares source separation with nutrient recovery installed to conventional sewerage and sewage works without nutrient recovery.
 

Events

Up to date list of events:  www.phosphorusplatform.eu/upcoming-events
  • +++ All Ireland Phosphorus Sustainability workshop and conference Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security
    21 - 23 June 2017, Belfast, Ireland - WebsiteContact - Flyer
    Starts with a 1 day workshop on ‘Irish phosphorus sustainability’ to establish the need for an Irish nutrient platform, and First conference of the Ireland EPA funded project "Phosphorus from wastewater: Novel technologies for advanced treatment and reuse".
  • The Raw Materials Conference 2017 - No energy transition without raw materials
    23 June 2017
    , The Hague, Netherlands - Contact
    Organised by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • International conference Innovative solutions for sustainable management of nitrogen
    26 - 28 June 2017
    , Aarhus, Denmark - Website
  • +++ LIFE-Trialkyl research project mid term conference
    27 June 2017, Milan, Italy - Registration - Website
    The project and workshop focus on sustainable phosphorus chemistry, including a pilot plant visit
  • +++ LIFE TL-BIOFER technical workshop nitrogen and phosphorus removal from wastewater
    28 June 2017, Cordoba, Spain - Email - Website
    Short presentations from European Projects related to Water and Microalgae are welcome.
  • International Fertiliser Society (IFS) Technical Conference 2017
    29 - 30 June 2017
    , Geological Society, London, United Kingdom - Website
  • PBSi 2017 - International Conference On Phosphorus, Boron and Silicon
    3 - 5 July 2017
    , Paris, France - Website
  • +++ The BIG Phosphorus Conference and Exhibition – Removal & Recovery
    4 - 5 July 2017, Manchester United Football Stadium, United Kingdom - Website
    The event is supported by the UKWIR National Phosphorus Trials steering group and the National Chemical Investigation Programme (CIP) Phosphorus Steering Group
  • +++ SMART-Plant research project launch
    11 - 13 July 2017, Severn Trent Water, Coventry, United Kingdom - Website
    Launch meeting of the EU funded SMART-Plant research project
  • N8 AgriFood Food Production for the Future conference
    11 - 13 July 2017,
    Durham, United Kingdom - Website
  • 2nd IWA Resource Recovery conference
    5 - 9 August 2017
    , New York, USA - Website - Email
    2nd International Water Association conference on resource recovery from wastewater
  • SERA-17 Meeting 2017
    15 - 17 August 2017
    , Ohio, USA - Website
    Focus on developing and promoting innovative solutions to minimize phosphorus losses from agriculture
  • Swiss event Phosphorus: how to proceed (French/German)
    30 August 2017
    , Bern, Switzerland - Website French - Website German
    Meeting by Swiss Federal Agriculture and Environment offices to present revised Swiss Fertiliser Regulation requirements.
  • 17th International RAMIRAN conference 'Sustainable utilization of manures and residue resources in agriculture'
    4 - 6 September 2017
    , Wexford, Ireland - Website - Email
    RAMIRAN (Recycling of Agricultural, Municipal and Industrial Residues in Agriculture Network) is a research and expertise network dealing with environmental issues relating to the use of livestock manure and other organic residues in agriculture.
  • +++ Swiss information event P-Mining Project Canton Zurich
    6 September 2017, Zurich, Switzerland - Email - Information French - Information German
    Results from the micro-pilot phase will be presented and information about the actual work and an outlook will be provided
  • +++ ESPP meeting EU Fertiliser Regulation and STRUBIAS
    5 September 2017, Brussels, Belgium - Registration
    Stakeholder meeting on EU Fertiliser Regulation developments and biochar, struvite and ash-products criteria
  • +++ German Phosphorus Platform (DPP) FORUM 2017 (in German)
    12 September 2017, Berlin, Germany - Website
    National conference of the German Phosphorus Platform with a focus on how to get phosphorus recycling to the market
  • IFDC and IFA workshop Phosphate Fertilizer Production Technology
    2 - 6 October 2017
    , Berlin, Germany - Website
  • European Waste Water Management Conference 2017
    3 - 4 October 2017
    , Leeds, United Kingdom - Website
  • NORDIWA - Nordic Waste Water Conference
    10 - 12 October 2017
    , Aarhus, Denmark - Website 
    Potential phosphorus session is planned, check for an update
  • +++ European Nutrient event
    18 - 19 October 2017, Basel, Switzerland - Website - Programme - Registration
    Nutrient event Nutrient recycling R&D projects and technologies meeting including technology fair
    18 Oct: FHNW, DPP and Phos4You meeting "Sludge and phosphorus recycling in Switzerland and beyond (German, English translation)
    19 Oct: ESPP and Phos4You meeting EU (H2020, LIFE, InterReg) and national funded R&D projects on nutrient recycling (English)
  • Conference Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future
    22 - 25 October 2017
    , Tampa, Florida, USA - Website
  • World Resources Forum 2017 - Accelerating the resource revolution
    24 - 25 October 2017
    , Geneva, Switzerland - Website
  • EU Raw Materials Week 2017
    6 - 10 November 2017
    , Brussels, Belgium - Website - Email
    Organized by the European Commission, DG Growth, with side events organized by other organizations. You can add you event by email. See the website for an up to date event list. Nutrient relevant events are:
    - 7 Nov.: EU critical raw materials event
    - 8 Nov.: 5th annual high level conference of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on raw materials
    - 9 Nov.: Horizon 2020: societal challenge 5 infoday & and brokerage event
  • Sustainable Food and Beverage Conference 2017
    7 November 2017
    , Coventry, United Kingdom - Website
  • European Biosolids & Organic Resources Conference & Exhibition
    20 - 21 November 2017, Leeds, United Kingdom - Website
    Conference for the biosolids and biowaste industries
  • Conference Phosphorus a critical resource with a future (in German)
    22-23 November 2017, Stuttgart, Germany - Website
  • +++ ManuREsource 2017 - International conference on manure management and valorisation
    27 - 28 November 2017, Eindhoven, Netherlands - Website - Email
    In cooperation with the Dutch Nutrient Platform. A facultative field trip with exclusive site visits to local manure processing installations will be organised on 29 November 2017.
  • 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security and Sustainability
    3 - 6 December 2017
    , Cape Town, South Africa - Website
  • Course Phosphorus Removal and Tertiary Treatment Processes
    7 December 2017
    , Wakefield, United Kingdom - Website
    This course will review the design and operation of the main markets available for N and P removal technologies.
  • ECO-BIO 2018 conference
    4 - 7 March 2018
    , Dublin - Ireland - Website
    About progress and steps to make the biobased economy a reality
  • Phosphates 2018
    12 - 14 March 2018,
    Marrakesh, Morocco - Website
    Gathering for decision-makers representing the fertilizer, feed and industrial phosphates industries.
  • IFAT trade fair for sewage - waste – resources
    14 - 18 May 2018
    , Munchen, Germany - Website
 

ESPP Members

Up to date list of members:  www.phosphorusplatform.eu/members

Copyright © 2017 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

 

The European Commission (JRC) has circulated first draft “nutrient recovery rules” (outline for possible CMC – Component Material Category – criteria under the revised EU Fertilisers Regulation) for struvite (widened to recovered phosphate salts), biochars and pyrolysis products and ashes - STRUBIAS. The report and annexes include a detailed assessment explaining these proposed requirements. It is open to comment and can be consulted on the ESPP website www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory . Please note that the Commission will only accept comments submitted by members of the STRUBIAS Expert Group, which includes ESPP, DPP (German Phosphorus Platform), ECN, EBA, EFPRA, Suez, Vienna City, Italpollina and Fertilisers Europe, as well as Member State representatives. If you have comments, please therefore send to ESPP by end July (), because ESPP must submit consolidated comments in August. This will be discussed at ESPP’s stakeholder meeting with the European Commission on 5th September.

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

Please subscribe www.phosphorusplatform.eu/Subscribe 
Link to www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews11
Download as PDF

 
New ESPP members
EasyMining
SYSTEMIC
Policy
Update ENRD thematic group Resource Efficient Rural Economy
EU public consultation on pharmaceuticals in the environment
ESPP submission to EU CAP consultation
HELCOM Group on Sustainable Agricultural Practices
Innovation and implementation
Gasum Finland to develop nutrient recovery from sewage sludge digestate
US inter-State research project into biowaste and residuals recycling
Technical progress with JDC Phosphate “Improved Hard Process”
Circular Economy
Circular economy reference paper
Report for CEFIC on circular economy for chemicals
Media, conferences and research
Toilet Accelerator in World Changing Ideas Awards
CRU Phosphates 2017
Misleading Life Cycle Analysis
Events
ESPP Members
 

Sustainable Food Summit (SFS Europe), 1-2 June, Amsterdam
SFS brings together key decision-makers from food manufacturers, ingredient companies, science, NGOs to discuss updates on sustainable ingredients, social & customer impacts, and marketing best-practices. On 1-2 June in Amsterdam, then São Paulo 18-20 September and  Singapore 28-29 November. To receive the detailed programme: www.sustainablefoodssummit.com/contactus.htm
 
ENRD seminar Opportunities and future perspectives for Resource Efficiency in Rural Areas, 13 June 2017, Brussels, Belgium
This one day seminar aims to build on the activities and findings of the Thematic Group on Resource Efficient Rural Economy of the European Commission European Network for Rural Development (ENRD). It will discuss the key factors enabling the effective pursuit of the resource efficient use and management of soils and water through the Rural Development Programmes and the implications for rural development policy design and delivery to 2020 and beyond. The day will include a mixture of presentations, discussions, workshops and practical examples. These are based on the learning and good practices highlighted by the ENRD Thematic Group. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in English, French and German in the plenary sessions. Registration: www.enrd.ec.europa.eu/news-events/events/enrd-seminar-resource-efficiency_en

BIG Phosphorus removal and recovery conference, 4-5 July, Manchester United Football Stadium
The BIG Phosphorus removal and recovery conference will discuss P-removal down to low consents, catchment permitting, new phosphorus recovery technologies, biosolids recycling to land, with water utilities, technology suppliers and R&D experts from across Europe. ESPP will present developments in European policies on biosolids, nutrient recycling legislation and standards. More information: www.aquaenviro.co.uk/events/conferences/big-phosphorus-conference
 

New ESPP members

EasyMining

EasyMining Sweden delivers processes for phosphorus extraction from various raw materials, such as sewage sludge incineration ash, mining residues and apatite, so creating circular flows of phosphorus. Ash2®Phos enables phosphorus recovery from ash of incinerated sewage sludge which can contain 7-10% P (phosphorus) and 5 – 10% Fe or Al (iron and/or aluminium). The Ash2®Phos process uses a wet chemical process to recover the phosphorus in the form of clean commercial products: mono/di-ammonium phosphates (fertiliser) or mono/di-calcium phosphates (feed phosphates). The process also recovers aluminium and iron in the form of precipitation chemicals to be recycled back to sewage works for phosphorus precipitation. Unwanted heavy metals in the ash are separated for disposal. Easy Mining’s CleanMAP® process enables energy efficient production of ammonium phosphates (MAP or DAP, of technical grade) using phosphoric acid streams of high or low concentrations, without requiring steam for acid concentration. Easymining believes that ESPP can contribute to developing phosphorus recycling through information, monitoring and contacts with decision makers.
See for more information www.easymining.se

 

SYSTEMIC

New ESPP Member is the EU Horizon 2020 project SYSTEMIC: Systemic large scale eco-innovation to advance circular economy and mineral recovery from organic waste in Europe. The project is a public-private partnership, 2017-2021, to build operational technologies and business models to recover phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium as products corresponding to fertiliser market requirements from digestates, at sites treating different combinations of animal manure, sewage sludge, food waste and other organic wastes. The project will include five demonstration-scale nutrient recovery installations, operating in combination with large anaerobic digesters and field testing of the recovered nutrient fertiliser products to demonstrate agronomic value, business case and environmental benefits. The five demonstrations plants and technology will be developed at Groot Zevert (Netherlands), AMPower (Belgium), Acqua&Sole (Italie), GNS (Germany), RIKA biofuels (United Kingdom), then adapted and transferred to AMPower (Belgium), Group op de Beeck (Belgium), Biovakka (Finland) and Acqua e Sol (Lombardy). Nutrients will be recovered by ammonia stripping (product ammonium sulphate), reverse osmosis (N and NK concentrates), phosphate extraction and precipitation (calcium phosphate), in organic digestate residuals, alongside production of purified irrigation water and biogas. The project launch meeting will take place 13-14 June, Wageningen, including a visit of the Groot Zevert demonstration plant.
SYSTEMIC partners are: Alterra Wageningen NL: Wageningen Environmental Research NL (lead), AM Power BE, Group Of de Beeck BE, Groot-Zevert Vergisting NL, Biovakka FI, AcquaSole IT, RIKA Biofuels UK, GNS DE, A-Farmers Ltd FI, ICL Fertilizers Europe NL, Nijhuis Water Technology NL, Proman Management AU, Ghent University BE, Milano University IT, Waterschap Rijn en Ijssel NL, Zuidelijke Land- en Tuinbouworganisatie NL, VCM BE, Biogas-E BE, European Biogas Association BE, RISE BE. Website www.systemicproject.eu (underway). Note that this project SYSTEMIC is not related to the circular economy consultancy and investment enterprise SYSTEMIQ launched 2016 by Jeremy Oppenheim, Martin Stuchtey, Janez Potočnik et al. www.systemiq.earth


 

Policy

Update ENRD thematic group Resource Efficient Rural Economy

ESPP joined the fourth and last working meeting of the Resource Efficient Rural Economy thematic group of the European Commission’s European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), 3–5 May, Bologna, Italy. The meeting included a field trip to  two projects: agriculture without tillage to enhance nutrient use and agricultural water reuse from a municipal wastewater treatment plant. ENRD is now finalising the final report and the outcomes will be presented during the final seminar Opportunities and future perspectives for Resource Efficiency in Rural Areas, 13 June, Brussels. ESPP made suggestions for the Rural Development Programme (RDP) to fund mechanisms to support recycling and more efficient use of nutrients, carbon and water. There are large opportunities for farmers and the rural economy to increase income, create jobs and develop farms and rural regions. ESPP recommends to include a stronger focus on nutrients in the existing set of measures, to be integrated with the energy and climate measures. There is a need to broaden the scope of measures to include losses in the whole rural food chain including crop production, livestock production and food processing. The RDP should also support the use of fertilisers based on recycled materials and collaboration of farmers and rural business in the nutrient circular economy.
Resource Efficient Rural Economy thematic group of the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/thematic-work/greening-rural-economy/resource-efficiency_en 4th ENRD meeting presentations and report https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/news-events/events/4th-meeting-thematic-group-resource-efficient-rural-economy_en Final ENRD thematic group seminar Opportunities and future perspectives for Resource Efficiency in Rural Areas, 13 June, Brussels www.enrd.ec.europa.eu/news-events/events/enrd-seminar-resource-efficiency_en

EU public consultation on pharmaceuticals in the environment

The European Commission has published a proposed ‘roadmap’ for a ‘Strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment’, open for public comment to 26th May 2017. The three page document specifies the relevant EU regulatory framework, in particular pharmacovigilance, and proposes to address particularly pharmaceuticals in water but also pharmaceuticals in soil as specified by pharmacovigilance. The Commission estimates that EU pharmaceutical consumption doubled from 1990 to 2000 and doubled again from 2000 to 2012. The ‘roadmap’ proposes as main objectives to identify knowledge gaps and solution to fill these, and to protect the environment whilst safeguarding access to effective and appropriate pharmaceutical treatments for humans and animals. Uncertainty about levels of pharmaceuticals in the environment and need for risk assessment are underlined. ESPP has submitted comments to the EU to underline the importance of developing better knowledge concerning presence of pharmaceuticals in sewage biosolids and manures, fate and impact on soils and for agriculture, and removal of pharmaceuticals in sewage and manure treatments (e.g. sewage works, anaerobic digestion, composting). Among these topics there are important questions to maintaining recycling of sewage biosolids and manures to agriculture (safety, farmer and public confidence).
EU public consultation on strategy on pharmaceuticals in the environment, open to 26th May 2017 https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2017-2210630_en Pharmacovigilance http://ec.europa.eu/health/human-use/pharmacovigilance_en

ESPP submission to EU CAP consultation

ESPP has submitted comments to the EU public consultation on the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy). ESPP underlines the importance of phosphorus because of global food security and the environmental challenge of eutrophication, and underlines the importance of supporting phosphorus use efficiency and recycling in agriculture, in synergy with nitrogen management and return of organic carbon to soil.  ESPP suggests to include in the CAP criteria and funding for closing nutrient cycles and for nutrient recycling, taking into account quality and safety, and including integration of nutrient management into farm, crop and food product sustainability criteria. Reference is made to the work of ENRD (European Network for Rural Development) working group on Resource Efficiency (underway) and the conclusions of the EIP-AGRI Focus Group 19 on “Recycled Nutrients” (See SCOPE Newsletter n°124).
EU public consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy, to 2nd May 2017 https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/consultations/cap-modernising/2017_en  ESPP’s submission www.phosphorusplatform.eu/images/download/ESPP-input-CAP-consultation-1-5-17.pdf

HELCOM Group on Sustainable Agricultural Practices

This HELCOM Group’s fourth meeting, 3-4 April 2017, decided in particular how to take forward the HELCOM commitment to define guidelines/recommendations for national manure standards (now expected to be achieved by 2019), discussed developments in national nutrient accounting, nutrient losses from agriculture, implementation of the EU BAT BREF for intensive rearing of pigs and poultry, and addressed implementation of the nutrient recycling actions defined in the HELCOM Recommendation Rec 38-1 “Sewage sludge handling”, 1st March 2017 (see ESPP eNews n°9). The Group is producing an overview of national nutrient recycling policies in Baltic countries and (with the HELCOM PRESSURE Group) of national policies on reuse of phosphorus in sewage sludges (by September 2017). The Group agreed on the “need of clear definition for nutrient recycling” and to start by “elaboration of strategy and definitions”, The Group also decided to send a questionnaire to HELCOM countries to collect data on nutrient flows and potentials for reuse (by October 2017). Lead countries for these actions are Germany and Finland.
HELCOM Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission “Outcome of the Fourth Meeting of the Group on Sustainable Agricultural Practices (AGRI 4-2017)”, 3-4 April 2017 https://portal.helcom.fi/meetings/AGRI%204-2017-419/MeetingDocuments/Outcome%20of%20AGRI%204-2017.pdf
 

Innovation and implementation

Gasum Finland to develop nutrient recovery from sewage sludge digestate

Finland’s leading biogas plant operator, Gasum, which processed over 260 000 tonnes of biowastes in 2016, has engaged the development of a system to recover nitrogen and phosphorus from the digestate and dewatering liquor produced at sewage sludge anaerobic digestion plant. In 2016, nitrogen stripping and recovery technology proven at Gasum Vehmaa biogas plant was transferred to the Turku sewage sludge biogas plant, showing that 500 kgN/day could be recovered as ammonium water. Gasum is investing in even more efficient technology to achieve over 90 % nitrogen recovery at Turku biogas plant. Dewatered digestate containing phosphorus, nitrogen and organic carbon is utilised as valuable organic fertiliser and soil improver. In addition, Gasum is demonstrating a pyrolysis process at Turku biogas plant to process the dewatered digestate into biochar.
“Gasum invests in further refining of recycled nutrients” 14/2/2017 www.gasum.com/en/About-gasum/for-the-media/News/2017/gasum-invests-in-further-refining-of-recycled-nutrients “Daily total of 500 kg of nitrogen recovered from biogas plant reject water of sewage sludge origin” 13/9/2016 www.gasum.com/en/About-gasum/for-the-media/News/2016/Daily-total-of-500-kg-of-nitrogen-recovered-from-biogas-plant-reject-water-of-sewage-sludge-origin “Gasum develops safe nutrient recovering technique from wastewater” BSAG News 17/3/2017 www.bsas.fi

US inter-State research project into biowaste and residuals recycling

The NIMSS (National Information Management and Support System) project W3170 “Beneficial Reuse of Residuals and Reclaimed Water: Impact on Soil Ecosystem and Human Health”, 2014-2019, brings together researchers from 23 US States. Residuals addressed include food wastes, sewage biosolids, manures, agricultural by-products and industrial sludges. The project addresses bioavailability of metal contaminants, trace organic chemical contaminants (TOrCs, such as personal care products, estrogenic compounds, pharmaceuticals), antibiotic resistance, bioavailability of nutrients – leaching and atmospheric nitrogen losses, soil carbon, soil health and climate change, urban soil restoration and life cycle analysis. Objective outcomes include: Informing policy makers on optimizing the use of residuals for cost-effective soil restoration - including for contaminated soils; recommendations for managing nitrogen and phosphorus; and providing the needed environmental fate data (leaching, persistence, and plant uptake) on the trace organics and inorganics in organic residuals.
W3170: Beneficial Reuse of Residuals and Reclaimed Water: Impact on Soil Ecosystem and Human Health (formerly W2170) www.nimss.org/projects/15936

Technical progress with JDC Phosphate “Improved Hard Process”

The CRU “Phosphates 2017” conference included a visit to JDC Phosphate’s “Improved Hard Process” (IHP) installation, Fort Meade, Florida. David Blake of JDC presented current progress in the ongoing development of the IHP, which has now been piloted and tried for several decades. The process uses petcoke (cheap coke made from oil refinery residue) to produce highly concentrated phosphoric acid from normal or low-grade phosphate rock. Rock and petcoke are mixed and heated in a rotary ported kiln (specific kiln with ports to blow in liquid or gaseous fuels, air, etc.) which leads to local reduction and volatilisation of elemental phosphorus. This oxidises in the gas phase above the bed, releasing energy which returns to the process, and yielding P2O5 which is absorbed in a hydrating tower to give phosphoric acid. This is different from a phosphorus furnace process, such as Thermphos operated until 2012 in the Netherlands, where elemental phosphorus is produced (not re-oxidised), so requiring high electrical energy input.  Elemental phosphorus (white phosphorus) has high-value applications in the chemicals industry, see SCOPE Newsletter n°123. The phosphoric acid from the IHP is concentrated and relatively pure, without the typical sulphates, aluminium, iron, magnesium and calcium contents of Merchant Grade Acid, but does contain fluoride and volatile heavy metals. The remaining calcium silicate phase from the IHP can be used as agglomerate for road construction, asphalt filler or in concrete. After solving problems with bed melting (by silica addition) and dust formation, JDC Phosphate now announces that it is modifying the IHP into two stages: a first kiln calcining the rock and driving out much of the cadmium, lead, zinc, and arsenic; and a second kiln performing the actual phosphate reduction/oxidation followed by hydration and absorption. This should leave fluoride as the only major contaminant in the phosphoric acid produced. JDC’s current kiln facility has an annual capacity of 10 000 metric tonnes P2O5/year. They are planning to build a scaled-down two-kiln pilot to demonstrate and optimise operation in continuous mode and to test different phosphate rock types as inputs.
Article provided by Willem Schipper and North America Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance. JDC website www.jdcphosphate.org and www.jdcphosphate.org/a-step-in-a-better-direction/improved-hard-process-description


 

Circular Economy

Circular economy reference paper

As part of the EU Circular Impacts project, CEPS has published a 40-page review paper on circular economy definitions, processes and impacts. Twelve definitions of “circular economy” are summarised. Studies of circular economy environmental and economic impacts are reviewed. Relevance of renewable energies is discussed. The paper concludes that variation in impact analysis methodologies makes comparison difficult and that assessment of societal impacts other than job creation is lacking, e.g. indirect effects on value chains, consumption patterns, training needs and inequalities.
“The Circular Economy. A review of definitions, processes and impacts”, V. Rizos, K. Tuokko, A. Behrens, CEPS Research Reports n° 2017/08, April 2017 www.ceps-ech.eu/publication/circular-economy-review-definitions-processes-and-impacts 

Report for CEFIC on circular economy for chemicals

CEFIC, the European chemical industries federation, has published a report by Accenture on how the chemical industry can integrate the circular economy. The report identifies two aspects to maximise chemical utility: reusing and recycling chemical molecules and enabling products that are more durable, suitable for sharing or energy efficient. Five pathways for improving circularity of chemicals are identified: substituting fossil raw materials by renewables; reuse of end product; mechanical materials recycling; chemical recycling (chemical reprocessing of materials) and finally energy recovery or carbon utilisation. Accenture estimate that 60% of molecules supplied by the chemicals industry could be re-circulated by one of these five pathways, but underlines that this assumes availability of cheap energy. An example of potential molecule recycling is phosphorus from sewage sludge. The report identifies needs to move forward including “design to reuse” partnerships with suppliers, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and end-customers; reverse logistics and processing partnerships; RD into chemical recycling and into catalysis for hydrocarbon re-synthesis. The report estimates that a total volume of 66 million tonnes/year could be re-circulated, requiring an investment of 160-280 billion Euros and net energy consumption of 21 Mtoe (equivalent to 19 000 offshore wind turbines).
“Circular economy: new Accenture study shows opportunities for EU chemicals”, CEFIC 16th March 2017 “Taking the European chemical industry into the Circular Economy” www.accenture.com/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-45/Accenture-CEFIC-Report-Exec-Summary.pdf
 

Media, conferences and research

Toilet Accelerator in World Changing Ideas Awards

Fast Company magazine has named the Toilet Board Coalition’s “Toilet Accelerator’ project as a finalist in its first World Changing Ideas Awards (24 overall finalists from 1200 entries). The Toilet Board Coalition’s project (see ESPP eNews n°6) works with SMEs and multinationals to develop a business-led approach to demonstrate the economic and social advantages of bringing sustainable sanitation to the 2.4 billion people worldwide who do not today have sanitation. Other awarded ideas include the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Programme for a healthy diet, World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator, a meatless burger that bleeds, Biovessel chic indoor composter for food wastes, vertical hop farming, Hop Compost for city restaurants, Hong Kong project for urban burials.
“The Toilet Board Coalition Toilet Accelerator selected by Fast Company 2017 World Changing Ideas Awards” www.medium.com/@TheToiletBoard/the-toilet-board-coalitions-toilet-accelerator-selected-4a597d3a0957 and Fast Company 20/3/2017 www.fastcompany.com/3068873/world-changing-ideas-2017-winners

CRU Phosphates 2017

CRU’s Phosphates 2017 conference, Tampa, March 2017, brought together over 400 delegates from over the world. With a strong technical focus, while maintaining emphasis on world markets for rock, fertilizers, white phosphorus, industrial, food and feed phosphates, this remains one of the most significant industry conferences for phosphate. Highlights included an elaborate review of OCP’s measures to achieve a more sustainable operation, the Chinese phosphate, purified acid and white phosphorus market, outlook for feed phosphates, the Florida view on mining and acid production from Mosaic, fertilizer finishing, gypsum stack tailings management, and the extraction of various other elements from phosphate. Also, the various possibilities to improve MGA yield by using various permutations of DH and HH processes was highlighted by various speakers. In addition, CRU provided an overview of the most relevant markets, price trends, and new entries. Next year, CRU’s Phosphates 2018 conference will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco 12-14 March 2018. This year’s conference tour visited JDC Phosphate’s “Improved Hard Process” installation, see specific article above.
CRU Phosphates Conference website www.events.crugroup.com/phosphates

Misleading Life Cycle Analysis

Two papers by Kjerstadius (Lund University) and others present Life Cycle Analysis type comparisons between source separation collection of domestic wastewater and food waste by vacuum piping systems and a conventional urban system (centralised sewage treatment, separate collection of household by trucks).  The first study (fig. 4) suggest that phosphorus recycling to agriculture would be around three times higher with the source-separation system. The second study states that “roughly 17-23 times more phosphorus can be recovered as bio-fertiliser”. In the first study, this difference is stated to be “mainly due to the recovery of nutrients as struvite or ammonium sulphate in the source separation system” (whereas nutrient recovery was assumed not installed in the ‘conventional’ system).  Presumably, the results are also based on the assumption that a significant part of the phosphorus in sewage sludge in the conventional system is not recycled to agriculture, whereas it is indicated that 75% goes to “soil improver” and 25% to “soil storage and agriculture” – so in fact nearly all the phosphorus is potentially recycled as an agricultural nutrient input. Note that these ESPP comments concern only the treatment of phosphorus in these studies, not to nitrogen which is significantly ‘lost’ to the atmosphere in conventional sewage treatment. These study conclusions demonstrate how the results of an LCA depend strongly on the definition and boundaries of the systems compared.
(1) “Carbon footprint of urban source separation for nutrient recovery”, H. Kjerstadius et al., J. Environmental Management 197 (2017) 250e257 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.03.094 (2) “Potential for nutrient recovery and biogas production from blackwater, food waste and greywater in urban source control systems”, H. Kjerstadius et al., Environmental Technology, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593330.2015.1007089
 

Events

Up to date list of events:  www.phosphorusplatform.eu/upcoming-events
 
  • International interdisciplinary conference on land use and water quality (LuWQ2017)
    29 May - 1 June 2017
    , Den Haag, Netherlands - Website
  • R3Water final conference
    30 May 2017
    , Brussels, Belgium - Website 
    With a focus on "Water in the circular economy – innovations for urban water treatment"
  • Sustainable Foods Summit 2017
    1 - 2 June 2017
    , Amsterdam, Netherlands - Website
  • World Circular Economy Forum 2017
    5 - 6 June 2017
    , Helsinki, Finland - Website
  • WEF Nutrient Symposium 2017
    12 - 14 June 2017
    , Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA - Website
  • Kick-off meeting SYSTEMIC EU research project
    13 - 14 June 2017
    , Wageningen, The Netherlands - Registration
    Start meeting of this project focussing on largescale demonstration projects for recovery of nutrients from manure and sewage sludge
  • ENRD seminar Opportunities and future perspectives for Resource Efficiency in Rural Areas
    13 June 2017
    , Brussels, Belgium - Registration
    Final seminar of the Thematic Group Resource Efficiency of the European Commission European Network for Rural Development (ENRD)
  • All Ireland Phosphorus Sustainability workshop and conference Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security
    21 - 23 June 2017
    , Belfast, Ireland - WebsiteContact - Flyer
    Starts with a 1 day workshop on ‘Irish phosphorus sustainability’ to establish the need for an Irish nutrient platform, and First conference of the Ireland EPA funded project "Phosphorus from wastewater: Novel technologies for advanced treatment and reuse".
  • The Raw Materials Conference 2017 - No energy transition without raw materials
    23 June 2017, The Hague, Netherlands - Contact
    Organised by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • International conference Innovative solutions for sustainable management of nitrogen
    26 - 28 June 2017
    , Aarhus, Denmark - Website
  • International Fertiliser Society (IFS) Technical Conference 2017
    29 - 30 June 2017
    , Geological Society, London, United Kingdom - Website
  • PBSi 2017 - International Conference On Phosphorus, Boron and Silicon
    3 - 5 July 2017
    , Paris, France - Website
  • The BIG Phosphorus Conference and Exhibition – Removal & Recovery
    4 - 5 July 2017
    , Manchester United Football Stadium, United Kingdom - Website
    The event is supported by the UKWIR National Phosphorus Trials steering group and the National Chemical Investigation Programme (CIP) Phosphorus Steering Group
  • SMART-Plant research project launch
    11 - 13 July 2017
    , Severn Trent Water, Coventry, United Kingdom - Website
    Launch meeting of the EU funded SMART-Plant research project
  • N8 AgriFood Food Production for the Future conference
    11 - 13 July 2017,
    Durham, United Kingdom - Website
  • 2nd IWA Resource Recovery conference
    5 - 9 August 2017
    , New York, USA - Website - Email
    2nd International Water Association conference on resource recovery from wastewater
  • 17th International RAMIRAN conference 'Sustainable utilization of manures and residue resources in agriculture'
    4 - 6 September 2017
    , Wexford, Ireland - Website - Email
    RAMIRAN (Recycling of Agricultural, Municipal and Industrial Residues in Agriculture Network) is a research and expertise network dealing with environmental issues relating to the use of livestock manure and other organic residues in agriculture.
  • ESPP meeting EU Fertiliser Regulation and STRUBIAS
    5 September 2017
    , Brussels, Belgium - Registration
    Stakeholder meeting on EU Fertiliser Regulation developments and biochar, struvite and ash-products criteria
  • DPP-FORUM 2017 (in German)
    12 September 2017
    , Berlin, Germany - Website
    National conference of the German Phosphorus Platform with a focus on how to get P-recycling to the market
  • European Waste Water Management Conference 2017
    3 - 4 October 2017
    , Leeds, United Kingdom - Website
  • IFDC and IFA workshop Phosphate Fertilizer Production Technology
    5 - 9 October 2017
    , Berlin, Germany - Website
  • NORDIWA - Nordic Waste Water Conference
    10 - 12 October 2017
    , Aarhus, Denmark - Website 
    Potential phosphorus session is planned, check for an update
  • Nutrient recycling R&D projects and technologies meeting and technology fair
    18 - 19 October 2017
    , Basel, Switzerland - Registration
    18 Oct: FHNW, DPP and Phos4You meeting "Sludge and phosphorus recycling in Switzerland and beyond (German, English translation)
    19 Oct: ESPP and Phos4You meeting EU (H2020, LIFE, InterReg) and national funded R&D projects on nutrient recycling (English, German translation)
  • Conference Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future
    22 - 25 October 2017
    , Tampa, Florida, USA - Website
  • World Resources Forum 2017 - Accelerating the resource revolution
    24 - 25 October 2017
    , Geneva, Switzerland - Website
  • EU Raw Materials Week 2017
    6 - 10 November 2017
    , Brussels, Belgium - Website - Email
    Organized by the European Commission, DG Growth, with side events organized by other organizations. You can add you event by email. See the website for an up to date event list. Nutrient relevant events are:
    - 7 Nov.: EU critical raw materials event
    - 8 Nov.: 5th annual high level conference of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on raw materials
    - 9 Nov.: Horizon 2020: societal challenge 5 infoday & and brokerage event
  • European Biosolids & Organic Resources Conference & Exhibition
    20 - 21 November 2017
    , Leeds, United Kingdom - Website
    Conference for the biosolids and biowaste industries
  • Conference Phosphorus a critical resource with a future (in German)
    22-23 November 2017
    , Stuttgart, Germany - Website
  • ManuREsource 2017 - International conference on manure management and valorisation
    27 - 28 November 2017
    , Eindhoven, Netherlands - Website - Email
    In cooperation with the Dutch Nutrient Platform. A facultative field trip with exclusive site visits to local manure processing installations will be organised on 29 November 2017.
  • 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security and Sustainability
    3 - 6 December 2017
    , Cape Town, South Africa - Website
  • Course Phosphorus Removal and Tertiary Treatment Processes
    7 December 2017
    , Wakefield, United Kingdom - Website
    This course will review the design and operation of the main markets available for N and P removal technologies.
  • Phosphates 2018
    12 - 14 March 2018,
    Marrakesh, Morocco - Website
    Gathering for decision-makers representing the fertilizer, feed and industrial phosphates industries.
  • IFAT trade fair for sewage - waste – resources
    14 - 18 October 2018
    , Munchen, Germany - Website
 

ESPP Members

Up to date list of members:  www.phosphorusplatform.eu/members


 
Copyright © 2017 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

ESPP has submitted comments to the EU public consultation on pharmaceuticals in the environment. ESPP underlines the importance of developing better knowledge concerning presence of pharmaceuticals in sewage biosolids and manures, fate and impact on soils and for agriculture, and removal of pharmaceuticals in sewage and manure treatments (e.g. sewage works, anaerobic digestion, composting). Among these topics there are important questions to maintaining recycling of sewage biosolids and manures to agriculture (safety, farmer and public confidence).

The European Commission has published a proposed ‘roadmap’ for a ‘Strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment’, open for public comment to 26th May 2017. The three page document specifies the relevant EU regulatory framework, in particular pharmacovigilance, and proposes to address particularly pharmaceuticals in water but also pharmaceuticals in soil as specified by pharmacovigilance. The Commission estimates that EU pharmaceutical consumption doubled from 1990 to 2000 and doubled again from 2000 to 2012. The ‘roadmap’ proposes as main objectives to identify knowledge gaps and solution to fill these, and to protect the environment whilst safeguarding access to effective and appropriate pharmaceutical treatments for humans and animals. Uncertainty about levels of pharmaceuticals in the environment and need for risk assessment are underlined. 

ESPP has submitted comments to the EU public consultation on the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy). ESPP underlines the importance of phosphorus because of global food security and the environmental challenge of eutrophication, and underlines the importance of supporting phosphorus use efficiency and recycling in agriculture, in synergy with nitrogen management and return of organic carbon to soil.  ESPP suggests to include in the CAP criteria and funding for closing nutrient cycles and for nutrient recycling, taking into account quality and safety, and including integration of nutrient management into farm, crop and food product sustainability criteria. Reference is made to the work of ENRD (European Network for Rural Development) working group on Resource Efficiency (underway) and the conclusions of the EIP-AGRI Focus Group 19 on “Recycled Nutrients” (See SCOPE Newsletter n°124).

EU public consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy, to 2nd May 2017 https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/consultations/cap-modernising/2017_en

The European Commission has published a proposed ‘roadmap’ for a ‘Strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment’, open for public comment to 26th May 2017. The three page document specifies the relevant EU regulatory framework, in particular pharmacovigilance, and proposes to address particularly pharmaceuticals in water but also pharmaceuticals in soil as specified by pharmacovigilance. The Commission estimates that EU pharmaceutical consumption doubled from 1990 to 2000 and doubled again from 2000 to 2012. The ‘roadmap’ proposes as main objectives to identify knowledge gaps and solution to fill these, and to protect the environment whilst safeguarding access to effective and appropriate pharmaceutical treatments for humans and animals. Uncertainty about levels of pharmaceuticals in the environment and need for risk assessment are underlined. ESPP is submitting comment to the EU to underline the importance of developing better knowledge concerning presence of pharmaceuticals in sewage biosolids and manures, fate and impact on soils and for agriculture, and removal of pharmaceuticals in sewage and manure treatments (e.g. sewage works, anaerobic digestion, composting), because of the importance of this question to maintaining recycling of sewage biosolids and manures to agriculture (safety, farmer and public confidence).

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

Please subscribe www.phosphorusplatform.eu/Subscribe 
Link to www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews10
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Policy
United Nations highlights resource recovery from wastewater
Ontario actions for phosphorus recycling
HELCOM manure nutrients and nutrient bookkeeping
Innovation and implementation
AnMBR water reuse EU Innovation Deal selected
Digestate certification success story Sweden
Agricultural application of phosphogypsum
Fraunhofer IGB ePHOS® electrochemical nutrient recovery
Colsen’s sixth struvite phosphorus recovery installation underway
UK phosphorus removal innovation
Berner’s recycled fertiliser from organic wastes
K-struvite application in building material
Nutrient Recovery 2.0
Research
R3Water sewage resource recovery and pharmaceuticals treatment
Enzyme feed additives reduce poultry phosphorus needs
Nano hydroxyapatite shows no chronic toxicity in rats
German science academies propose monitoring of primary phosphorus resources
Extended anaerobic treatment of sewage improves toxicity removal
Media
France, Italy: a tasteful love for shit
Events
ESPP Members



Everglades Foundation George Barley Water Prize - Stage 2 US$ 80 000 prize
Now open for submissions
– deadline to request materials = 15th July 2017

Stage 2 of the Everglades Foundation George Barley Water Prize is currently open for applications for teams capable of testing their solution for two consecutive weeks processing c. 24 litres/hour (see exact specifications in application materials). Applicants will submit daily inflow and outflow samples from their technology. A total of $80,000 will be awarded in November of this year to the top 3 teams in Stage 2. You can apply to stage 2 whether or not you applied to stage 1. The deadline to request Stage 2 application materials is 15th July 2017 and the deadline to submit applications is 31 August 2017.
Beyond Stage 2, the Pilot Stage, the third stage of the George Barley Water Prize, will qualify 10 teams to compete at a Pilot location in Canada in early 2018, with awards totalling $800,000. Finally, the Grand Prize will see the top 4 teams compete in Florida for the ultimate $10 million award. Information www.barleyprize.com

Policy

United Nations highlights resource recovery from wastewater

The 2017 UN World Water Development report underlines the important circular economy potential of wastewater and the synergies with improving sanitation. Over 80% of the world’s wastewater is today discharged into the environment untreated, and 2.4 billion people do not have advanced wastewater treatment. The UN estimates that every dollar spent on sanitation brings societal benefits (health, environment) of 5.5 dollar. The report notes the potentials for water reuse after treatment, recovery of energy (e.g. via biogas or other sludge processing) and for recovery of phosphorus and nitrogen. Examples of P-recovery as struvite (Ostara) or from sewage sludge incineration ash (Ashtec) and of energy recovery (Outotec) are cited. Water, phosphorus and energy recovery are considered as opportunities to improve the economic sustainability of sewage treatment.
United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) 2017 UN World Water Development Report, Wastewater: The Untapped Resource http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/wwdr/2017-wastewater-the-untapped-resource

Ontario actions for phosphorus recycling

The province of Ontario, Canada, June 2016, passed the “Waste Free Ontario Act” (Bill 151). This will implement the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act 2016 and the Waste Diversion Transition Act 2016. The new Act is supported by a Waste Free Ontario Strategy which states that “waste is seen as a resource that can be recovered, reused and reintegrated into the economy to achieve a circular economy” and sets two goals: a zero waste Ontario and zero greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector. The initiatives underway include organic food waste, excess soil, biosolids, etc. with a goal of resource recovery and waste reduction coupled with a focus on waste generator responsibility, and making it cheaper to recycle waste than to send waste to landfills. Phosphorus efficiency and recovery are part of the initiatives to support both the Waste Free Ontario Act and the Great Lakes Protection Act 2015. Initiatives underway in Ontario, include a provincial preliminary phosphorus flow study, and (with Guelph University and Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers’ Association) an assessment of options for nutrient capture and water reuse from smaller commercial greenhouses. Ontario is also a partner of the Everglades Foundation’s George Barley Water Prize for technologies to remove and recover phosphorus from surface waters, in which the top 10 proposed technologies will be tested in cold weather conditions in Ontario.
See: http://www.downloads.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/env_reg/er/documents/2016/012-9356.pdf

HELCOM manure nutrients and nutrient bookkeeping

HELCOM, the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission, is working on coordinating different national standards on manure nutrient content and on farm nutrient bookkeeping. Workshops on the two questions collated information on implementation of these two questions in the nine contracting countries. Farm nutrient bookkeeping (calculating nutrient inputs and offtakes) is obligatory only in Denmark, and in some cases in Sweden and Poland, despite its value in defining fertiliser planning. Obstacles to implementation include both absence of legal framework and inadequate data and uncertainties regarding standard values for nutrient contents of manures, crop uptake, nitrogen fixation and denitrification. Priority actions include development of data and of a shared methodology across the Baltic Region. The workshop on manure showed that methods of estimating nutrient content in manures were highly variable between different countries, and are based on varying assumptions and models. Again, the need to establish coherent calculation methods across the Baltic Region was identified.
“HELCOM Workshop on manure nutrient content in the Baltic Sea countries” 19-20 November 2015, Vantaa, Finland, http://helcom.fi/helcom-at-work/events/events-2015/workshop-on-manure-nutrient-content-in-the-baltic-sea-countries and “HELCOM Workshop on status of nutrient bookkeeping in the Baltic Sea countries” 28-29 April 2015, Oldenburg, Germany http://helcom.fi/helcom-at-work/events/events-2015/workshop-on-status-of-nutrient-bookkeeping

Innovation and implementation

AnMBR water reuse EU Innovation Deal selected

The European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, has announced that two Innovation Deals have been selected, following the European call published 26th May 2016. The objective of the Innovation Deals is to address regulatory barriers to R&D implementation through dialogue with regulators. ESPP and the European Biogas Association submitted a proposal addressing recycling of nutrients from manure processing but this was rejected as the Commission considered that scientific knowledge is not available to define what is “processed manure” under the Nitrates Directive. The two selected Innovation Deals concern electric vehicles and water reuse from municipal wastewater using anaerobic membrane bioreactor technology (AnMBR). The latter is presented by 14 national and regional authorities, research centres, innovation structures and stakeholders, including ESPP member SMART-plant (Horizon 2020 research project). The deal addresses barriers to water reuse and nutrient recovery from sewage, including cost recovery for water services, discharge requirements and end-user responsibility. An ongoing open EU DG R&I call invites expressions of interest for further Innovation Deals relevant to the Circular Economy.
Innovation Deal approved “Sustainable wastewater treatment using innovative anaerobic membrane bioreactors technology (AnMBR)” and Open Call to submit expressions of interest for Innovation Deals on the Circular Economy: EU Innovation Deals https://ec.europa.eu/research/innovation-deals

Digestate certification success story Sweden

Avfall Sverige, the Swedish Waste Management Association, has developed a quality assurance scheme for digestate from biogas production with the objective of ensuring return of nutrients and organic carbon to farmland. The certification system called Certified Re-use was launched in 1999. The certification system covers digestate produced by anaerobic digestion of organic material from the food and feed production chain, for example source separated food-waste, manure and energy crops. Sewage sludge is not accepted as a substrate for production of quality assured digestate under this scheme. Certified digestate is marketed as certified bio-fertiliser. Quality control is ensured by SP Sweden (now RISE) and covers the following properties of the digestate: contaminants (metals and impurities >2 mm), nutrient content, organic matter, pH and dry matter content. Today, some 20 biogas plants have obtained certification for their digestate. The certification scheme is presented as a good practice success story of the European biogas industry.
“Success stories of the members of the European Biogas Association. Good practices and innovations in the biogas industry”, EBA, January 2017 http://european-biogas.eu/2017/02/27/latest-companies-catalogue-and-success-stories-now-available

Agricultural application of phosphogypsum

Gypsum, mainly consisting of calcium sulphate with some 0.2 % phosphorus is the byproduct of phosphoric acid production from phosphate rock. At Yara’s Siilinjärvi plant, Finland, some 1.3 million tons of gypsum is produced yearly. Because of the quality of Finland’s phosphate rock resources (igneous deposits) and the phosphoric acid production process operated by Yara, contaminant levels in the gypsum are low (conform to Finland fertiliser regulations and to the proposed EU Fertiliser Regulation values for soil improvers). Following initial trials 2008-2013, the SAVE project 2016-2018 is testing the impact of gypsum application on 1 550 hectares in South West Finland. Gypsum is applied with 4 t/ha once per five years. To date, the gypsum application shows a reduction in field losses to water of -30% soluble phosphorus, -60% particulate phosphorus and -50% dissolved organic carbon.
SAVE http://blogs.helsinki.fi/save-kipsihanke/?lang=en Contact Seija Luomanperä

Fraunhofer IGB ePHOS® electrochemical nutrient recovery

A 2 m3/hour pilot unit for electrochemical recovery of phosphorus from waste waters has been presented at IFAT (the global waste and water treatment show) and is ready for market deployment. ePHOS® is a patented electrochemical process, requiring no chemical input, using a sacrificial magnesium anode to produce magnesium phosphates such as struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) or K-struvite (potassium magnesium phosphate), which can be used as fertilisers. Energy consumption is stated as 1,5 kWh/m³ wastewater. Fraunhofer IGB indicate that the process can recover up to 98% of soluble phosphorus from sewage sludge dewatering liquors, food or industrial wastewaters. The technology has been licensed to OVIVO the water treatment technology company, for the North American market. First commercial installation will be in operation in 2017 treating sewage sludge dewatering liquors for the recovery of struvite as fertiliser.
“New process for eco-friendly phosphorus recovery. IFAT 2016: fertilizer from wastewater”, Fraunhofer IGB, June 2016 https://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2016/June/ifat2016-fertilizer-from-wastewater.html


Colsen’s sixth struvite phosphorus recovery installation underway

Netherlands sustainable technology company Colsen (water, energy and environment) are building their sixth ANPHOS struvite precipitation installation, due to be commissioned mid 2017. This will bring ANPHOS struvite production to a total of 2 500 tonnes/year. Colsen’s five existing installations operate in the main wastewater stream of potato processing factories, with phosphorus concentrations of 50 – 130 mgPtotal/l, for different companies in the Netherlands and in Italy. The recovered phosphate is precipitated by aeration and magnesium hydroxide addition then dewatered by filter press or centrifuge, and is a mixture of struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) and K-struvite (magnesium potassium phosphate). The new sixth installation is at the Waterschap Aa en Maas waterboard’s municipal sewage treatment plant at Den Bosch, The Netherlands, capacity 342 000 p.e. which operates biological phosphorus removal and anaerobic sludge digestion. The struvite unit is installed downstream of the digestate dewatering. It will treat 100% of the centrate of the sewage work’s sludge dewatering.
Colsen ANPHOS process https://www.colsen.nl/products and https://www.colsen.nl/system/resources/BAhbBlsHOgZmSSIwMjAxNi8wMS8yNy8xMy81My8zNy82MTMvYW5waG9zX2VuX2ZseWVyLnBkZgY6BkVU/anphos-en-flyer.pdf



UK phosphorus removal innovation

A dialogue meeting of 15 UK water industry and research experts, on innovation in sewage phosphorus removal, identified five key points, including the need to develop phosphorus recovery. Participants emphasised that the Water Framework Directive quality objectives result in phosphorus discharge limits which are site-context different and are in many cases significantly lower than the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive limits of 1 or 2 mgP/l, but also in the need to work with farmers to reduce all phosphorus sources. Take-away points are (1) industry needs a range of new solutions to achieve these lower limits, in particular for smaller sewage works (2) catchment approaches and smarter permitting (3) holistic approach to wastewater treatment, e.g. metals input from chemical phosphorus removal (4) need to accelerate wastewater industry innovation despite the 20-year investment and asset cycle (5) phosphorus recovery to not lose a non-renewable resource, including in sewage works discharging into the sea and not subject to P discharge limits.
WWT Magazine round-table “Phosphorus removal and wastewater innovation”, Birmingham, 30th January 2017. Participants were the Environment Agency, Ofwat, Thames, Severn Trent, Northern Ireland, Scottish, Yorkshire, Wessex, Welsh and South West Water companies, Tarmac, university experts. http://wwtonline.co.uk March 2017 edition pages 14-16.

Berner’s recycled fertiliser from organic wastes

Berner Oy (Finnish company with 500 employees and a range of agri-food and consumer products since 1883) with retail chain SOK (Kodin Terra, Prisma and S-rauta) and the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) has launched a new garden fertiliser produced from previously unused agri-food industry side-streams, e.g. from cereal or sugar processing. The GreenCare Ympäristön Ystävä fertiliser is packeted as easy-to-handle, odourless granules, which bring both nutrients and organic matter to soil. ‘Soilfood Inside’ biostimulants are included to enhance plant nutrient uptake. Berner’s has also signed the BSAG Baltic Sea Commitment to continue to explore new nutrient recycling opportunities.
“Berner's commitment brings innovative recycled fertiliser product for domestic gardeners” http://www.bsag.fi/Commitment.html


K-struvite application in building material

A published patent proposes a building material comprising K-struvite (magnesium potassium phosphate), syngenite (K2Ca(SO4)2.H2O), magnesium oxide and stucco (calcium sulphate hemihydrate). K-struvite is noted to offer good heat and abrasion resistance. The composite material can be reacted directly in building panel moulds and offers high structural integrity, lower weight density than other materials, and high fire resistance. The material is water resistant, without addition of waxes or silicones which are used to ensure water resistance in gypsum-based panels, but which are flammable. The K-struvite – syngenite combination can also be used to coat inorganic fibres to provide a weather-proof, fire resistant and abrasion resistant material.
“Struvite-K and Syngenite Composition for Use in Building Materials”, US patent n° 20170008804 A1, R. Hauber et al., Certainteed Gypsum Inc., published 12th January 2017 http://www.google.com/patents/US20170008804

Nutrient Recovery 2.0

In WaterWorld, Christian Kabbe (Berlin Water Knowledge Centre) notes that 2016 saw several new struvite phosphorus recovery installations come online in sewage works in Europe, with planning for others being confirmed, but also saw the appearance of second-generation struvite/nutrient recovery installations. Sewage sludge hydrolysis processes (e.g. Ostara WASSTRIP, see SCOPE Newsletter n° 124) enables a significant increase in the percentage of sewage works inflow phosphorus recovered as struvite. Ostara now has two such WASSTRIP – PEARL struvite recovery combinations operating in Europe (Amersfoort, Madrid). Brunswick Steinhof sewage works (Germany) has now contracted construction of a combination of thermal sludge hydrolysis, NuReSys struvite recovery and ammonia stripping (nitrogen recovery). The paper also presents the ECOPHOS process (Dunkerque, see SCOPE Newsletter n° 120), the Budenheim Extraphos process (Mainz, see SCOPE Newsletter n° 123), ICL RECOPHOS (see SCOPE Newsletter n° 112), and Remondis Tetraphos as processes able to recover phosphorus from sewage sludge incineration ash or from sewage sludge in commercially valuable forms.
“Nutrient Recovery 2.0”, C. Kabbe Waste and Wastewater International WaterWorld, November 2016, vol. 30 issue 6 http://www.waterworld.com/articles/wwi/print/volume-31/issue-6.html

Research

R3Water sewage resource recovery and pharmaceuticals treatment

The EU FP7 funded R3Water project (2014-2017) is pilot testing technologies to transition from conventional sewage treatment to recovery of nutrients, energy and water, with elimination of pharmaceutical contaminants. Research at the Hammarby Sjöstadsverk centre (IVL, KTH), next to Sweden’s largest sewage works (Henriksdal, South-East Stockholm) is looking at combining activated sludge processes with a membrane bioreactor and fluidic oscillation to improve resource recovery, reduce energy use and increase biogas production. Ozonation and activated carbon are being investigated to eliminate pharmaceuticals, in order to enable safe water reuse.
R3Water (Demonstration of innovative solutions for Reuse of water, Recovery of valuable Substances and Resource efficiency in urban wastewater treatment) www.r3water.eu R3Water Newsletter March 2017 http://www.teqma.com/wp-content/uploads/R3Water_Newsletter_03_2017_Final_web.pdf and final project conference, Brussels 30th May http://r3water.eu/save-the-date-r3water-final-conference-on-water-in-the-circular-economy-innovations-for-urban-water-treatment

Enzyme feed additives reduce poultry phosphorus needs

A trial by the company Canadian Bio-Systems has tested phytase enzyme and phytase (Bio-Phytase) with multi-carbohydrase (Superzyme-CS) enzymes in diets for 640 broiler chickens for 35 days. The phytase (tested at 500 - 1500 FTU/kg) improves availability of phosphorus present in plant materials in feed, in particular in grains. The carbohydrase (tested at 500 g/t feed) facilitates degradation of dietary fibre and non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). Diet phytase resulted in increased bodyweight gain, with the increase linearly correlated to higher phytase dose, even in diets with -15% lower phosphorus than standard broiler diet. The phytase plus multi-carbohydrase gave even better results. The enzymes also resulted in improved chicken body mineral density and percentage bone ash, with no impact on body fat or body mineral content. The company is now looking to develop the enzyme application to pig diets and to calves.
“Enzyme, phytase combo supports poultry production with less phosphorus: study”, FEEDnavigator 15 Feb. 2017 http://www.feednavigator.com/content/view/print/1369228 and “Effects of combination of phytase and Multi-Carbohydrase enzymes on growth performance and bone mineralization in broilers”, abstract M96 in International Poultry Scientific Forum Jan. 30-31st 2017 http://www.ippexpo.org/ipsf/docs/2017AbstractBook.pdf

Nano hydroxyapatite shows no chronic toxicity in rats

Hydroxyapatite (HAP, a form of calcium phosphate) is the main constituent of human bones. Nano forms are already commercialised in e.g. medical applications, toothpastes (see SCOPE Newsletter n°118 and Pepla 2014) in particular for bone restoration. A first chronic (long-term) toxicity of nano HAP has been published. The nano HAP was synthesised by precipitation and had a rod-like structure with particle size < 50 nm. 140 Wistar rats were fed for 78 weeks with concentrations of 0, 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg body weight nano HAP in feed, plus one group at 100 mg/kg with an additional period of 22 weeks with 0 mg/kg. A range of clinical and behavioural parameters were observed, as well as histopathalogical parameters after sacrifice of the rats. No effects of the nano hydroxyapatite were observed in any of the groups of rats, that is no indications of toxicity or carcinogenicity. However, another study using fruit flies and rod-like nano HAP 80-90 nm particle size. The structure and of adult flies and behaviour of larvae was concentration-dependently impacted when nano HAP was included in fly larvae food, suggesting developmental and neuro-toxicity.
“Investigation of chronic toxicity of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles administered orally for one year in wistar rats”, N.S. Remya et al., Materials Science and Engineering C 76 (2017) 518–527 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2017.03.076 and “A toxicity assessment of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles on development and behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster”, S. Aurosman Pappus et al., J Nanopart Res (2017) 19:136 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11051-017-3824-8

German science academies propose monitoring of primary phosphorus resources

In their advisory opinion to the German Federal Government concerning “Energy Systems of the Future (ESYS)” the key German national scientific academies (National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities), propose to monitor primary phosphorus resources. Their position paper on “Raw materials for the energy systems of the future”, 8th February 2017, bioenergy supply is addressed and so also the essential question of a future sustainable supply of phosphate for fertilisers. The academies have taken up the proposal of an international monitoring committee discussed by concerned scientists for several years now. It is proposed that this committee should be established under the auspices of an international science organization with governmental earth-science organisations involved, in order to avoid influence of national or economic interests.
German academies joint position paper (in German) http://www.acatech.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Baumstruktur_nach_Website/Acatech/root/de/Publikationen/Kooperationspublikationen/ESYS_Stellungnahme_Rohstoffe_fuer_die_Energiewende.pdf (see page 73, right column and page 86 third option for action).

Extended anaerobic treatment of sewage improves toxicity removal

A 12 litre pilot plant at Koblenz municipal waste water treatment plant, Germany, was used to test reduction of toxicity and of micropollutants in different operating configurations. Removals of 31 common pharmaceuticals and micropollutants and 10 metabolites were tested (all of which principally partition to the water phase rather than to sludge), as well as ecotoxicity of effluent in vitro and on aquatic invertebrates and plants. The authors conclude that extended anaerobic treatment, including strictly anaerobic conditions (anoxic), combined with aerobic treatment, significantly improved removal of only some of the organic micropollutants, but did significantly reduce overall ecotoxicity.
“Extended anaerobic conditions in the biological wastewater treatment: Higher reduction of toxicity compared to target organic micropollutants”, J. Völker et al., Water Research 116 (2017) 220e230 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2017.03.030

Media

France, Italy: a tasteful love for shit

Many would say they are Europe’s leaders in fashion and taste. France and Italy are also now leaders in loving shit. Sofie Anaf’s, “La Belle Bouse” (beautiful cowpat, but it sounds much sweeter in French) is a Lyon-based startup producing “100% locally sourced, organic and fabulously practical fertiliser” from cattle manure, in one-dose sachets bringing nitrogen, phosphporus and potassium to house or balcony plants. The product is “matured for 9 months like a great cheese”. More technically, it is dried slowly which stabilises and kills bacteria. The manure is sourced from the Ain, Isère and Savoie counties. “In cities, plants suffer from surrounding aggressions: offer them the good country air they dream of” (in fact, the manure-based fertiliser has no smell). In Italy, Europe’s other fashion capital just over the Alps, the “Museo della Merda” (The Shit Museum, also not as smooth on the tongue in English), in Castelbosco, Piacenza, Lombardy, is set on a dairy farm with 3 500 cows, producing daily 50 000 litres of milk and 150 tonnes of manure. The manure is converted to biogas and electricity (3 MW/h and heat used for farm and Museum buildings) and to fertiliser. The Museum, presents the use of dung in society from prehistory to today, including as a building material (the Museum’s symbol is a dung beetle), for coffee filters, paper, and as a base for artistic creations. The Museum has developed Merdacotta®, a manure-based material used to produce flowerpots, vases and mugs. The aim is to “destabilise common perceptions” of manure: “you can’t ignore shit”.
The shit museum www.theshitmuseum.org and La Belle Bouse www.labellebouse.fr


Events

Up to date list of events: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/upcoming-events
  • Strippers and Scrubbers event - the fight for nitrogen recovery, recycling and removal
    27 April 2017
    , Leeds, United Kingdom - Website - Email
    This one-day event will investigate the options for managing ammonium and seeks to bring together key stakeholders interested in advancing recovery, recycling and removal techniques.
  • SYMPHOS - International Symposium on Innovation and Technology in the Phosphate Industry
    8 - 10 May 2017
    , Ben Guerir, Morocco - Website
    10th "Phosphates" event, the premier gathering for decision-makers for the fertilizer, feed and industrial phosphates industries, with 400 participants
  • Netherlands political seminar Circular with phosphate (in Dutch)
    12 May 2017
    , Amersfoort, Netherlands - Website
    The Dutch Nutrient Platform and the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform will give a presentation
  • Waste-to-Resources 2017 conference
    16 - 18 May 2017
    , Hanover, Germany - Website
    Conference and exhibition on mechanical biological waste treatment (MBT/AWT), waste sorting and recycling technology
  • 19th International Conference on Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems
    14 - 15 May 2017
    , Amsterdam, Netherlands - Website
  • Sustainable Phosphorus Research Coordination Network (P RCN) workshop
    16-18 May 2017
    , Washington DC, USA - Website - Registration
  • Dresden Nexus Conference Water Soil and Waste
    17 - 19 May 2017, Hanover, Germany - Website
  • Phosphorus FORUM of the North America Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (SPA)
    19 May 2017
    , Washington DC, USA - Website - Registration - Email
    Organised by the former North American Partnership for Phosphorus Sustainability (NAPPS)
  • International interdisciplinary conference on land use and water quality (LuWQ2017)
    29 May - 1 June 2017
    , Den Haag, Netherlands - Website
  • R3Water final conference
    30 May 2017
    , Brussels, Belgium - Website
    With a focus on "Water in the circular economy – innovations for urban water treatment"
  • Sustainable Foods Summit 2017
    1 - 2 June 2017
    , Amsterdam, Netherlands - Website
  • World Circular Economy Forum 2017
    5 - 6 June 2017
    , Helsinki, Finland - Website
  • WEF Nutrient Symposium 2017
    12 - 14 June 2017
    , Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA - Website
  • Kick-off meeting SYSTEMIC EU research project
    13-14 June 2017
    , Wageningen, The Netherlands - Registration
    Start meeting of this project focussing on largescale demonstration projects for recovery of nutrients from manure and sewage sludge
  • All Ireland Phosphorus Sustainability workshop and conference Microbial Resources for Agricultural and Food Security
    21 - 23 June 2017
    , Belfast, Ireland - Website - Contact - Flyer
    Starts with a 1 day workshop on ‘Irish phosphorus sustainability’ to establish the need for an Irish nutrient platform, and First conference of the Ireland EPA funded project "Phosphorus from wastewater: Novel technologies for advanced treatment and reuse".
  • International conference Innovative solutions for sustainable management of nitrogen
    26 - 28 June 2017
    , Aarhus, Denmark - Website
  • International Fertiliser Society (IFS) Technical Conference 2017
    29 - 30 June 2017
    , Geological Society, London, United Kingdom - Website
  • PBSi 2017 - International Conference On Phosphorus, Boron and Silicon
    3 - 5 July 2017
    , Paris, France - Website
  • The BIG Phosphorus Conference and Exhibition – Removal & Recovery
    4 - 5 July 2017
    , Manchester United Football Stadium, United Kingdom - Website
    The event is supported by the UKWIR National Phosphorus Trials steering group and the National Chemical Investigation Programme (CIP) Phosphorus Steering Group
  • SMART-Plant research project launch
    11 - 13 July 2017
    , Severn Trent Water, Coventry, United Kingdom - Website
    Launch meeting of the EU funded SMART-Plant research project
  • 2nd IWA Resource Recovery conference
    5 - 9 August 2017
    , New York, USA - Website - Email
    2nd International Water Association conference on resource recovery from wastewater
  • 17th International RAMIRAN conference 'Sustainable utilization of manures and residue resources in agriculture'
    4 - 6 September 2017
    , Wexford, Ireland - Website - Email
    RAMIRAN (Recycling of Agricultural, Municipal and Industrial Residues in Agriculture Network) is a research and expertise network dealing with environmental issues relating to the use of livestock manure and other organic residues in agriculture.
  • ESPP meeting EU Fertiliser Regulation and STRUBIAS
    5 September 2017
    , Brussels, Belgium - Registration
    Stakeholder meeting on EU Fertiliser Regulation developments and biochar, struvite and ash-products criteria
  • DPP-FORUM 2017 (in German)
    12 September 2017
    , Berlin, Germany - Website
    National conference of the German Phosphorus Platform with a focus on how to get P-recycling to the market
  • European Waste Water Management Conference 2017
    3 - 4 October 2017
    , Leeds, United Kingdom - Website
  • IFDC and IFA workshop Phosphate Fertilizer Production Technology
    5 - 9 October 2017
    , Berlin, Germany - Website
  • NORDIWA - Nordic Waste Water Conference
    10 - 12 October 2017
    , Aarhus, Denmark - Website
    Potential phosphorus session is planned, check for an update
  • Nutrient recycling R&D projects and technologies meeting and technology fair
    18 - 19 October 2017
    , Basel, Switzerland - Registration
    18 Oct. - FHNW, DPP and Phos4You meeting "Sludge and phosphorus recycling in Switzerland and beyond (German, English translation)
    19 Oct. - ESPP and Phos4You meeting EU (H2020, LIFE, InterReg) and national funded R&D projects on nutrient recycling (English, German translation)
  • Conference Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future
    22 - 25 October 2017
    , Tampa, Florida, USA - Website
  • World Resources Forum 2017 - Accelerating the resource revolution
    24 - 25 October 2017
    , Geneva, Switzerland - Website
  • European Biosolids & Organic Resources Conference & Exhibition
    20 - 21 November 2017
    , Leeds, United Kingdom - Website
    Conference for the biosolids and biowaste industries
  • Conference Phosphorus a critical resource with a future (in German)
    22-23 November 2017
    , Stuttgart, Germany - Website
  • ManuREsource 2017 - International conference on manure management and valorisation
    27 - 28 November 2017
    , Eindhoven, Netherlands - Website - Email
    In cooperation with the Dutch Nutrient Platform. A facultative field trip with exclusive site visits to local manure processing installations will be organised on 29 November 2017.
  • 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security and Sustainability
    3 - 6 December 2017
    , Cape Town, South Africa - Website
  • Course Phosphorus Removal and Tertiary Treatment Processes
    7 December 2017
    , Wakefield, United Kingdom - Website
    This course will review the design and operation of the main markets available for N and P removal technologies.

ESPP Members



Copyright © 2017 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

Please subscribe www.phosphorusplatform.eu/Subscribe 
Link to www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews9
Download as PDF

New ESPP members
Hitachi Zosen biochar phosphorus recycling technology
Phos4You phosphorus recovery from municipal wastewater
SMART-Plant
Policy
HELCOM specifies phosphorus recycling from sewage sludge
Food industry BAT draft includes phosphorus recovery as struvite
CEN mapping of standards needs for sustainable chemicals for the circular economy
Quebec ban on organic waste landfill and incineration
Innovation and implementation
Ellen MacArthur launches ‘Urban Biocycles” to address sludge nutrient recovery
Veolia Struvia P-recovery targets smaller sewage works
Severn Trent chooses Bluewater Bio to meet stringent phosphorus discharge consent
Research
Call open for IWA Resource Recovery Award
Finland BioNets programme to enable nutrient recovery and Baltic restoration
Parameters impacting sewage sludge dewatering
Washington State University mobile phosphorus recovery unit project
Everglades Foundation George Barley Water Prize
WETSUS (NL) is George Barley Water Prize stage 1 winner
Stage 2 now open for submissions
Fifteen Stage 1 finalists
Meetings
North America Phosphorus Forum 2017
ESPP stakeholder meeting on EU Fertiliser Regulation development and STRUBIAS
Nutrient recycling R&D projects meeting and technology fair
Events upcoming
ESPP Members
 

New ESPP members

Hitachi Zosen biochar phosphorus recycling technology

Hitachi Zosen is a Japanese company with over 130 years of history and has a wide range of business domains; Environment/Green Energy and Social Infrastructure & Disaster Prevention. Hitachi Zosen group has designed, constructed and operated a number of municipal waste treatment plants combined with energy production all over the world. Hitachi Zosen has developed a pyrolysis system able to handle livestock slurry. This is based on a rotating kiln using the heat of the exhaust gases of the pyrolysis process. Therefore once it starts, the process is self-sustaining and requires no external energy input. This makes it cost effective and potentially attractive for treating large quantities of livestock slurry (around 100 000 tonnes/year). From livestock slurry rich in phosphorous, a biochar with agriculturally effective content of phosphorous is produced. Japan, like Europe, depends on imported phosphorous for phosphate fertilizer, and this has caused Hitachi Zosen to develop the pyrolysis process. A pilot plant has been operating in Japan and Hitachi Zosen sees the EU as a potential market for its pyrolysis systems. The company considers that the revision of the Fertiliser Regulation has the potential to open up a pan-European market for phosphorous-rich biochar and in turn demand for biochar production systems. Hitachi Zosen’s membership of ESPP will enable the company to take an active role in collective action on both the EU Fertilisers Regulation proposal and in other legislative areas, such as REACH registration.
Hitaci Zosen website www.hitachizosen.co.jp/english

Phos4You phosphorus recovery from municipal wastewater

The INTERREG VB project, Phos4You (phosphorus recovery from municipal sewage in North West Europe), has just been approved and is now being launched. The project will include building demonstration P-recovery installations at sewage treatment sites, innovative P-recovery technologies, new recycled phosphorus products for fertilisers, working on a standard to assess recycled fertiliser quality and addressing social acceptance of recycled nutrient products. Phos4You will organise a launch event in Basel, 18-20 October 2017, in parallel to a first meeting of a Switzerland phosphorus recycling network and a European nutrient recycling Technology Fair and workshop of EU-funded and other R&D projects related to nutrient cycling.
Phos4You partners are Lippeverband (lead), Université de Liège, IRSTEA, Cork Institute of Technology, FHNW, Universiteit Gent, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of the Highlands and Islands, Veolia Environnement, Emschergenossenschaft, NV HVC – SNB NL, Scottish Water. Contact for Phos4You: Contact for nutrient recycling R&D and technology fair, 18-20 October

SMART-Plant

“Scale-up of low-carbon footprint MAterial Recovery Techniques in existing wastewater treatment PLANTs” (SMART-Plant) is an EU (Horizon2020) funded project, running from 2016 to 2020. The project consist of demonstration and optimisation of 7+2 pilot systems in operating five municipal waste water treatment plants in The Netherlands, the UK, Italy, Spain, Greece and Israel. The objective is to scale-up, in real sewage treatment environments, eco-innovative and energy-efficient solutions to renovate existing wastewater treatment plants and to close the circular value chain by applying low-carbon techniques to recover materials including PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates), sludge plastics composites, bioenergy, nutrients and water reuse. Nutrients will be recovered, in different configurations, in the form of phosphorus rich compost or struvite. Technologies and systems will be automated to optimise resource recovery. The project includes Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing as well as business, market deployment and new public-private partnership models.
SMART-Plant http://smart-plant.eu Partners are: Universities: Verona, London Brunel, Roma La Sapienza, Cranfield, AUB Barcelona, Vic Spain, NTUA Athens, KWB Berlin. Water treatment operators: EYDAP Athens water company, Treviso water company Italy, Mekorot, Israel national water company, Aigües de Manresa Spain, Severn Trent Water UK. Polymers and fibres: BYK Additives, Ecodek UK. Water engineering, technology, innovation, business management: AgRobics, Salsnes Filter Norway, AKTOR Greece, BWA Netherlands, Wellness Smart Cities Spain, iBET Portugal, InnoEXC Germany, Socamex Spain, Biotrend, SCAE Italy, Agrobics Israel. Main contact - coordinator Francesco Fatone (Polytechnic University of Marche)  


 

Policy

HELCOM specifies phosphorus recycling from sewage sludge

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) engages nine contracting countries and the European Union. On 1st March 2017, HELCOM published “Recommendation 38/1” on “Sewage Sludge Handling” which specifies as its first point “maximum recycling or recovery of phosphorus and other useful substances and compounds” from sewage sludges. The HELCOM contracting parties must regularly report on the regulatory and other measures taken to implement HELCOM ‘Recommendations’ and on the effectiveness of these measures. The Recommendation on Sewage Sludge Handling further specifies that nutrient reuse or recycling should be considered in design or upgrading of sewage works, and that phosphorus should be recovered from ash if sludge is incinerated (as far as technically viable), or if not, then the sludge ash should be stored in separate landfill for later phosphorus recovery). The Recommendation specifies that sludge and sludge products should not be applied to land if the soil P and N content is sufficient for crop cultivation (i.e. land application should genuinely be useful recycling, not just disposal spreading). The “Reporting Format” included in the Recommendation requires signature countries to specify the percentage of total phosphorus recovered from waste water, sewage sludge and sludge ashes. The Recommendation indicates that all sewage sludge should be treated to reduce fermentability and health risks before use. It also addresses contaminants and pollutants in sewage sludges (including upstream reduction or treatment), nutrient leaching, specifies limits on sewage sludge application in agriculture (e.g. not in the year before harvest of fruit or vegetables, only with limits on permanent grassland) and mentions conditions for sludge use in forestry, green areas, landscaping.
HELCOM Recommendation Rec 38-1 “Sewage sludge handling”, adopted 1st March 2017 http://www.helcom.fi/helcom-at-work/recommendations

Food industry BAT draft includes phosphorus recovery as struvite

The European Commission has published a draft update of the Industrial Emissions Directive BAT BREF (Best Available Technology) reference document for the “Food, Drink and Milk Industries” (January 2017). The document states that nutrients must be removed in waste water treatment indicating BAT emission levels for discharge to surface water of 2-20 mg total nitrogen and 0.2-6 mg total phosphorus per litre.  Are presented as BAT: biological nitrification-denitrification, ammonia stripping, enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR), phosphorus removal by chemical precipitation, natural treatment in integrated constructed wetlands (ICW) and phosphorus recovery as struvite. The current draft document suggests that struvite precipitation is usually carried out in a stirred reactor after anaerobic digestion of waste water, and indicates that the struvite can be valorised as a fertiliser with advantages of lower sludge treatment and disposal costs.
European Commission, January 2017, Best Available Techniques (BAT) Reference Document for the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, DRAFT http://eippcb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/reference

CEN mapping of standards needs for sustainable chemicals for the circular economy        

The official European standards body, CEN, has been mandated by the European Commission to map existing standards and identify future standards needs relevant to sustainable chemicals in the circular economy (CEN/CLC/BT/JWG 11, led by NEN Netherlands). ESPP is participating in this working group. This work will take into account the mapping of standards for fertiliser product analysis carried out by the Commission to accompany the EU Fertiliser Regulation revision. Aspects addressed by CEN will include feedstocks, recycled and sustainable chemicals, labelling and recycling. At the first working group, 13th March, ESPP underlined the importance of questions around quality, safety, contaminants and supply reliability of secondary raw materials and recycled chemicals. Your input is important both to define priority areas for standards development, and to identify specific points where new standards are today needed for recycled chemicals (e.g. testing methods). Please send comments or input to ESPP.
Further information on request contact:

Quebec ban on organic waste landfill and incineration

Quebec legislation will ban from 2022 both landfilling and incineration of all organic wastes, including sewage sludges, sorted municipal food waste, green wastes, paper industry sludges, etc. The objective is to develop a circular economy from these organic materials. This is part of an overall programme aiming to reduce final waste production in Quebec. A 650 million CAD$ investment programme will support methanisation or composting of organic wastes, then valorisation of the organics as soil improvers. The 2011 legislation also states that the Quebec Government will intervene to ensure that sludge spreading is authorised when health and environmental safety conditions are ensured and where it is beneficial to crops, and to encourage new uses and markets for composts and digestates. The application of this legislation will open important opportunities for nutrient recycling, through agricultural use of composts and digestates, or through technical nutrient recovery.
Quebec policy for reducing final wastes here: http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/matieres/pgmr and Quebec Decree 100-2011 http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/matieres/pgmr/politique-go.pdf For examples of development of methanisation in Quebec see: http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/programmes/biomethanisation/liste-projets.htm

Innovation and implementation        

Ellen MacArthur launches ‘Urban Biocycles” for sludge and food waste nutrient recovery

At the annual Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA2017), Brussels, 28th March, Dame Ellen MacArthur launched a new initiative “Urban biocycles”. A joint Project Mainstream between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum (WEF). The project aims to identify opportunities and systemic solutions to transform urban biowaste flows, in particular sewage and food waste, into a source of value by recovering and recycling energy, organic carbon, nutrients and materials. This will engage global leaders, both major companies (food industry, water and waste sector, chemicals, technologies), public decision makers, scientists and stakeholders. It is identified that “Cities aggregate biological materials and nutrients from rural areas but return few of them to the agricultural system”, resulting in rural soil degradation and reliance on synthetic fertilisers. Negative impacts of nutrient loss and untreated biowastes include eutrophication dead zones (240 000 km2 worldwide – an area this size of the UK), planetary boundaries and climate change. Farmers, traders, wholesalers, food manufacturing companies and retailers make up the world’s biggest economic sector and around 17% of global GDP. Global biomass harvest is around 13 billion tonnes/year, of which over 80% is for food. Cities worldwide produce around 0.7 billion tonnes of solid organic waste per year, expected to double by 2025. In OECD countries, less than 40% of this is valorised (biogas, compost). Most of the phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium in the world’s sewage is today lost not recycled. Economic opportunities of restoring a circular economy for urban biowastes and closing nutrient loops are therefore considerable. Cases of resource recovery from biowastes already operation today are cited, including Veolia’s Water Organics Recycling, Suez Phosphogreen, Ostara Pearl struvite recovery, Suez Ametyst anaerobic digestion plant Montpellier France and Véolia’s Artois anaerobic digestion plant France.
The Urban Biocycles project is led by CEOs of Averda, Tarkett, Royal DSM, Ecolab, Philips, Suez, and Veolia. A first working meeting to take the project forward included also ESPP, Anglian Water, Danone, Google and Yara. World Economic Forum “Urban Biocycles” report 2016 (32 pages) http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Project_MainStream_Urban_Biocycles_2017.pdf “New Urban Biocycles scoping paper launched by Ellen MacArthur Foundation” 28/3/2017 https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/news/new-urban-biocycles-scoping-paper-launched-by-ellen-macarthur-foundation

Veolia Struvia P-recovery targets smaller sewage works

AquaStrategy presents experience of Veolia’s Struvia struvite P-recovery process, with a detailed interview of Erik Bundgaard, technology director at Krüger, a Veolia company. After successful pilot demonstration trials at several municipal sites such as the Brussels North, Belgium, and Braunschweig, Germany, as well as at industrial sites, a first full-scale Struvia installation was commissioned in 2016 at Helsingor sewage works, Denmark. The Struvia process combines a Turbomix reactor with a lamellar settler, then bag-draining of the struvite prills. The Struvia unit is compact, with a small footprint and in Helsingor is installed in a basement only 3.5m high. Installation of the struvite process has enabled the sewage works to move to completely biological phosphorus removal, with no iron dosing. Helsingor serves around 70 000 p.e. and the struvite unit treats 60 m3/day, that is 100% of the work’s digestate centrate, and produces around 36 tonnes of struvite per year. This demonstrates Veolia’s objective to deliver struvite P-recovery technology to small – medium sewage works. The product is pure struvite, with small prill size. It may be used directly in agriculture or be further processed by the fertilizer industry or distributors before use.
“Veolia positions its product line for phosphorus recovery” AquaStrategy, February 2017 www.aquastrategy.com

 

Severn Trent chooses Bluewater Bio to meet stringent phosphorus discharge consent

Severn Trent Water, UK, has selected Bluewater Bio’s FilterClear high-rate multi-media filtration technology to achieve a tightened phosphorus discharge consent of 0.5 mgPtotal/l fixed for its Codsall municipal sewage works (Staffordshire) in application of the EU Water Framework Directive. The installation will treat up to nearly 7 000 m3/day. FilterClear is also being tested at Yorkshire Water’s Bolsover sewage works, with an objective phosphorus discharge of 0.1 mgPtotal/l. FilterClear is a sealed and pressurised filtration system which integrates flocculation (avoiding the need for upstream flocculant mixing) and then four stratified filtration media (anthracite, silica, alumina, magnetite) with particle size down to 0.35 mm. The combination of negative and positive media charges enable removal of >75% of suspended solids by both filtration and surface adsorption. Trials of the technology at Anglian Water’s Cambridge UK sewage works showed 80% removal of suspended solids down to an average of 3 mgTSS/l. Some 50 FilterClear installations are already operational for treatment of wastewaters, cooling waters, reverse osmosis pre-treatment, pharmaceutical industry, food and beverage processing, distilleries.
AquaStrategy, February 2017 issue “Severn Trent Water contract for Bluewater Bio marks latest UK sewage phosphate removal award” www.aquastrategy.com and www.bluewaterbio.com

Research

Call open for IWA Resource Recovery Award

The International Water Association (IWA) and Watershare call for the 2nd Best Practice Award for water resource recovery is open to 30th April 2017. Selection criteria are: innovation, replication potential, stakeholder and value chain cooperation and business case. The Award winner will benefit from promotion in IWA’s media and the IWA Resource Recovery Conference (New York, 5-9 August). The winner of the 1st Award in 2015 was Reststoffenunie (now Aqua Minerals) with Waternet, Ardagh Glass and Desso, The Netherlands, for recovery of calcium carbonate pellets from drinking water softening.
“Rewarding innovation, IWA Best Practices on Resource Recovery Award 2017 now open”, IWA 8/2/2017 http://www.iwa-network.org/news/rewarding-innovation-iwa-best-practices-on-resource-recovery-award-2017-now-open 

Finland BioNets programme to enable nutrient recovery and Baltic restoration

The Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) is “Nutrient Recycling Ecosystem” coordinator for the TEKES / Team Finland (national R&D funding agency) BioNets programme, which aims to generate Finland’s bio- and circular economy. BioNets provides funding for pilot projects and networking, coaching, market studies and promotion new technologies and company innovations. In TEKES case examples 2017, BSAG states that nutrients are currently inefficiently used in agriculture, leading to phosphorus and nitrogen losses to the Baltic, and considers that nutrient recycling could both resolve Finland’s dependency on nutrient imports and help restore the ecology of the Baltic Sea. BSAG’s objective is that solutions developed in the Baltic region can be exported globally to many other eutrophication impacted regions of the world.
“Baltic Sea Action Group: The nutrient recycling project aims to renew the entire food chain” https://www.tekes.fi/en/tekes/results-and-impact/cases1/case-examples-2017/baltic-sea-action-group-the-nutrient-recycling-project-aims-to-renew-the-entire-food-chain

Parameters impacting sewage sludge dewatering

A paper by Julia Kopp et al. (WEF Conference 2016) assesses how struvite precipitation phosphorus recovery, thermal hydrolysis process (THP) and thermo-chemical hydrolysis process (TCHP) impact sewage sludge dewatering and polymer consumption (dewatering additives). The paper is based on literature data and laboratory experiments applying these three treatments. Measurement of the free water content DS(A) was used to determine dewatering results after anaerobically digested sludge from over 20 different sewage works operating biological phosphorus removal. Literature data suggest that dewaterability is related to the content of EPS (exopolysaccharides) and proteins, which are influenced by sludge age and the blend of primary sludge and WAS (waste activated sludge). Conclusions from the experimental work are that struvite precipitation by air stripping and magnesium chloride dosing improves dewatering by nearly 5%. The best results were by combining TCHP with struvite precipitation, resulting in a 10% improvement in dewatering as well as lower polymer consumption.
“Impact of Hydrolysis and Bio-P Removal Processes on Biosolids Dewaterability and Polymer Consumption in the Dewatering Process”, J. Kopp, H. Yoshida, G. Forstner, WEF Conferenc WEFTECe, New Orleans 24-28 September 2016, https://doi.org/10.2175/193864716819715446

Washington State University mobile phosphorus recovery unit project

WSU (Washington State University) has obtained a 460 000 US$ grant from the USDA (federal Department of Agriculture) for the project “Mobile System for Nutrient (Phosphorus) Recovery and Cost Efficient Nutrient Transport”, developed with Multiform Harvest (see SCOPE Newsletter n° 109). WSU will demonstrate their mobile struvite phosphorus recovery unit at commercial dairies, with Dairy Farmers of Washington (DFW), and establish recycling links with forage crop growers who can use the recovered struvite. This funding is within the USDA Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Previous  CIG grants include phosphorus recycling from chicken litter through use of ash as fertiliser 2011, vermiculture treatment of pig manure for recycling 2009, manure nutrient use Delaware 2009, nutrient trading Vermont 2012, and a range of projects on nutrient pollution mitigation, optimisation of nutrient use, manure treatment.
“Washington State University Receives USDA Grants for Agricultural Innovation” 20/9/2016 https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/wa/newsroom/releases/?cid=NRCSEPRD1290890 “Grant Funds Mobile System for Phosphorus Recovery From Manure” 17/11/2016 http://www.lancasterfarming.com/farming/dairy/grant-funds-mobile-system-for-phosphorus-recovery-frommanure/article_1bd04fb1-055b-53e0-a59e-521ca8171205.html  Washington State University mobile struvite recovery unit https://puyallup.wsu.edu/lnm/mobile-nutrient-recovery-system and article in “Dairy Farmers” 15/3//2017 http://www.wadairy.com/blog/mobile-nutrient-recovery-system

Everglades Foundation
George Barley Water Prize

WETSUS (NL) is George Barley Water Prize stage 1 winner

The George Barley Water Prize (Everglades Foundation) has named its first winner as WETSUS Netherlands, with the NaFRAd project (Natural Flocculation Reversible Adsorption). WETSUS (European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology) takes home the US$ 25 000 prize for the Prize Stage 1. After winning Stage 1, the Wetsus team is now preparing its submission for the second stage which requires testing and demonstrating at the laboratory lab scale.

Stage 2 of the Prize is open to organisations worldwide, whether or not they participated in Stage 1. Deadline: 15th July 2017, see below.

The WETSUS NaFRAd technology proposes a combination of flocculation with natural flocculants and reversible adsorption with high capacity iron based adsorbents. This can remove both particulate and soluble phosphorus with minimal waste generation. The phosphorus can be recovered as calcium phosphate for use in the fertiliser industry. These technologies reflect the WETSUS research themes Phosphate Recovery and Natural Flocculants.

WETSUS is a partner of the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, and has for example developed with ESPP a regularly updated listing of publications providing overviews and comparisons of phosphorus recovery technologies (www.phosphorusplatform.eu > Activities > P-recovery Technology Inventory). WETSUS also regularly provides articles for ESPP’s SCOPE Newsletter reviewing scientific publications on phosphorus recycling technologies.


Photo: March 22, West Palm Beach, Florida: George Barley Water Prize Stage 1 winner WETSUS, represented by Prasanth Kumar, with Nathalie Olijslager-Jaarsma, Consul General of the Netherlands,, Jim King, Scotts Miracle Gro, Mary Barley, Board Member of the Everglades Foundation and Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation.

Stage 2 now open for submissions

Stage 2 of the Prize is currently open for applications from teams capable of testing their solution for two consecutive weeks processing c. 24 litres/hour (see exact specifications in application materials).  Applicants will submit daily inflow and outflow samples from their technology. A total of $80,000 will be awarded in November of this year to the top 3 teams in Stage 2. Applicants to Stage 2 need not have applied to Stage 1. The deadline to request Stage 2 application materials is 15 July 2017 and the deadline to submit applications is 31 August 2017. The Pilot Stage, the third stage of the George Barley Water Prize, will qualify 10 teams to compete at a Pilot location in Canada in early 2018, with awards totalling $800,000.  Finally, the Grand Prize will see the top 4 teams compete in Florida for the ultimate $10 million award.

Fifteen Stage 1 finalists

Stage 1 of the George Barley Water Prize is the first milestone of the 4-year prize which will reward with US$ 10 million the most cost-effective, scalable technology that thoroughly removes and recovers phosphorus from freshwater bodies.  Over 75 applicants from all over the globe submitted proposals to Stage 1 (from a total of 181 initial entries). Entries came primarily from the United States, but also from Canada, India, Belgium, Germany, Australia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden and Israel. The prize nominated 15 finalists for Stage 1, and these are summarised below.

George Barley Water Prize, funded by the Everglades Foundation and with support from Ontario, Xylem, Miracle Gro and Knight Foundation www.barleyprize.com
 
The 15 stage 1 finalists are as summarised below
(see also on the Prize website: go to “Entries” and search by project name)
 
Technologies including phosphorus adsorbents
  • Wetsus NaFRAd (Natural Flocculation Reversible Adsorption) – winner of Stage 1of the Prize - particulate phosphorus is captured by biodegradable bioflocculants, soluble phosphorus is captured in  an adsorbent bed which can be regenerated using calcium hydroxide for recovery of calcium phosphate. Adsorption is part of the WETSUS Phosphate Recovery theme with participation of Delft University of Technology, STOWA, ICL Fertilizers, KEMIRA, Green Water Solution, water authority Brabantse Delta and Oosterhof Holman. Natural flocculants are being developed in the WETSUS Natural Flocculants theme with participation of Wageningen University Research, Pentair and Shell Global Solutions. See on YouTube and www.wetsus.nl/phosphate-recovery Contact See photo.


     
  • Rocky Mountain Scientific APR – proposes a compound (APR1 beads – a proprietary compound) which enables phosphorus to be removed from water by adsorption/desorption. Contact
  • AquaCal AgBag –uses “biogenic oolitic aragonite”, which means a form of calcium carbonate in spherical grains produced by biological processes (this is not clarified). It is claimed that “adding aragonite into animal and plant nutrition … will mitigate the very generation of phosphorus by livestock and farming activities”. Clarifications have been requested by ESPP, because we do not understand how adding calcium carbonate can have the result that phosphorus going into one end of animals does not come out the other end (phosphorus present in animal feed comes out in manures except for the non significant and essentially non variable amount stocked in bones etc). The answer we received from the company was that this is currently undergoing testing. It is also proposed to install different types of filter bags of aragonite in field drainage or storm water collection to adsorb phosphate. It is indicated that the phosphorus-enriched calcium carbonate can then be used as a fertiliser or soil improver.
  • WAVVE Stream / University of Houston spin-off – using nano-coated polymer beads to adsorb nutrients and heavy metals, with regeneration capabilities. Website: www.wavvestream.com Contact
Biological systems
  • AquaFiber Technologies AquaLutionsTM process – lake water is pumped through a patented unit at the heart of which is a dissolved air flotation unit modified to maximize its efficiency to harvest the smallest algal cells from the lake water. The system also includes gravity pre-separation and biological polishing. Clear, clean and oxygenated water is returned to the source and blue-green algae are removed. The harvested biomass can be used to produce an organic fertiliser or converted to energy. A 14 million litres/day, 0.4 ha footprint (of which 7% for the treatment installation) site has already been tested successfully at Lake Jesup, Florida, 2009-2014. The technology is ready for roll-out and the company offers a “pay for performance” business model. www.aquafiber.com See photo.


     
  • Phosphorus-hungry microbes (PIARCS) www.piarcs.org – microbes are used to remove soluble phosphorus from water and stably sequester it as polyphosphate.  Advantages over conventional bio-P removal are very rapid phosphate uptake, without subsequent phosphate release. The rapid uptake means that fermenter-grown microbes can be added just prior to flocculation. The polyphosphate rich biomass can be used as organic fertiliser. Contact
  • Wetlaculture (Mitsch) – landscape-scale and mesocosm-scale models integrating wetlands for phosphorus retention with agriculture. Retained phosphorus in the wetlands is directly recycled as fertiliser to crops appropriate for temperate or subtropical region. See photo.

High technology solutions
  • Nutrient Extraction and Recovery Devices (University of Maryland Baltimore County) – selective phosphorus uptake and recovery using ion exchange membranes and high-strength monovalent salt solutions. Contact
  • Waterway Nanoshield (University of Calgary) – phosphorus removal from livestock manure using nanoporous carbon membranes as electro-filters, to clean water and produce “mineral concentrates” of phosphorus and nitrogen which can be redistributed as a fertiliser. Contact
  • Plasma Water Reactor – University of Michigan – plasma injection into water is indicated as having the following effects: changing water chemistry (oxidation states, pH) so initiating precipitation of ions such as phosphates; electrical enhancement of coagulation; generation of  ozone, UV … which break down organics.

Iron-based phosphorus removal
  • Waterloo Biofilter EC-P System – low-energy electrochemistry releases ferrous iron into septic systems or ditch water to remove phosphorus as inert, crystalline iron phosphate minerals (vivianite). This is similar to the use of iron salts for phosphorus removal in sewage works worldwide, but without P-rich sludge production. The process can be modified to recover iron phosphate crystals which are proposed for use as a fertilising soil amendment. www.waterloo-biofilter.com Contact See photos.

  • P removal (University of Miami) – using riparian buffer vegetation zones, waste iron materials from foundries for phosphorus adsorption and plants (reedbed type systems) for final purification stage removing low levels of phosphorus and other pollutants. Contact
     
  • FIU ROAR (Florida International University) - submission from Everglades region presenting a “holistic approach”. Little technical information. Iron coated fibres used for P-removal – not defined how to dispose of or recycle these fibres after phosphorus uptake.
     
  • Team blueXgreen - University of Idaho – reactive filtration using iron salts, biochar (from agriculture or forestry greenwaste) and ozone. Two first generations of the technology (ferrous iron and ozone) are operating commercially (Nexom/Blue Water Technologies) with installations up to >50 million litres/day, and are participating in the UK-WIR-CIP2 trials (see ESPP eNEWS n°7).  The third generation reactive filtration technology (at pilot stage, see photo) adds biochar as a catalyst and phosphorus adsorbant. This can be recycled as a slow release phosphorus fertiliser which sequesters CO2. Photo: University of Idaho N-E-W Tech™ process research trailer. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI22R6vzVdw Contact See photo.


     
  • US Geological Survey (USGS Leetown) –adsorption using mine waste ochre (iron oxide based) with regeneration of the ochre using sodium hydroxide, and then precipitation of calcium phosphate for recycling. See details in “Removal of phosphorus from agricultural wastewaters using adsorption media prepared from acid mine drainage sludge,” Sibrell, et al., 2009, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2009.02.010 and “Fixed bed sorption of phosphorus from wastewater using iron oxide-based media derived from acid mine drainage” Sibrell and Tucker 2013 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11270-012-1262-x Contact See photo.

 

Meetings

North America Phosphorus Forum 2017

The Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance’s Phosphorus Forum 2017, 19th May, Washington DC, will bring together industry, scientists and policy makers to look at developments and opportunities in phosphorus recycling and use in the food system. Speakers and panellists will include representatives from Newtrient LLC (innovation in nutrient recovery and valorisation of manures), ESPP, Smithfield Foods, Renewable Nutrients, the US EPA, IPNI, JR Simplot, Helena Chemicals, and DC Water. The Forum will also include presentation of results of the five-year US National Science Foundation P-RCN (Phosphorus Research Coordination Network, see SCOPE Newsletters n° 114 and 100). Programme and registration: https://phosphorusalliance.org

ESPP stakeholder meeting on EU Fertiliser Regulation development and STRUBIAS

Brussels, Tuesday 5th September, stakeholder meeting to discuss the revision of the EU Fertilisers Regulation, impacts on nutrient circular economy, contaminants in recycled fertiliser products, traceability for organic containing recycled products, STRUBIAS proposals for biochars, struvite and ash-based recycled materials. Register:

Nutrient recycling R&D projects meeting and technology fair

Basel, Thursday 19th October, Phos4You and ESPP organise a meeting to bring together EU (H2020, LIFE, InterReg) and national funded R&D projects on nutrient recycling, and a phosphorus recovery technology fair to enable Swiss wastewater operators to explore how to meet the phosphorus recycling Ordonnance obligations. The R&D project meeting aims to generate a catalogue of R&D projects and identify funding needs, similar to the Berlin 2015 workshop conclusions published by the European Commission. Pre-register:

Events

Up to date list of events:  www.phosphorusplatform.eu/upcoming-events

COMIFER workshop Recycled phosphorus in agriculture
11 April 2017
, Paris, France - Registration 
COMIFER (France fertilizer industry, www.comifer.asso.fr) workshop on recycled phosphorus in agriculture: potential, products, quality, regulation 

The Sustainability Consortium Summit 2017
18 - 20 April 2017
, Washington, USA - Website

Strippers and Scrubbers event - the fight for nitrogen recovery, recycling and removal
27 April 2017
, Leeds, United Kingdom - Website - Email 

SYMPHOS - International Symposium on Innovation and Technology in the Phosphate Industry
8 - 10 May 2017
, Ben Guerir, Morocco - Website
10th "Phosphates" event, the premier gathering for decision-makers for the fertilizer, feed and industrial phosphates industries, with 400 participants

Course Phosphorus Removal and Tertiary Treatment Processes
11 May 2017
, Wakefield, United Kingdom - Website
This course will review the design and operation of the main markets available for N and P removal technologies.

Netherlands political seminar Circular with phosphate (in Dutch)
12 May 2017
, Amersfoort, Netherlands - Website
The Dutch Nutrient Platform and the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform will give a presentation

19th International Conference on Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems
14 - 15 May 2017
, Amsterdam, Netherlands - Website

Waste-to-Resources 2017 conference
16 - 18 May 2017
, Hanover, Germany - Website
Conference and exhibition on mechanical biological waste treatment (MBT/AWT), waste sorting and recycling technology

Sustainable Phosphorus Research Coordination Network (P RCN) workshop
16-18 May 2017
, Washington DC, USA - Website - Registration

Dresden Nexus Conference Water Soil and Waste
17 - 19 May 2017
, Hanover, Germany - Website

+++ Phosphorus FORUM of the North America Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (SPA)
19 May 2017, Washington DC, USA - Website - Registration - Email
Organised by the former North American Partnership for Phosphorus Sustainability (NAPPS)

International interdisciplinary conference on land use and water quality (LuWQ2017)
29 May - 1 June 2017
, Den Haag, Netherlands - Website

R3Water final conference
30 May 2017
, Brussels, Belgium - Website 
With a focus on "Water in the circular economy – innovations for urban water treatment"

Sustainable Foods Summit 2017
1 - 2 June 2017
, Amsterdam, Netherlands - Website

World Circular Economy Forum 2017
5 - 6 June 2017
, Helsinki, Finland - Website

WEF Nutrient Symposium 2017
12 - 14 June 2017
, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA - Website

Kick-off meeting SYSTEMIC EU research project
13-14 June 2017
, Wageningen, The Netherlands - Registration
Start meeting of this project focussing on largescale demonstration projects for recovery of nutrients from manure and sewage sludge

+++ Ireland Phosphorus from wastewater conference
21 - 23 June 2017
, Belfast, Ireland - Website - Contact
Starts with a 1 day workshop on ‘Irish phosphorus sustainability’ to establish the need for an Irish nutrient platform, and First conference of the Ireland EPA funded project "Phosphorus from wastewater: Novel technologies for advanced treatment and reuse".

International conference Innovative solutions for sustainable management of nitrogen
26 - 28 June 2017
, Aarhus, Denmark - Website

International Fertiliser Society (IFS) Technical Conference 2017
29 - 30 June 2017
, Geological Society, London, United Kingdom - Website

PBSi 2017 - International Conference On Phosphorus, Boron and Silicon
3 - 5 July 2017
, Paris, France - Website

+++ The BIG Phosphorus Conference and Exhibition – Removal & Recovery
4 - 5 July 2017
, Manchester United Football Stadium, United Kingdom - Website
The event is supported by the UKWIR National Phosphorus Trials steering group and the National Chemical Investigation Programme (CIP) Phosphorus Steering Group

2nd IWA Resource Recovery conference
5 - 9 August 2017
, New York, USA - Website - Email
2nd International Water Association conference on resource recovery from wastewater

17th International RAMIRAN conference 'Sustainable utilization of manures and residue resources in agriculture'
4 - 6 September 2017
, Wexford, Ireland - Website - Email
RAMIRAN (Recycling of Agricultural, Municipal and Industrial Residues in Agriculture Network) is a research and expertise network dealing with environmental issues relating to the use of livestock manure and other organic residues in agriculture.

+++ ESPP meeting EU Fertiliser Regulation and STRUBIAS
5 September 2017
, Brussels, Belgium - Registration
Stakeholder meeting on EU Fertiliser Regulation developments and biochar, struvite and ash-products criteria

IFDC and IFA workshop Phosphate Fertilizer Production Technology
5 - 9 October 2017
, Berlin, Germany - Website

NORDIWA - Nordic Waste Water Conference
10 - 12 October 2017
, Aarhus, Denmark - Website 
Potential phosphorus session is planned, check for an update

+++ ESPP and Phos4You meeting Nutrient recycling R&D projects and technologies
19 October 2017
, Basel, Switzerland - Registration
ESPP and Phos4You meeting EU (H2020, LIFE, InterReg) and national funded R&D projects on nutrient recycling, and a phosphorus recovery technology fair

World Resources Forum 2017 - Accelerating the resource revolution
24 - 25 October 2017
, Geneva, Switzerland - Website

Conference Phosphorus a critical resource with a future (in German)
22-23 November 2017
, Stuttgart, Germany - Website

+++ ManuREsource 2017 - International conference on manure management and valorization
27 - 28 November 2017
, Eindhoven, Netherlands - Website - Email
In cooperation with the Dutch Nutrient Platform. A facultative field trip with exclusive site visits to local manure processing installations will be organised on 29 November 2017.

3rd International Conference on Global Food Security and Sustainability
3 - 6 December 2017
, Cape Town, South Africa - Website
 

ESPP Members

 

Copyright © 2017 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

The George Barley Water Prize (Everglades Foundation) has named its first winner as WETSUS Netherlands, with the NaFRAd project (Natural Flocculation Reversible Adsorption). WETSUS (European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology) takes home the US$ 25 000 prize for the Prize Stage 1. After winning Stage 1, the Wetsus team is now preparing its submission for the second stage which requires testing and demonstrating at the laboratory lab scale.

Stage 2 of the Prize is open to organisations worldwide, whether or not they participated in Stage 1. Deadline: 15th July 2017, see below.

The WETSUS NaFRAd technology proposes a combination of flocculation with natural flocculants and reversible adsorption with high capacity iron based adsorbents. This can remove both particulate and soluble phosphorus with minimal waste generation. The phosphorus can be recovered as calcium phosphate for use in the fertiliser industry. These technologies reflect the WETSUS research themes Phosphate Recovery and Natural Flocculants.

WETSUS is a partner of the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, and has for example developed with ESPP a regularly updated listing of publications providing overviews and comparisons of phosphorus recovery technologies (http://www.phosphorusplatform.eu > Activities > P-recovery Technology Inventory). WETSUS also regularly provides articles for ESPP’s SCOPE Newsletter reviewing scientific publications on phosphorus recycling technologies.

Barley photo1

Photo: March 22, West Palm Beach, Florida: George Barley Water Prize Stage 1 winner WETSUS, represented by Prasanth Kumar , with Nathalie Olijslager-Jaarsma, Consul General of the Netherlands,  Jim King, Scotts Miracle Gro, Mary Barley, Board Member of the Everglades Foundation and Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation.

Stage 2 now open for submissions

Stage 2 of the Prize is currently open for applications from teams capable of testing their solution for two consecutive weeks processing c. 24 litres/hour (see exact specifications in application materials). Applicants will submit daily inflow and outflow samples from their technology.   A total of $80,000 will be awarded in November of this year to the top 3 teams in Stage 2. Applicants to Stage 2 need not have applied to Stage 1. The deadline to request Stage 2 application materials is 15 July 2017 and the deadline to submit applications is 31 August 2017.

The Pilot Stage, the third stage of the George Barley Water Prize, will qualify 10 teams to compete at a Pilot location in Canada in early 2018, with awards totalling $800,000. Finally, the Grand Prize will see the top 4 teams compete in Florida for the ultimate $10 million award.

15 Stage 1 finalists

Stage 1 of the George Barley Water Prize is the first milestone of the 4-year prize which will reward with US$ 10 million the most cost-effective, scalable technology that thoroughly removes and recovers phosphorus from freshwater bodies. Over 75 applicants from all over the globe submitted proposals to Stage 1 (from a total of 181 initial entries). Entries came primarily from the United States, but also from Canada, India, Belgium, Germany, Australia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden and Israel. The prize nominated 15 finalists for Stage 1, and these are summarised below.

George Barley Water Prize, funded by the Everglades Foundation and with support from Ontario, Xylem, Miracle Gro and Knight Foundation http://www.barleyprize.com

The 15 stage 1 finalists are as summarised below
(see also on the Prize website: go to “Entries” and search by project name)

The fifteen George Barley Water Prize Stage 1 finalists:

Technologies including phosphorus adsorbents

  • Wetsus NaFRAd (Natural Flocculation Reversible Adsorption) – winner of Stage 1 of the Prize - particulate phosphorus is captured by biodegradable bioflocculants, soluble phosphorus is captured in an adsorbent bed which can be regenerated using calcium hydroxide for recovery of calcium phosphate. Adsorption is part of the WETSUS Phosphate Recovery theme with participation of Delft University of Technology, STOWA, ICL Fertilizers, KEMIRA, Green Water Solution, water authority Brabantse Delta and Oosterhof Holman. Natural flocculants are being developed in the WETSUS Natural Flocculants theme with participation of Wageningen University Research, Pentair and Shell Global Solutions. See on YouTube and https://www.wetsus.nl/phosphate-recovery Contact See photo.

    BarleyPrice2

  • Rocky Mountain Scientific APR – proposes a compound (APR1 beads – a proprietary compound) which enables phosphorus to be removed from water by adsorption/desorption. Contact
  • AquaCal AgBag – uses “biogenic oolitic aragonite”, which means a form of calcium carbonate in spherical grains produced by biological processes (this is not clarified). It is claimed that “adding aragonite into animal and plant nutrition … will mitigate the very generation of phosphorus by livestock and farming activities”. Clarifications have been requested by ESPP, because we do not understand how adding calcium carbonate can have the result that phosphorus going into one end of animals does not come out the other end (phosphorus present in animal feed comes out in manures except for the non significant and essentially non variable amount stocked in bones etc). The answer we received from the company was that this is currently undergoing testing. It is also proposed to install different types of filter bags of aragonite in field drainage or storm water collection to adsorb phosphate. It is indicated that the phosphorus-enriched calcium carbonate can then be used as a fertiliser or soil improver.

  • WAVVE Stream / University of Houston spin-off – using nano-coated polymer beads to adsorb nutrients and heavy metals, with regeneration capabilities. Website: http://wavvestream.com Contact

Biological systems

  • AquaFiber Technologies AquaLutionsTM process – lake water is pumped through a patented unit at the heart of which is a dissolved air flotation unit modified to maximize its efficiency to harvest the smallest algal cells from the lake water. The system also includes gravity pre-separation and biological polishing. Clear, clean and oxygenated water is returned to the source and blue-green algae are removed. The harvested biomass can be used to produce an organic fertiliser or converted to energy. A 14 million litres/day, 0.4 ha footprint (of which 7% for the treatment installation) site has already been tested successfully at Lake Jesup, Florida, 2009-2014. The technology is ready for roll-out and the company offers a “pay for performance” business model. www.aquafiber.com See photo.

Barley photo2

  • Phosphorus-hungry microbes (PIARCS) – microbes are used to remove soluble phosphorus from water and stably sequester it as polyphosphate. Advantages over conventional bio-P removal are very rapid phosphate uptake, without subsequent phosphate release. The rapid uptake means that fermenter-grown microbes can be added just prior to flocculation. The polyphosphate rich biomass can be used as organic fertiliser. Contact
  • Wetlaculture (Mitsch) – landscape-scale and mesocosm-scale models integrating wetlands for phosphorus retention with agriculture. Retained phosphorus in the wetlands is directly recycled as fertiliser to crops appropriate for temperate or subtropical region. See photo.

Barley photo3

High technology solutions

  • Nutrient Extraction and Recovery Devices (University of Maryland Baltimore County) – selective phosphorus uptake and recovery using ion exchange membranes and high-strength monovalent salt solutions. Contact
  • Waterway Nanoshield (University of Calgary) – phosphorus removal from livestock manure using nanoporous carbon membranes as electro-filters, to clean water and produce “mineral concentrates” of phosphorus and nitrogen which can be redistributed as a fertiliser. Contact
  • Plasma Water Reactor – University of Michigan – plasma injection into water is indicated as having the following effects: changing water chemistry (oxidation states, pH) so initiating precipitation of ions such as phosphates; electrical enhancement of coagulation; generation of ozone, UV … which break down organics. See photo.

BarleyPrice5

Iron-based phosphorus removal

  • Waterloo Biofilter EC-P System – low-energy electrochemistry releases ferrous iron into septic systems or ditch water to remove phosphorus as inert, crystalline iron phosphate minerals (vivianite). This is similar to the use of iron salts for P-removal in sewage works worldwide, but without P-rich sludge production. The process can be modified to recover iron phosphate crystals which are proposed for use as a fertilising soil amendment. www.waterloo-biofilter.com Contact See photo.

    BarleyPrice6
  • P removal (University of Miami) – using riparian buffer vegetation zones, waste iron materials from foundries for phosphorus adsorption and plants (reedbed type systems) for final purification stage removing low levels of phosphorus and other pollutants. Contact

  • FIU ROAR (Florida International University) - submission from Everglades region presenting a “holistic approach”. Little technical information. Iron coated fibres used for P-removal – not defined how to dispose of or recycle these fibres after phosphorus uptake.

  • Team blueXgreen - University of Idaho – reactive filtration using iron salts, biochar (from agriculture or forestry greenwaste) and ozone. Two first generations of the technology (ferrous iron and ozone) are operating commercially (Nexom/Blue Water Technologies) with installations up to >50 million litres/day, and are participating in the UK-WIR-CIP2 trials (see ESPP eNEWS n°7). The third generation reactive filtration technology (at pilot stage, see photo) adds biochar as a catalyst and phosphorus adsorbant. This can be recycled as a slow release phosphorus fertiliser which sequesters CO2. Photo: University of Idaho N-E-W Tech™ process research trailer. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI22R6vzVdw Contact See photo.

Barley photo4

  • US Geological Survey (USGS Leetown) –adsorption using mine waste ochre (iron oxide based) with regeneration of the ochre using sodium hydroxide, and then precipitation of calcium phosphate for recycling. See details in “Removal of phosphorus from agricultural wastewaters using adsorption media prepared from acid mine drainage sludge,” Sibrell, et al., 2009, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2009.02.010 and “Fixed bed sorption of phosphorus from wastewater using iron oxide-based media derived from acid mine drainage” Sibrell and Tucker 2013 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11270-012-1262-x
    Contact See photo.

Barley photo5


This report of the The George Barley Prize is here available in PDF.

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

Please subscribe www.phosphorusplatform.eu/Subscribe 
Link to www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews8
Download as PDF

Policy
CEN paper on standards needs for P-recycling from wastewater
EU Critical Raw Materials list reassessment
EU Tax Commissioner calls for tax shift to resources
EU to assess chemicals policy – waste interface
Weaknesses of EU soils policy
Ammonia emissions limits for livestock farms published
EU consultation on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
Sewage biosolids: “missing a golden opportunity”
Sewage treatment status in the EU
Media
Pharmaceuticals in the environment
Sewage sludge treatment in Europe: industry perspectives
Catalogue of operating phosphorus recovery installations
Fraunhofer IGB wins Ivan Tolpe 2017 award
Nordic bio-economy: 25 sustainability success stories
Research
Update on biochar standards and regulation
Improving phosphorus nutrient use efficiency (NUE)
Contaminants in manure treatment
Assessing sustainability of biomass and nutrient recycling
 

Policy

CEN paper on standards needs for P-recycling from wastewater

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has adopted recommendations concerning standardisation needs to support the development of phosphorus recycling from waste waters. The paper outlines  why phosphorus recycling is important, different recycling routes, obstacles to implementation and relevant standards activities (in particular CEN/TS 13714, CEN/TR 13097, CEN/TC 260, ISO/TC 275, ISO/TC 134 (more details SCOPE Newsletter n°112). CEN adopts 5 recommendations for standardisation in the short term: dialogue with the Circular Economy needs, mapping and analysis of existing standards, of public and private certification schemes and of legislative processes relevant to P-recovery where standards are needed, promotion of existing standards relevant to P-recycling (e.g. wastewater treatment, fertilisers, …), possible inclusion of P management in these standards areas and promotion of risk assessment and good practice. CEN also specifies 6 areas where work is needed in the medium/long term, including P-bioavailability, technical characteristics and water content of recycled products, P-flow monitoring methods, good practices, contaminant levels and mitigation.
“Phosphorus recycling from wastewater treatment processes: available technologies, applicability and standardization needs”, CEN Strategic Advisory Body on Environment (SABE), 6-pages, dated 10/11/2015, validated by CEN Technical Board, early 2017 www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory

EU Critical Raw Materials list reassessment

A review of the EU Critical Raw Materials list is currently underway, contracted by the European Commission to a group of consultants led by TNO, Netherlands. ESPP has made input to the process at a closed meeting last year and in writing to non-public documents. Many of ESPP’s questions raised concerning the 2014 Critical Raw Materials System Analysis (RMSA), see SCOPE Newsletter n°109, remain valid. ESPP notes the difficulties resulting of considering “phosphate rock” rather than phosphorus (P) in all forms (organic, mineral …), but this is inherent to the RMSA methodology. ESPP has pressed that white phosphorus (P4) should also be separately assessed, because it is a vital raw material for a range of added-value chemicals and other industry sectors for which the EU is totally dependent on imports mainly from Vietnam and Kazakhstan (see SCOPE Newsletter n°123). Additionally, ESPP is trying to ensure that the RMSA for phosphate rock covers all economic sectors which are dependent on phosphorus (agricultural crops and livestock, food sector) not only direct users (fertiliser industry) and that it takes into account expected future geographical concentration of phosphate rock resources increasing demand (growing world population).

EU Tax Commissioner calls for tax shift to resources

Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for taxation, has called on Member States to move forward the objective of shifting taxes from labour to the use of natural resources. Today, over half of European tax revenues weigh on jobs, and only 6% on resources and consumption (see Ex’Tax in ESPP eNews n°6). In January this year a high level group led by Mario Monti proposed carbon taxation as a source to fund the EU budget and replace Member States direct contributions. The EU’s European Semester annual country reports, published February 2017, confirm that most Member States are a long way from the objective of 10% of tax revenues from green taxes set in 2011, and the Commission recommends Member States to stop tax breaks on diesel or energy intensive industries and shift taxation burden from labour to green levies.
 “EU tax commissioner calls for green tax shift” ENDS 20/1/2017  http://www.endseurope.com/article/48312/eu-tax-commissioner-calls-for-green-tax-shift  European Semester country reports, February 2017 https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/2017-european-semester-communication-country-reports_en European Commission “Greening the European Semester” http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/green_semester/index_en.htm

EU to assess chemicals policy – waste interface

The European Commission has published a Roadmap outlining how it will assess during 2017 the interface between chemicals policy and waste policy, to identify barriers to the circular economy. The Commission notes the absence of a framework to address hazardous chemicals in recycled materials, and the lack of clarity as to when a material is ‘waste’ or when a ‘secondary raw material’ incoherence in applying EU waste classification methodologies and impacts on recyclability of materials, with related difficulties in application of REACH (EU Chemical Regulation). The Commission intends to consult stakeholders, possibly launch additional studies to address specific cases and to make proposals to address issues identified.
European Commission Roadmap “Analysis of the interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation and identification of policy options” 27/1/2017 http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/roadmaps/docs/plan_2016_116_cpw_en.pdf See also Technopolis report on barriers to the Circular Economy in ESPP eNews N°6.

Weaknesses of EU soils policy                                                                                                   

A report for the European Commission summarises soil protection instruments in the Member States, concluding that the absence of EU soil legislation is not effectively compensated by Member State policies. The 7th European Environment Programme mandate to the European Commission to develop a legislative proposal on soil policy is today not implemented. 671 national instruments were identified and assessed, of which around 2/3 derive from implementation of EU legislation and only 1/3 are nationally initiated. A number of EU instruments indirectly contribute to soil protection, included the Water Framework Directive and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). However, certain aspects are not addressed at all by European policies, including prevention of soil sealing or contaminants (addressed in water, not in soil). Future possibilities include strengthening soil standards under CAP Pillar 1 (direct payments) and Pillar 2 (Rural Development Funding), and opportunities through climate policy (soil organic carbon, improved use of nitrogen fertilisers).
“Updated Inventory and Assessment of Soil Protection Policy Instruments in EU Member States”, Ecologic Institute for European Commission DG Environment, 8 Feb. 2017 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/soil/pdf/Soil_inventory_report.pdf

Ammonia emissions limits for livestock farms published

The European Commission has published the BAT BREF (Best Available Technologies) update for “intensive rearing of poultry or pigs”, applicable to farms with more than 40 000 poultry or 2 000 production pigs (around 20 000 farms in Europe), see SCOPE Newsletter n° 116. All new such farms must comply with the BAT specifications, and existing farms have four years to become compliant. For the first time, ammonia emissions limitations are now applicable to farms: with upper limits of 1.2 kgNH3/y for fattening pigs, 5.6 kg for farrowing sows and 0.13 kg for poultry. The European Commission has indicated that the limits will only drive a significant reduction in ammonia emissions if Member States regulators fix limits at the lower levels of the ranges fixed for each type of production. The BAT requirements also limit animal phosphorus excretion for different categories of animals (e.g. max. 5.4 kg P2O5/fattening pig/year), specifies actions to take to improve diet P efficiency (e.g. use of phytase and of inorganic phosphate feed additives), proposes manure treatment systems, etc (detail in SCOPE Newsletter n° 116).
“New EU environmental standards for large poultry and pig farms” European Commission 17 Feb 2017 and Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/302 of 15 February 2017 establishing best available techniques (BAT) conclusions, under Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, for the intensive rearing of poultry or pigs (notified under document C(2017) 688)

EU consultation on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

The European Commission has launched the preparation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020 with a public consultation open to 2nd May 2017. Key discussions will concern the “greening” of the CAP, such as the percentage of land area to be set aside as EFA (Ecological Focus Areas). The Commission’s Roadmap for the CAP sets as objectives to simplify and modernise the policy and funding, in order to contribute to the Commissions ten priorities for 2014-2019 and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
European Commission Roadmap “Communication on Modernising and Simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy” 2/2/2017 http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/roadmaps/docs/2017_agri_001_cap_modernisation_en.pdf   -  EU public consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/consultations/cap-modernising/2017_en

Sewage biosolids: “missing a golden opportunity”

Arne Haarr, chair of the EurEau working group on waste water resources, says that the EU would make a mistake in excluding sewage sludge from composts and digestates in the proposed EU Fertilisers Regulation revision, as proposed in the Commission’s draft text. Mr. Haarr says that using sewage sludge would recycle phosphorus, organic carbon, nitrogen and micronutrients back to agricultural soil. Refusing sewage biosolids in the Fertilisers Regulation will drive towards incineration, which is expensive and not shown to be sustainable. Quality systems such as Sweden’s REVAQ (see SCOPE Newsletter n° 123), operated in cooperation with farmers, the food industry and food retailers, have demonstrated that confidence can be built in safety and quality of sewage sludge recycling to agriculture. Mr Haarr wants the EU to develop traceability and quality requirements in the EU Fertilisers Regulation, to facilitate and encourage sewage biosolids recycling to fertiliser products.
http://www.euractiv.com/section/sustainable-dev/opinion/using-sewage-to-make-europes-economy-truly-circular/

Sewage treatment status in the EU

The European Commission has published its 8th implementation report on urban wastewater treatment (Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive UWWT compliance). The report is based on 2012 data from 25 Member States (Italy, Poland and Hungary failed to provide useable data). The report covers more than 19 000 towns and cities > 2 000 p.e. (person equivalent) for a total of 495 million p.e. Of these, 98% of wastewater is collected and treated (in sewage works or IAS = individual or other appropriate systems). Although trends over time show improving compliance, 21% of the wastewater collected was still not adequately treated to secondary (9%) or to applicable tertiary requirements = phosphorus removal (12%). Phosphorus removal is required in eutrophication ‘Sensitive Areas’ (to date, nearly 75% of the EU territory has been so designated, because at risk of surface water eutrophication) for agglomerations > 10 000 p.e. Around 18 billion € of EU Cohesion Policy funds have been invested in sewage treatment 2007-2013. Challenges identified by the Commission include low compliance in some EU-13 accession states and phosphorus removal. Compliance for P-removal was lowest in Bulgaria, Ireland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain*. ESPP note: compliance with the UWWT Directive does not necessarily mean that sewage treatment is sufficient to comply with Water Framework Directive quality objective obligations.
* no data for Croatia, Italy, Poland, Malta, Latvia.  “Eighth Report on the Implementation Status and the Programmes for Implementation (as required by Article 17) of Council Directive 91/271/EEC concerning urban waste water treatment” COM(2016)105, 4 March 2016 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52016DC0105

Media

Pharmaceuticals in the environment

The HCWH (Health Care Without Harm) conference on pharmaceuticals in the environment brought together 60 participants to discuss current scientific data, national policies and industry actions. Maria Krautzberger, German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) underlined the need for more risk assessment information on pharmaceuticals in the environment, particularly veterinary pharmaceuticals. Helen Clatyon, DG Environment, recognised the Commission’s failure to deliver the pharmaceuticals strategy required (for 9/2015) by the Water Framework Directive. She indicated that a Roadmap should soon be finalised and opened to public consultation. Most of the presentations concerned pharmaceuticals in water, but agricultural application of biosolids, manures or re-used wastewater was identified as a possible contamination route of emerging concern by Sara Lockwood, Deloitte, with suggestions to define concentration limits for application, integrate into agricultural good practice and improve links with Circular Economy actions.
“Pharmaceuticals in the environment. Make ideas work”, HCWH (Health Care Without Harm) workshop, Brussels, 6 Sept. 2016. Slides and workshop summary: https://noharm-europe.org/issues/europe/pharmaceuticals-environment-workshop

Sewage sludge treatment in Europe: industry perspectives

EurEau, the European water and wastewater industry federation, has published a survey of how the industry sees sewage sludge management today and in the future. The answers, reflecting the vision of 22 national or regional water industry federations, do not necessarily correspond exactly to official statistics. The respondents indicate that more than 50% of sewage sludge is used in agriculture, green areas or landscaping (Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK) and whereas only three countries incinerate more than 50% (Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia). Most respondents however expect incineration to increase, phosphorus recovery to increase, and agricultural use to decrease or stay unchanged. The strongest driving forces for sewage sludge treatment are identified as hazardous substances risks, energy recovery and nutrient recovery. Digestion and composting are seen as the most utilised sludge treatment methods. Based on this survey and other sources (Eurostat, 2016; EurEau, 2016; Destatis, 2016) an overview of sludge disposal routes across Europe has been developed by C. Kabe and W. Schipper, see below.

“Answers to the Sewage Sludge Questionnaire”, EurEau 4.10.2016 www.eureau.org (under Positions/Reports – direct link)  - Overview of sludge disposal routes in Europe http://p-rex.eu/uploads/media/Kabbe_Sludge_routes_Europe_and_DE.pdf

Catalogue of operating phosphorus recovery installations

Christian Kabbe has published a list of 70 sites worldwide where installations for phosphorus recovery from wastewater are operating, using different technologies: struvite or calcium phosphate precipitation, Ecophos P-recovery from ashes, Budenheim process, “slag” production, phosphoric acid recovery. Most sites identified are in the EU, with a few in Japan, the USA and Canada. C. Kabbe’s objective is to maintain this list and update it, and to add information on installation capacities. Information or update input is therefore welcome.
“Overview of phosphorus recovery from the wastewater stream facilities operating or under construction”, Feb 2017, Christian Kabbe - P-REX – Nurec4Org  http://p-rex.eu/uploads/media/Kabbe_Tech_implementation_Table_20170208.pdf Contact

Fraunhofer IGB wins Ivan Tolpe 2017 award

A global nutrient recovery technology, developed within the EU-funded research project BioEcoSim, with phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium recovery from pig manure, has been awarded the 2017 Ivan Tolpe prize for innovation in manure processing by VCM (Flemish coordination centre for manure processing). This project, proposed by Jennifer Bilbao, Fraunhofer IGB Germany, was selected from 6 projects from five countries in Europe. BioEcoSim www.bioecosim.eu (EU FP7, see SCOPE Newsletter n°108, 2014), recovers energy, ammonium sulphate, phosphate and a biochar soil amendment from manures, using a process chain including solid-liquid separation, superheated steam drying, pyrolysis, phosphate precipitation, gas permeable membrane and pelletisation (see SCOPE Newsletter n°100). A BioEcoSim pilot plant (1.2 tonnes manure / day) is currently operational at Kupferzell (Germany). Three other projects were noted as runners up: ManureEcoMine project (EU FP7, see SCOPE n°100, 2014), Nijhuis Water Technologies GENIAAL (SCOPE n°124) and Kamplan Netherlands. Kamplan’s ‘Total Circular Farm Concept’ includes a membrane bioreactor (MBR) for biological nitrogen removal, with effluent by electrodialysis for potassium recuperation and reverse osmosis.
 “German total concept for manure valorization wins Ivan Tolpe award 2017” http://www.vcm-mestverwerking.be/information/index_en.phtml?informationtreeid=439

Nordic bio-economy: 25 sustainability success stories

The Nordic Council of Ministers has published a report presenting 25 selected case studies. Selection criteria were: sustainable use of natural resources, technological innovation, environmental and societal benefits, business model innovation. Examples include BioGreenFuture (Faroe Islands), whose project is to produce fish foods from seaweed, replacing providing proteins, oils, vitamins, minerals, binders, antibiotics, antioxidants, and colourings, and using residuals as fertilisers and for bioenergy. Cultivation of 500 tonnes of seaweed plants on < 1 km2 is estimated to potentially extract 2.5 t/y of nitrogen and 0.15 t/y of phosphorus from eutrophied seawaters. Biomega, Norway, converts 36 000 t/y of fish processing waste to salmon oil, fish meal and peptides (by pre-digestion of proteins), all of human food-grade quality. Raisagro Finland are using phytase to reduce phosphorus requirements in fish diet (so reducing P discharges from fish production by 26%) and enabling the use of sustainable plant crops as fish food, rather than fish meal.
“Nordic Bioeconomy. 25 cases for sustainable change” ISBN 978-92-893-4775-4, Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic Bioeconomy Panel and Sustania (Monday Morning) think tank, 2017 http://dx.doi.org/10.6027/ANP2016-782

Research

Update on biochar standards and regulation

An overview paper by Meyer et al. summarises current status and future perspectives for standardisation and legislation on biochars for use as fertilisers or soil amendments. The paper summarises voluntary biochar standards systems: IBI-BS International Biochar Initiative, EBC European Biochar Certificate, BQM British Biochar Quality Mandate. These standards cover aspects such as feedstock materials, organic carbon, ash content, contaminants, sampling and analysis procedures, and production control requirements.  In some cases sustainability aspects are also taken into account such as production emissions, greenhouse gases, energy efficiency, sustainability of feedstock biomass production, etc.  In terms of regulation, biochar is authorised for use in Switzerland and Italy, with detailed specifications for aspects such as production sustainability, biochar quality, contaminants and H/C-org ratio, labelling and user safety. Biochar is also authorised as a soil improver on a case-by-case basis in Austria, and charcoal is authorised in Germany. Developments under the EU Fertiliser Regulation revision (STRUBIAS process, ESPP proposed biochar criteria) and under REACH (EU chemical regulation) are discussed. A detailed table compares requirements for 40 different parameters under the different voluntary scheme, national legislations and proposals.
 “Biochar standardization and legislation harmonization”, S. Meyer et al., J. Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management 2017 http://dx.doi.org/10.3846/16486897.2016.1254640

Improving phosphorus nutrient use efficiency (NUE)

A presentation at the European Parliament summarises approaches to improving phosphate NUE (nutrient use efficiency). The authors consider that the use efficiency of today’s mineral fertilisers is low in all soils, down to 20% in calcareous soils, despite their water solubility. Techniques summarised as potentially improving NUE include development of soil mycorrhizae (symbiotic fungi with plant roots), enclosing of fertiliser particles in membranes whose pores close at low temperatures (nutrients are only released at temperatures where plants can use them), associating mineral fertilisers with organic matter and organic forms of phosphorus, targeted application (placing fertiliser near seed or plant root zone) and precision nutrient application as a function of real-time crop status and nutrient need assessment. They note that recycled fertiliser products often offer higher NUE  because they are slow-release (e.g. struvite) or combine organic and mineral materials. The authors underline that both use of recycled nutrient products and improved NUE can contribute to reduce cadmium input to soils from mineral fertilisers.
 “Plant nutrition: new agronomic approaches and Circular Economy, towards a strong reduction of cadmium input in soils”, European Parliament, Fertilisers Regulation Shadows meeting on fertilisers,  25 January 2017, C. Ciavatta, University of Bologna, Italy, and L. Leita, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics CREA Italy. Not published

Contaminants in manure treatment

Antibiotics were assessed in manure used as input for the ManureEcoMine nutrient recovery pilot plant. Nine antibiotics were analysed and all nine were detected in the Netherlands (pig manure), but only six in Spain (mixture of pig and cow manure). Total concentrations (%DM) were however higher in Spain. Doxycycline was the highest concentration in both countries (>1000 µg/kg) followed by Lyncomycin in Spain and Oxytetracycline in the Netherlands. These antibiotics were partially or not removed in anaerobic digestion and tended then to mostly end up in the solid fractions after solid-liquid or membrane retention. None of the nine antibiotics analysed was detectable in struvite precipitated from the liquor stream after membrane separation.
ManureEcoMine (Green fertilizer upcycling from manure: Technological, economic and environmental sustainability demonstration) report WP4 “Performance of the pilot including trace contaminants with comparison to the NL demonstration results” 30/10/2016 http://www.manureecomine.ugent.be/sites/default/files/userfiles/1/D4.2-Demonstrative%20operation%20ES%20pilot%20plant.pdf

Assessing sustainability of biomass and nutrient recycling

A report by the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) examines sustainability assessment of biomass and nutrient recycling. Comparative LCAs of phosphorus recovery are summarised (Dansschutter, Afman and Korving, Remy and Jossa, Fooij). Struvite is considered as an example. The importance for recycled products of assessing possible risk from contaminants defining End-of-Waste criteria which ensure safety is emphasised. It is recommended to develop monitoring indicators, optimisation (taking into account alternative use and product scenarios) and safety assessment (covering content, origin, production process and use) based on test cases.
“Assessing sustainability of residual biomass applications. Finding the optimal solution for a circular economy”, RIVM Report 2016-0135, Quik J. et al. http://www.rivm.nl/en/Documents_and_publications/Scientific/Reports/2017/januari/Assessing_sustainability_of_residual_biomass_applications_Finding_the_optimal_solution_for_a_circular_economy
 

Events

13-15 March 2017, Tampa, Florida, Phosphates 2017 http://www.crugroup.com/events/phosphates/
 
11 April, Paris, COMIFER / ESPP P recycling in agriculture (in French) http://www.comifer.asso.fr/index.php/fr/groupes-de-travail/journees-thematiques/151-journee-phosphore-recycle-en-agriculture.html

8-10 May 2017, Ben Guérir, Morocco, SYMPHOS - Innovation and Technology in the Phosphate Industry http://www.symphos.com/index.php

 19 May 2017, Washington DC, North America Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (SPA) stakeholder meeting https://sustainablep.asu.edu/about

12-14 June 2017, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, WEF Nutrient Symposium http://www.wef.org/Nutrients/ 

21-23 June 2017, Belfast, Ireland sustainable P meeting https://phosphorusie.wordpress.com/

3-5 July 2017, Paris, PBSi 2017 P, B & Si http://premc.org/conferences/pbsi-phosphorus-boron-silicon/

4-5 July, Manchester, UK, BIG Phosphorus conference http://www.aquaenviro.co.uk/events/conferences/

5-9 August, New York, IWA Resource Recovery conference www.irrc2017.org  


 
 


Copyright © 2017 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

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Regulation
EU Fertilisers Regulation revision
Discussions engaged on meat and bone meal ash recycling to fertiliser in Portugal
German sludge and P-recovery ordinance moves forward
Denmark limits farm phosphorus application
ESPP input to REACH regulation evaluation
Circular economy in priorities of EU Commission Work Programme
EU takes Germany to court over Nitrates Directive failures
EU Auditors say Commission fails to address food waste
Ammonium phosphatides considered safe in food
Projects
Impacts of phosphorus recovery on sewage sludge dewatering
UPM and Yara to develop recycled fertilisers
Nurec4org project for phosphorus recycling in organic farming
Ductor nitrogen and phosphorus recovery with Fraunhofer Umsicht
Denmark’s largest biogas plant yet
Science & media
Danone: towards a circular economy in food
Quick reference on phosphorus in the body
UK water industry priorities phosphorus and pharmaceuticals
Increased diet phosphorus improves pig immune system
 

Regulation

EU Fertilisers Regulation revision

The new EU Fertilisers Regulation, which will cover recycled nutrient products, composts, digestates, biostimulants, has been examined by Council (the 28 Member States) and will be discussed in relevant committees of the European Parliament in March – April (Council’s proposals are not yet published). Council apparently wants manures to be sanitised before input into composting or anaerobic digestion (AD): this would be prohibitive, and is not justified where composting or AD ensure sanitisation (animal by-products safety end-point). ESPP has met MEPs from the different European Parliament political groups and concerned Commissions (AGRI agriculture, IMCO internal market, ENVI environment). ESPP’s messages include proposing adding a requirement for traceability for all fertilisers susceptible to contain organic contaminants (from farm producing manure or factory producing by-products through to the farm where the fertiliser is used), facilitating innovation whilst ensuring safety for future inclusion of new recycled products into the regulation annexes, avoiding additional monitoring obligations or trace-element limits if these do not increase product safety, use of safe industry by-products, interactions with REACH (chemical legislation) and clarifying wording to improve regulatory workability and information of farmers. ESPP’s proposal to include traceability for organics is proposed by the ENVI Rapporteur, Elisabetta Gardini (EPP), amendment n°119. Now is the right time to contact your regional/national Members of the European Parliament and to ask for their engagement to support and improve this proposed new regulation, which will be a major step forward for nutrient recycling in Europe.
ESPP key positions and proposed amendments online at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory For further information see ESPP eNews n°4 and ESPP SCOPE Newsletter n°120. ENVI report and proposed amendments Elisabetta Gardini http://parltrack.euwiki.org/dossier/2016/0084(COD) download source: PE-597.640

Discussions engaged on meat and bone meal ash recycling to fertiliser in Portugal

The company ITS (Industria Transformadora de Subproductos Animais) based in Coruche, Portugal, ensures rendering of slaughterhouse wastes and dead animals (Animal By-Products (ABP) Categories 1 and 2), producing animal fat for biodiesel and meat and bones meal (MBM) for destruction. A rotating-kiln ensures the incineration of the MBM at 850°C, generating 2 500 tonnes/year bottom-ash, as well as thermal energy under the form of steam, which is used for the rendering process. The ash (Meat and Bone Meal Ash MMBA) contains >15% phosphorus (of which most is soluble in NAC neutral ammonium citrate), that is nearly 400 t/y of phosphorus (P), as well as 1% potassium and 0.75% magnesium, with low levels of heavy metals or other contaminants. Discussions are underway with the national authorities to define conditions for use of the MBA as a fertiliser in agriculture. ETSA is also looking for other ways to valorise the MMBA. It is estimated that animal by-products in Europe contain a total of around 310 000 t/y of phosphorus (see SCOPE Newsletter n°122) www.etsa.pt

German sludge and P-recovery ordinance moves forward

On 18th January, the new German new sewage sludge ordinance (AbfKlärV), which will make phosphorus recovery obligatory for most of Germany’s sewage, was validated by the German Cabinet (see ESPP eNews n°6). It is now expected to pass the parliament and Federal Council before summer 2017 and enter into force in January 2018, making phosphorus recovery obligatory for larger sewage works within 12 years (> 100 000 p.e.) or 15 years (> 50 000 p.e.), under certain conditions. P-recovery will thus be required for around 500 sewage works (out of a total of 9 300 in Germany), treating around 2/3 of German sewage. At present, around 26% of German sewage sludge is spread on arable land and this is expected to be cut by half as a consequence of this sewage sludge ordinance (AbfKlärV), and also of the new fertilising ordinance (DüV) which implements the nitrates directive and which will already strongly impact sludge valorisation in Germany next year.
Information provided by Christian Kabbe, KWB. Official press release in German:
http://www.bmub.bund.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/pm/artikel/deutschland-soll-phosphor-aus-klaerschlamm-gewinnen/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=82 English translation of German sewage sludge ordinance (EU Notification 2016/514/D (Germany) http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/tris/en/search/?trisaction=search.detail&year=2016&num=514

Denmark limits farm phosphorus application

New regulations in Denmark, expected to enter into force in August 2017, would for the first time, specifically limit phosphorus application by farmers (including manure, organic and mineral fertilisers). To date phosphorus has been only indirectly limited by manure spreading limits, based nitrogen content. A general ceiling of 30 - 43 kgP/ha (depending on the type of fertiliser) is expected to be applied across the country, but with a lower limit of 30 kgP in 2018, independent of fertiliser type, in lake catchments concerned by River Basin Management Plans. The Danish Society for Nature Conservation is however critical of the proposal, considering that in some areas and for the first years of implementation it would allow farmers to spread more manure than today. Denmark has some 13 million pigs and around one tenth of Denmark’s fields are today saturated with phosphorus in the top soil. Phosphorus saturation can be documented down to 1m depth some places, with 1-2 tonnes/ha of surplus phosphorus stocked. Media coverage notes that a key challenge is moving the surplus phosphorus from the livestock production region of Jutland (West) to arable areas of Zealand (East Denmark).
“Farming package will increase use of phosphorus”, Ingenioren, 13/1/2017 https://ing.dk/artikel/landbrugspakken-vil-oge-brugen-fosfor-191939 and “Denmark a major culprit in rapid consumption of world phosphorus resources”, Ingenioren, 13/1/2017 https://ing.dk/artikel/danmark-storsynder-vi-opbruger-verdens-fosfor-ressourcer-med-rasende-fart-191934

ESPP input to REACH regulation evaluation

ESPP has submitted input to the EU’s public consultation on the REFIT (assessment of fitness for purpose) of the EU Chemical Regulation 1907/2006 (“REACH”). ESPP considers the Regulation as having improved information about chemicals used in Europe, so contributing to public confidence and safety. ESPP’s specific comments noted that the exemption of digestate from REACH should be confirmed; underlined the importance for the nutrient circular economy of Art. 2(7)d which specifies that sites producing “recovered substances” (e.g. struvite recovered from wastewaters) do not have to register under REACH (subject to certain conditions) but noted that clarification is needed to ensure fair sharing of costs and administration for this disposition; and noted that adaptation of REACH should be considered to facilitate registration of recovered nutrient products covered by the EU Fertilisers Regulation (after revision is completed), subject to ensuring safety. REACH is complex to apply to variable or organic substances, such as many recycled nutrient products, and partly inappropriate because it is intended to address the substance, and not impurities, which will be specified in the Fertilisers Regulation.
ESPP input to EU REACH REFIT consultation www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory and EU consultation page http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/newsroom/cf/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8952

Circular economy in priorities of EU Commission Work Programme

The third annual Work Programme of the Juncker Commission maintains the Circular Economy in its top priorities. The Action Plan for the Circular Economy is intended to deliver on Sustainable Development Goals, with a monitoring framework for the circular economy (Autumn 2017), a legislative proposal on quality requirements for water reuse, a REFIT revision of the Drinking Water Directive and a proposal to address the interactions between chemical, product and waste legislations.
“Juncker Commission presents third annual Work Programme: Delivering a Europe that protects, empowers and defends”, EU Commission press release 26/10/2016 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-3500_en.htm
 

EU takes Germany to court over Nitrates Directive failures

The European Commission has filed a 1500 page suit to the European Court of Justice against Germany for failure to adequately implement the Nitrates Directive. The Commission indicates that nitrate pollution is worsening in Germany’s ground and surface waters and in the Baltic Sea. The court action was announced in April 2016 and confirmed in November. The Commission suit indicates that Germany has failed to update its nitrates Action Programme, despite its 2012 implementation report showing that the programme is inadequate to achieve environmental objectives. The Commission indicates that crop fertilisation requirements allow a surplus of 60 kgN/ha/year, application of up to 230 kgN/ha/year is allowed on some grasslands, that some Land’s manure storage capacity requirements are insufficient and that restrictions on application on sloping land, near watercourses and on frozen land are inadequate.
Extracts of EU Commission suit to European Court of Justice, Executive Summary in German: https://netzfrauen.org/2016/11/08/gefaehrliche-guelle-eu-kom-verklagt-deutschland-wegen-verletzung-der-eu-nitrat-richtlinie-deutschland-hat-ein-nitratproblem/  “EU takes Germany to court over high nitrate levels” EurActiv 7/11/2016 https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/eu-takes-germany-to-court-over-high-nitrate-levels/ “Water: Commission refers Germany to the Court of Justice of the EU over water pollution caused by nitrates”, EU press release 28/4/2016 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-1453_en.htm

EU Auditors say Commission fails to address food waste

The European Court of Auditors, in a special report on combating food waste, says that the Commission’s “ambition has decreased over time” and that action taken “has been fragmented and intermittent”. The report calls for an “agreed definition of food waste and an agreed baseline, from which to target reductions”, better Commission coordination and development of an action plan, integration of food waste reduction into policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy, and to facilitate donation of food which would otherwise be wasted. The Commission launched in 2016 a food waste Platform to bring together EU bodies, experts, NGOs and food-chain actors. Some 88 million tonnes of food goes to waste annually in the EU, expected to rise to 126 million tonnes by 2030 unless action is taken.
“Speech by Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis at the launch meeting of the "EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste" 29/11/2016 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-16-4093_en.htm and EU Court of Auditors Special Report 2016-34 “Combating Food Waste: an opportunity for the EU to improve the resource-efficiency of the food supply chain” http://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/SR16_34/SR_FOOD_WASTE_EN.pdf

Ammonium phosphatides considered safe in food

EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) has re-evaluated ammonium phosphatides (E422) for safety as a food additive.  Ammonium phosphatides are molecules consisting of ammonium phosphate with one or two attached mono- or di-glycerides. They are produced by reacting phosphate and ammonium with glycerides, either synthetic or from vegetable oils, and are used as an emulsifier and stabiliser in a range of foods, including chocolate, yoghurts, soft cheese and other dairy products, coffee, cakes and biscuits. EFSA examined a significant number of animal studies of the substance. These indicate that (in rodents) 70-82% is not absorbed (found in faeces) and that most of the absorbed phosphate is incorporated rapidly into bone, muscle or the liver. Studies show low oral toxicity and no cancer, reproductive or developmental effects. EFSA concludes that use as a food additive does not raise safety concerns and that the current ADI (acceptable daily intake) does not require modification.
“Re-evaluation of ammonium phosphatides (E422) as a food additive”, EFSA Scientific Opinion adopted 27/9/2016, EFSA Journal 2016, 14(11), 4597 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4597

Projects

Impacts of phosphorus recovery on sewage sludge dewatering

The US water industry research organisation WERF has launched a 24 month project to investigate how P-recovery, anaerobic sludge digestion and biological phosphorus removal impact sewage sludge dewatering. The organisation indicates that sludge handling can represent 50% of total municipal wastewater treatment costs, with dewatering and polymer use in dewatering representing a significant part of sludge handling costs. WERF note that anaerobic sludge digestion in biological P-removal sewage works can result in significant dewatering problems and high costs, and that there is a lack of agreed knowledge on how P-recovery processes can impact this. The project with Bucknell University will include fundamental laboratory research into flocculation of bio-P digested sludges and field research particularly looking at P-recovery. WERF also has a second project to assess how P-recovery or biological P-removal can be integrated into low-energy, low-carbon nitrogen-removal processes. If you have information on this question, please contact ESPP.
WE&RF 2016: “Unintended Consequences Of Resource Recovery On Overall Plant Performance: Solving The Impacts On Dewaterability Properties (NTRY12R16)”, http://www.werf.org/c/PressReleases/2016/Unintended_Consequences_of_Resource_Recovery_on_Overall_Plant_Performance.aspx and “Water Environment Research Foundation Seeks Proposals for 2 Studies on the Impacts of Resource Recovery on Wastewater Treatment Processes” http://www.werf.org/c/PressReleases/2015/WERF_Seeks_Proposals_for_2_Studies_on_Impacts_of_Resource_Recovery_on_Wastewater_Treatment_Processes.aspx

UPM and Yara to develop recycled fertilisers

UPM (paper, biorefining and forest biomass group with 10 billion €/y turnover and production in 13 countries worldwide) and Yara (Finland phosphate rock mining and fertiliser production group) have obtained funding for 2017-2018 from Raki2, the Finland Environment Ministry nutrient recycling programme, to develop an agricultural fertiliser product from pulp and paper mill wastewater treatment sludge and sludge incineration ash. UPM’s different factories produce around 400 000 t/y of sludge including both primary sludges with a high fibre content and secondary sludges consisting mainly of bacterial biomass. The project aims to develop fertiliser and soil improver products with nutrient availability corresponding to crop needs, including balancing nutrients by combining with mineral fertilisers, so reducing risks of soil nutrient leaching and losses.
“Enhancing the utilisation degree of sludge by improving fuel value and mapping out new applications”, UPM stakeholder magazine Biofore 10/11/2016 https://www.upmbiofore.com/enhancing-the-utilisation-degree-of-sludge-by-improving-fuel-value-and-mapping-out-new-applications/ and UPM press release 10/11/2016 “UPM and Yara to co-develop recycled fertilisers” http://www.upm.com/About-us/Newsroom/Releases/Pages/UPM-and-Yara-to-co-develop-recycled-fertilisers-001-Thu-10-Nov-2016-10-03.aspx

Nurec4org project for phosphorus recycling in organic farming

The 2-year Nurec4org project launched in 2017 will support the uptake of recycled nutrient products in organic farming in Germany. It is led by Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin (KWB) and Bioland (Germany’s biggest organic farmers’ association) and funded by DBU, Germany’s largest environmental foundation. Actions will include studying the market potential for recycled phosphorus products in organic farming and potential supply availability, looking at acceptance criteria for organic farmers and consumers, testing agronomic value and evaluation environment, health and life cycle factors. The objective is to provide both evidence and stakeholder consensus to support regulatory acceptance of recycled phosphates in organic agriculture.
 Contact:

Ductor nitrogen and phosphorus recovery with Fraunhofer Umsicht

A pilot installation (80 m3 fermenter) has started operation in Tuorla, Finland, and will treat 1 400 t/y of poultry manure. A 10 000 t/y chicken manure input installation started is planned in Haren, Germany, in 2016 (see ESPP eNews n°3). The Ductor technology recovers up to 60% of nitrogen (by ammonia stripping and then ammonium sulphate production) upstream of anaerobic digestion (biogas production). The digestate can be processed to a solid organic phosphate fertiliser from the digestate. Fraunhofer Umsicht will work with Ductor to evaluate the performance of the Ductor technology, including the impact on biogas production.
“Revolutionary technology by Ductor® commissioned in Tuorla, Finland”, 20/12/2016 http://www.ductor.com/revolutionary-technology-ductor-commissioned-tuorla-finland/

Denmark’s largest biogas plant yet

The biogas plant to be built near Koskro, Southern Jutland, Denmark’s most intensive livestock production region, will take over 700 000 t/y of input organic wastes, mainly cattle manure, and produce 22 million m3/y of biogas. The project brings together the Nature Energy biogas company and Sydvestjysk, a cooperative of around 100 famers. The plant benefits from exemplary architectural and landscaping design by Gottlieb Palludan.
EBA (European Biogas Association) news http://european-biogas.eu/2016/11/28/denmark-countries-largest-biogas-plant-under-construction/ and “Nature Energy og Sydvestjysk Biogas klar til rekordstort biogasanlæg ved Korskro” 11/11/2016 https://www.natureenergy.dk/corporate/presse/nyheder/spadestik_korskro

Science & media

Danone: towards a circular economy in food

Global food company, Danone, has announced a three-year partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to embed circular economy principles inside the company and to promote them widely. Danone aims for systemic change to preserve natural resources and to move to a more circular value chain. In 2016, Danone was awarded the Environment Top Performance prize by the ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) ratings agency Vigeo, top of 1 300 companies assessed. The company already has circular economy projects addressing nutrients, such as recycling acid whey by-products from yoghurt production to animal feeds, fertiliser and energy.
“Toward a circular economy in food”, Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone http://downtoearth.danone.com/2016/02/29/toward-a-circular-economy-in-food/

Quick reference on phosphorus in the body

A convenient summary of phosphorus biology data is provided in two pages of text plus tables, including a summary of biological functions of phosphorus, data on body P uptake and regulation, an overview of hyper- and hypophosphatemia and useful conversion indicators (mg/l – mmol – mEq/l). Note that this is a veterinary journal and some of the data (e.g. normal serum P levels) for dogs and cats may not be the same for humans.
“A Quick Reference on Phosphorus”, A. Allen-Durrance, Vet Clin Small Anim, 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2016.09.003

UK water industry priorities phosphorus and pharmaceuticals

CIP2, the UK water industry’s second Chemicals Investigation Programme (coordinated by UKWIR) is a major research and monitoring investment. The project is running from 2015 to 2020 with an estimated cost of UK£140 million for chemicals, with a priority on pharmaceuticals, and UK£50 million for phosphates. Some 600 sewage works are being sampled for 74 chemicals. AquaStrategy reports that interim results from 160 sites show a Water Framework Directive compliance risk at ≥90% of sites for five substances (three fluorinated / PFOS chemicals1, PAH2 and phosphorus as SRP3). Twenty of the 74 chemicals being studied are pharmaceuticals4. For a number of pharmaceuticals5, the interim results suggest that levels in sewage works discharge water would pose a potential risk in rivers. CIP2 also includes testing nearly 20 different technologies to reduce phosphorus discharges and 10 technologies to remove pharmaceuticals, a challenge being to find solutions which eliminate the pharmaceutical molecule rather than simply adsorbing it. AquaStrategy note that Switzerland has moved forward on pharmaceutical treatment in sewage works through a 9 CHF/year/person tax. In January 2017, a coalition of 14 NGOs called on the European Commission to take action to reduce pharmaceutical pollution of water, as is required by Directive 2013/39/EU (priority substances in water), which fixed a deadline of September 2015, deadline which has been missed. The NGO’s letter also points to pharmaceuticals in manure and soil.
1: perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid. 2: indicator benzo(a)pyrene. 3: soluble reactive phosphorus. 4: including the 6 pharmaceuticals which are on the Water Framework Directive priority substance ‘Watch List’: diclofenac, estradiol (E2), ethinyl estradiol (EE2), erythromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin. 5: diclofenac, propranolol, clarithromycin, erythromycin, EE2, rantidine and azithromycin. “Early insights from the UK's groundbreaking sewage assessment”, AquaStrategy October 2016 https://www.aquastrategy.com/article/early-insights-uks-groundbreaking-sewage-assessment “The European Commission must fulfil their obligation to reduce pharmaceutical pollution”, NGOs’ position and letter Health Care Without Harm 19/1/2017 https://noharm-europe.org/articles/press-release/europe/european-commission-must-fulfil-their-obligation-reduce-pharmaceutical

Increased diet phosphorus improves pig immune system

A PhD thesis looks at the effects of dietary calcium phosphate levels and of fermentables on the immune system and on gut bacteria of pigs. Following a literature study, two consecutive full scale tests were carried out on 31 pigs fed for 9 weeks with a corn-soybean (higher level of fermentables) then a corn-pea diet, with for each test, groups of high and low calcium phosphate (4 or 7 %Pdm). Higher calcium phosphate and higher fermentables both led to healthier gut and lower potentially harmful gut bacteria. The higher calcium phosphate diets generally showed higher levels of positive immune function indicators. Further research is recommended concerning variations of phosphorus availability (digestibility) and the formation of different inositol phosphates.
“Impact of dietary phosphorus and fermentable substrates on the immune system and the intestinal microbiota of the pig”, C. Heyer, PhD in Agricultural Science, University of Hohenheim Germany, 2016 http://opus.uni-hohenheim.de/volltexte/2016/1301/pdf/Dissertation_Charlotte_Heyer.pdf#page=27
 

Events

13-15 March 2017, Tampa, Florida, Phosphates 2017 http://www.crugroup.com/events/phosphates/
 
Save the date 11 or 12 April, Paris, COMIFER / ESPP P recycling in agriculture (in French)

8-10 May 2017, Ben Guérir, Morocco, SYMPHOS - Innovation and Technology in the Phosphate Industry http://www.symphos.com/index.php

 
19 May 2017, Washington DC, North America Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (SPA) stakeholder meeting https://sustainablep.asu.edu/about

12-14 June 2017, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, WEF Nutrient Symposium http://www.wef.org/Nutrients/ 

21-23 June 2017, Belfast, Ireland sustainable P meeting https://phosphorusie.wordpress.com/

3-5 July 2017, Paris, PBSi 2017 P, B & Si http://premc.org/conferences/pbsi-phosphorus-boron-silicon/

4-5 July, Manchester, UK, BIG Phosphorus conference http://www.aquaenviro.co.uk/events/conferences/

5-9 August, New York, IWA Resource Recovery conference www.irrc2017.org  
 


Copyright © 2017 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

ESPP has submitted input to the EU’s public consultation on the REFIT (assessment of fitness for purpose) of the EU Chemical Regulation 1907/2006 (“REACH”). ESPP considers the Regulation as having improved information about chemicals used in Europe, so contributing to public confidence and safety. ESPP’s specific comments noted that the exemption of digestate from REACH should be confirmed; underlined the importance for the nutrient circular economy of Art. 2(7)d which specifies that sites producing “recovered substances” (e.g. struvite recovered from wastewaters) do not have to register under REACH (subject to certain conditions) but noted that clarification is needed to ensure fair sharing of costs and administration for this disposition; and noted that adaptation of REACH should be considered to facilitate registration of recovered nutrient products covered by the EU Fertilisers Regulation (after revision is completed), subject to ensuring safety. REACH is complex to apply to variable or organic substances, such as many recycled nutrient products, and partly inappropriate because it is intended to address the substance, and not impurities, which will be specified in the Fertilisers Regulation.

Following the legislative developments in Switzerland and Germany, Austria is now also opting for madatory P recovery from municipal sewage sludge. The draft Federal Waste Plan 2017 (Bundes-Abfallwirtschaftsplan) includes a ban of direct land application or composting for sewage sludge generated at Wastewater Treatment Plants with capacities of 20,000 p.e. or above within a transition phase of 10 yeras. (see chapter 7.5 in the waste plan part 1, link below). Alternatively, these WWTP will have to recover the P from sludge onsite targeting P contents below 20 g P / kg dry solids or have to deliver their sludge to sludge mono-incinerators. The P is then to be reovered from the sewage sludge ashes obtained. This regulation will cover 90% of the P contained in the Austrian municipal wastewater.

Link to Austrian Ministry of the Environment and draft waste plan:
https://www.bmlfuw.gv.at/greentec/bundes-abfallwirtschaftsplan/BAWP2017.html

On January 18th, the new sewage sludge ordinance has passed the German cabinet. It is supposed to pass the parliament and Federal Council of Germany before summer. Intended dates are 31 March for the parliament and 12 May for the council. After more than 10 years of revision and heated debates, the new draft of the German sewage sludge ordinance was sent by the Federal Ministry of Environment (BMUB) to the European Commission (EC) for notification at September 26th 2016. The notification to EC is a typical procedure for new Member State regulations according to directive 2015/1535/EU. The EC has approved without remarks by 27 Dec 2016. The content cannot be changed afterwards except for minor adaptions.

Once approved by both chambers, the new sewage sludge ordinance may enter into force by 1st January 2018. This step will make phosphorus (P) recovery from sewage sludge obligatory for all German wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) larger than 50,000 person equivalents (p.e.), equal to ~500 WWTP out of ~9300 WWTP. They will have to recover the phosphorus if the sludge contains more than 2% phosphorus /DS (dry solids) or have to incinerate the sludge in mono-incinerators. Land application of sludge will only be allowed for WWTP < 50,000 p.e. These ~500 WWTP represent roughly 66% of the total phosphorus removed from German wastewater and transferred into the sludge.

The WWTP above 100,000 p.e. will have to fulfill the new phosphorus recovery requirements by 2029, after a 12 years transition period. The WWTP of 50,000 to 100,000 p.e. get three additional years for implementation. All effected WWTP have to develop phosphorus recovery concepts by 2023.

Currently, 26% of sewage sludge is spread on arable land. This fraction is expected to half as a consequence of the new fertilising ordinance (DüV) and sewage sludge ordinance (AbfKlärV) entering into force. The fertilising ordinance is the German implementation of the nitrates directive and will strongly affect sludge disposal and valorisation in Germany already next year.

Official press release in German:
http://www.bmub.bund.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/pm/artikel/deutschland-soll-phosphor-aus-klaerschlamm-gewinnen/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=82

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

Please subscribe www.phosphorusplatform.eu/Subscribe 
Link to www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews6
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Success story
Thermal hydrolysis biogas and fertiliser from food waste, Oslo
Regulation and policy
EU to further restrict dental mercury
Circular Economy standard proposed
Netherlands approves Circular Economy 2050 strategy
France, Spain face European Court actions for failure to treat sewage
German proposed sludge ordinance in English
Germany ammonia emissions taken to court
Policy for the circular economy
Germany UBA proposes reduced VAT on resource efficient products
Regulatory barriers to circular economy wealth creation
Report confirms potential of tax shift from labour to consumption
Media
ICL Fertilisers: the world must consume less raw materials
Aqua Strategy: P recovery update
Toilet Board Coalition: Circular Economy could accelerate global sanitation
Science
Healthy diet, diet P and food sustainability
Phosphorus losses from mains water leakages
Phosphorus recovery potential, Sofia, Bulgaria
Risk assessment and fertiliser regulations
Cost assessment of struvite recovery from digestate
 

Success story

Thermal hydrolysis biogas and fertiliser from food waste, Oslo

The Romerike Biogas Plant (RBA) operated by the Oslo urban authority since 2012, produces over 100 000 t/y fertiliser from food waste digestate.  The plant takes in separately sorted and collected household food waste and commercial and industry food waste. It includes optical and mechanical sorting (magnetic separator, bio-separator, sieve, sifters) , shredding, thermos hydrolysis (THP) at 130°C – 4 bars to  render organics better available for digestion, then biogas production (anaerobic digestion at 38°C for c. 24 days). Biogas is compressed and used to fuel the city’s buses (1 kg food waste gives 0.13 l diesel equivalent). The digestate is solid liquid separated and distributed as liquid fertiliser (90 000 t/y of N10 P2 K6 at c. 4.5% DM or 15% after concentration) and solid fertiliser (15 000 t/y at 28% DM).
Nils Finn Lumholdt, City of Oslo: “AD in Oslo- Production of Liquid Biomethane from Sorted Household Waste”, AD Europe 2014 https://asiakas.kotisivukone.com/files/biolaitosyhdistys.palvelee.fi/23__nils_finn_lumholdt.pdf and “Green Energy from Waste” DAKOFA 24/8/2016 http://www.mita.lt/uploads/documents/food_waste_recycling.pdf

Regulation and policy

EU to further restrict dental mercury

The EU has agreed a text to ban mercury in dental amalgam for children under 15, pregnant and breastfeeding women. This will enable continuing reductions in mercury levels in sewage sludge, of which amalgam is the largest source, because of daily wear of mercury amalgam in people’s teeth. This is significant for safe nutrient reuse through biosolids spreading or through P-recovery. The text has been agreed by the three EU institutions (Commission, Parliament, Council of Member States). It also requires Member States to set a national plant for reducing amalgam and for the Commission to report (by 2020) on the feasibility of a complete phase out of mercury amalgam by 2030. Environmental NGO European Environment Bureau (EEB) welcomed the agreement as placing Europe as a world leader in implementation of the 2013 Minamata International Convention on mercury, but regretted that the complete ban on mercury amalgam is not yet confirmed. The European water industry EurEau has also taken position for a ban on mercury amalgam, considering that mercury separators at dental clinics only partly reduce mercury losses. EurEau estimate that dental mercury going to sewage from teeth reduces by 20% the part of sewage biosolids which can be recycled to farmland, thus resulting in an annual additional cost of around 128 million € per year (EU) for incineration costs, as well as additional CO2 emissions due to the use of fossil fuels to support sludge incineration.
EurEau position 13/6/2016: http://eureauwaternews.tumblr.com/post/151926522998/eureau-welcomes-european-parliament-vote-on-dental EEB position 8/12/2016 http://www.eeb.org/index.cfm/news-events/news/eeb-welcomes-strengthening-of-eu-mercury-laws/

Circular Economy standard proposed

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published online for comment a draft standard for implementing the circular economy in organisations, the first such standard to be proposed. For the purpose of this standard, the following definition of Circular Economy is proposed “systemic approach to the design of business models, enabling the sustainable management of resources in products and services”. The introduction notes that unprecedented uncertainty is expected over coming decades, implying price volatility for raw materials, and proposes the circular economy as a systemic approach to business redesign to address this. Relations between circular economy, resource efficiency, zero waste, bioeconomy and lean thinking are discussed. The proposed standard includes a detailed section of definitions, an approach to optimising value creation through circularity, an overview of circular economy business models and implementation tools including an eight-stage framework and a needs-based navigation tool.
British Standards Institute draft “Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations – Guide” BS8001 https://drafts.bsigroup.com/Home/Details/59265

Netherlands approves Circular Economy 2050 strategy

On 5th October, The Netherlands national Circular Economy programme to 2050 was presented to Parliament. The programme fixes an interim objective of 50% reduction in raw materials use (minerals, metals, fossil fuels) by 2030, and an objective of 100% sustainable, non polluting use of raw materials by 2050. ‘Biomass and food’ is one of the five priority areas identified in the programme. Under this priority, the programme indicates commitment to the Netherlands Nutrient Platform and to European action through ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform). Actions specified to address the ‘Biomass and food’ priority include reducing food waste, sustainable agri- food- and biomass value chains, development of alternative protein sources, recycling of food industry residues, soil quality and increasing soil carbon, precision farming and closing the loop for nutrients.
“A Circular Economy in the Netherlands by 2050” Government-wide Programme for a Circular Economy, Netherlands Minister for Environment and Minister for Economic Affairs, 72 pages, launched 14th September 2016 https://www.government.nl/documents/policy-notes/2016/09/14/a-circular-economy-in-the-netherlands-by-2050

France, Spain face European Court actions for failure to treat sewage

France has been condemned by the European Court of Justice for failure to adequately treat sewage (absence of secondary treatment) for 11 small agglomerations with 2 000 to 15 000 person equivalents. These 11 towns are those for which sewage was still not being adequately treated at the date of the European Commission’s legal procedure (8 of these are since considered to be treated by the Commission), out of some 551 agglomerations initially cited by the European Commission’s action launched against France in 2009. The Commission has also engaged European Court of Justice (ECJ) proceedings against Spain for failure to implement adequate waste water treatment in 17 cities (1.4 million population in total), out of 37 for which Spain was already condemned by the ECJ in 2011. This concerns failure to ensure secondary treatment sufficient to avoid risks to health from pollution of water bodies. The Commission is requesting a 46.5 million € fine on Spain, plus 171 000 € daily fine until conformity is ensured.
Judgement of the European Court of Justice, 23rd November 2016, failure of France to implement the Urban Waste Water Directive 91/271/CEE Art. 4, paragraphs 1 & 3, secondary treatment or equivalent http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=185543&pageIndex=0&doclang=FR&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=2213788 European Commission “November infringements package: key decisions” 17th November 2016 “SPAIN faces fines for not complying with judgment from 2011 over poor waste water collection and treatment” http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-3644_en.htm

German proposed sludge ordinance in English

As indicated in ESPP eNews n°5, Germany has notified to Europe its proposed new sewage sludge ordinance (AbfKlärV), which will make phosphorus recovery obligatory for most of Germany’s sewage. The text has now been translated and is published by the EC in English. The proposal, which is expected to enter into force in 2018, will ban land use of sewage sludge from all sewage works > 50 000 p.e. (over 100 000 p.e. if the sludge has <2%P DM) and will update and harmonise contaminant limits, monitoring obligations and procedures (including quality assurance) where sludge is used in agriculture. For larger sewage works, phosphorus recovery will be obligatory (11 years after entry into force) wherever sludge contains >2% phosphorus (dry matter DM) and in this case at least 50% of the P must be recovered (and sludge P reduced to <2%)* if operating in the sewage works, or at least 80% of the P from incineration ash or other carbon residues (see p75). Implementation of the proposed ordinance is expected to cost 94-119 million €/year.
* ESPP note: if this wording is not modified this will effectively exclude struvite recovery as currently implemented. This could be resolved by changing “and” to “or” here.
European Commission Notification Detail Ordinance reorganising sewage sludge recovery (Sewage Sludge Ordinance)
Notification Number: 2016/514/D (Germany) http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/tris/en/search/?trisaction=search.detail&year=2016&num=514

Germany ammonia emissions taken to court

Two environmental NGOs (ClientEarth and Deutsche Umwelthilfe) have engaged a court case against the state of Germany (at Cologne administrative court) for failure to respect Germany’s ammonia emissions limit under the revised National Emissions Ceilings Directive which entered into force on 31st December 2016. This requires Germany to reduce its ammonia emissions by 5% by 2020 and 29% by 2030 (vs. 2005 levels). The NGOs state that Germany has exceeded its 2010 target under the previous NECD Directive by 17-22% from 2010 – 2015 and that its national air pollution plans as defined at present will not ensure compliance with the new NECD. Ammonia air pollution generates fine particles in the atmosphere and particulate air pollution is estimated to cause nearly 50 000 premature deaths per year in Germany. Over 90% of ammonia emissions come from agriculture, in particular manure management, so that pressure to reduce emissions will incite to nitrogen recovery installation.
“Legal action against German government for ammonia breaches”, ClientEarth, 4th January 2017 http://www.clientearth.org/legal-action-german-government-ammonia-breaches/

Policy for the circular economy

Germany UBA proposes reduced VAT on resource efficient products

The German environment agency UBA has proposed that EU tax regulations should be modified to allow reduced-rate VAT (Value Added Tax) on resource efficient products, as well on services such as repairs. Modification to EU VAT rules requires unanimous decision of all Member States. UBA has also called for binding environmental and social standards throughout the value chain with mandatory certification. UBA also proposes specifying minimum recycled product contents in certain products.
“Resource-efficient products should be cheaper” http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/press/pressinformation/resource-efficient-products-should-be-cheaper Umwelbundesamt Germany 11th November 2016 and resources report www.umweltbundesamt.de/resourcesreport2016

Regulatory barriers to circular economy wealth creation

In a report for the European Commission (DG GROW), 10 case studies are presented where removing regulatory barriers could facilitate development of the circular economy, including two relevant to nutrients: nutrient recycling from manure and food waste in the hospitality sector. For food waste, VAT regulations tax food donations and strict Member State implementation of the 2004 EU Regulation on Food Hygiene result in throwing food away. Regulation and VAT changes could result in savings of 4 billion €/year for the hospitality sector. For manure nutrients, the report identifies five regulatory barriers to recycling:
  • EU Fertilisers Regulation does not at present cover organic fertilisers (NOTE: this is being addressed through the EU Fertiliser Regulation revision)
  • The Animal By-Products Regulation does not take into account the sanitisation ensured by various manure processing methods (NOTE: this should be addressed by the EU Fertilisers Regulation revision, but is not at present
  • Waste Framework Directive labels anaerobic digestion as “recovery” (energy production) instead of recycling (NOTE: so “forgetting” the nutrient value of digestate and the potential for nitrogen recovery by ammonia stripping)
  • Absence of End-of-Waste criteria for manure derived products (NOTE: as above, this should be addressed by the EU Fertiliser Regulation revision)
  • REACH (EU chemical regulation) application to manure derivatives (for which this Regulation may not be adapted)
Other non-regulatory barriers to manure nutrient recycling identified by the report are:
  • Benefits of organic fertilisers not recognised
  • Inconsistent quality of manure derived products
  • Manure processing is more expensive than field spreading or than mineral fertilisers
  • Legal uncertainty around manure processing discourages investments
The report estimates that if 20% of EU manure is currently wasted, rather than being reused in agriculture, then this represents a loss of over 1.1 billion €/year for phosphorus and nitrogen fertiliser value. The report also notes that manure processing is labour intensive, with a “reasonable” job creation potential of 200 000 full-time equivalents across the EU.
Technolopolis, Wuppertal Institute, Thinkstep and Fraunhofer ISI” Regulatory barriers for the Circular Economy. Lessons from ten case studies”13th July 2016 http://ec.europa.eu/DocsRoom/documents/19742 and European Commission DG GROW website http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/newsroom/cf/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8986&lang=en&tpa_id=1040

Report confirms potential of tax shift from labour to consumption

A new report for the Ex’tax project, by Cambridge Econometrics, Deloitte, EY, KPMG and Price Waterhouse shows that transferring tax burden from labour to consumption would increase GDP by +2% and employment by +3% in Europe, and deliver 5 – 9% reductions in energy use, water use and carbon emissions. At present, around 50% of Europe’s national tax revenues come from taxation of labour, compared to just 6% from taxes on resources and consumption. The Ex’tax proposal shifts taxation from the payroll (social contributions and income tax), to carbon, water and electricity (bulk users not households), and possibly also other green taxes on e.g. metals and minerals, travel and traffic, waste, building materials, air pollution emissions, toxic chemicals, plastics, biodiversity, as well as a small increase in VAT (but zero VAT for maintenance and repair) with tax credits for job creation and for circular economy innovation.
“New era. New plan. Europe. A fiscal strategy for an inclusive, circular economy”, published 15/12/2016, Ex’tax project 2016 http://www.neweranewplan.com/

Media

ICL Fertilisers: the world must consume less raw materials

In an interview published with Springer Professional, Kees Langeveld, vice president of business development of the international chemical company Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) explains that phosphorus recycling is part of the company’s engagement for environmental and social change, and the circular economy, and also contributes to maintaining ICL’s production factories in The Netherlands and Germany. As well as ICL’s use of struvite in fertiliser production, Mr Langeveld cites ICL’s project, using the RecoPhos technology, to recover elemental P4 (white phosphorus, a key raw material for flame retardants, lubricants, and other applications) from sewage sludge ash, and production of phosphoric acid using ashes and hydrochloric acid.
Springer Professional “Less raw materials must be extracted”, 12th January 2017 https://www.springerprofessional.de/recycling/nachhaltigkeit/-weniger-neue-rohstoffe-muessen-gewonnen-werden-/11926228

Aqua Strategy: P recovery update

The water sector professional magazine Aqua Strategy published in its December issue a summary of current developments in phosphorus recycling technology installation worldwide, covering current installations and underway projects using technologies of Ostara (Pearl), NuReSys, Colsen (Anphos), Véolia (Struvia) and Mephrec (Nuremburg pilot). More detailed presentations of Outotec’s work to develop a recovered calcined phosphate product (improved AshDec process) adapted to farmers needs, and of the Budenheim ExtraPhos process (P extraction from sewage sludge at ambient temperature using CO2, Mainz-Mombach pilot).
“Aqua Strategy review: Process progress with sewage phosphate recovery” cover story, December 2016 https://www.aquastrategy.com/article/aqua-strategy-review-process-progress-sewage-phosphate-recovery and feature article “Budenheim pilots its process to meet German wastewater phosphate recovery requirements” https://www.aquastrategy.com/article/budenheim-pilots-its-process-meet-german-wastewater-phosphate-recovery-requirements

Toilet Board Coalition: Circular Economy could accelerate global sanitation

The Toilet Board Coalition, a platform of hygiene brand companies, NGOs and development organisations, has published a study concluding that the circular economy could speed up implementation of global sanitation. The study concludes that valorising resources derived from toilet wastewater can create a self-sustaining sanitation business, accelerating sanitation investment, reducing need for public funding and creating business opportunities for both multinationals and innovative SMEs – but not without risk. Resources recoverable from toilets are identified as (today) energy, agricultural products [compost, organic fertilisers and soil conditioners], water and (potentially) innovative products/raw materials and health data. Challenges to address are seen as contaminants and pathogens (safety), public perception (“yuk factor”), smell, security/ quality of supply, maintenance, development of new products, fit with existing instruments and operators and failure to monetarise externalities.
“Sanitation in the Circular Economy” Transformation to a commercially valuable, self-sustaining, biological system, November 2016 https://www.fastcoexist.com/3066577/applying-the-circular-economy-to-toilets-could-speed-up-global-sanitation

Science

Healthy diet, diet P and food sustainability

A systematic review (Nelson et al. 2016) identified 23 studies relating diet quality to environmental impact (for developed countries). Analysis of this data concludes that dietary patterns which are higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based (especially red meat) and lower in energy content, are both healthier and have a lower environmental impact. Meier & Christen 2013 is the only study cited as specifically addressing phosphorus, showing lower P use with healthier, more plant-based diets. Another study (Peltner & Thiele 2017) looks at nutrients in the Healthy Eating Index – 2010 concluding that densities (nutrient content/energy content) of nutrients (P, Ca, K, Mg, Fe and others) are higher in the high quality diet (67 mgP/100 kcal) than the low quality diet (53  mgP).
“Alignment of Healthy Dietary Patterns and Environmental Sustainability: A Systematic Review” M. Nelson et al., Adv Nutr 2016, 7 1005–25, http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/an.116.012567
“Association between the Healthy Eating Index-2010 and nutrient and energy densities of German households’ food purchases”, J. Peltner & S. Thiele, European J.  Public Health, 2017, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckw247

Phosphorus losses from mains water leakages

A new study suggests that phosphorus losses from mains (drinking) water leakages is nearly one quarter of P discharged from sewage works in the Thames river catchment, England. The study estimates phosphorus losses from mains water pipes at 90 tP/y, compared to 380 tP/y from sewage works and 560 tP/y from agriculture. Phosphates are dosed to drinking water in the UK to prevent lead and copper dissolving into water and posing health problems – this is not the case in most of the rest of Europe. A previous study (Ascott et al. 2016, summarised in SCOPE Newsletter n°119) estimated phosphorus leakage out of mains water supply pipes at 1 200 tP/y, total England and Wales, of which around 70% into surface waters.
“Mainswater leakage: Implications for phosphorus source apportionment and policy responses in catchments”, D. Gooddy, M. Ascott et al., Science of the Total Environment 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.038

Phosphorus recovery potential, Sofia, Bulgaria

Phosphorus recycling potential of Sofia, Bulgaria, waste water treatment plant is assessed. This is Bulgaria’s biggest sewage works, serving a population of over 1.3 million (14% of Bulgaria’s sewage), p.e. not specified. Bulgaria’s 2014-2020 National Sludge Management Strategy anticipates an increase in sewage sludge production to nearly 125 000 tonnes DM per year, with upgrading of sewage works to respect EU water legislation. Currently around half of Bulgaria’s sludge goes to landfill or temporary storage, both of which must be stopped, and the remainder farmland or soil restoration. Phosphorus in the Sofia sewage works inflow is c. 2.9 mgPtotal/l and 0.9 mgPtotal/l in discharge. The authors estimate that around 70% of inflow phosphorus could thus potentially be recovered from either sludge or sludge incineration ash, that is 170-250 tP/year.
“Phosphorus recovery potential in Sofia WWTP in view of the national sludge management strategy, I. Ribarova et al., Resources, Conservation and Recycling 116 (2017) 152–159 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2016.10.003

Risk assessment and fertiliser regulations

A first-approach risk assessment is presented of contaminants in mineral fertilisers and a number of possible recycled nutrient products (including sewage sludge, recovered struvite and sewage sludge ash derived products), covering risk to humans (food via crops, farmers), to soil organisms and to surface water. It is concluded that cadmium and zinc may be of concern for some endpoints: possible cadmium risk to surface waters on acidic soil, zinc risk to soil organisms from sewage sludges or sludge incineration ash products. Chromium and copper may also potentially be significant contaminants, comparative to atmospheric deposition, in some recycled fertiliser products. Struvite shows the lowest contaminant levels and no identified risks. For the persistent organic contaminants considered (dioxins, poly aromatic hydrocarbons) recycled nutrient product input is low compared to atmospheric deposition and does not contribute significantly to risk. Risk to humans are considered low for all fertiliser materials considered (levels higher than PNEC Predicted No Effect Concentration).
“Risk Assessment and Fertilizer regulation – A valuation with respect to recycled phosphorus materials from wastewater”, F. Kraus, C. Kabbe, W. Seis, Berlin 17 Nov. 2016, paper prepared within the EU-FP7 Project P-REX and updated in 2016. http://p-rex.eu/uploads/media/Kraus__Kabbe__Seis._Risk_Assessment_and_Fertilizer_regulation_-_A_valuation_with_respect_to_recycled_phosphorus_materials_from_wastewater..pdf An enhanced version with better consideration of these uncertainties and a quantitative sensitivity analysis is planned for mid-2018

Cost assessment of struvite recovery from digestate

COWI, at the Nordic Phosphorus Conference, October 2016, presented a preliminary study of costs of possible struvite recovery from a biogas plant treating sewage sludge and sorted household organic wastes (OFMSW). The Grodaland biogas plant, Norway, currently being built, will treat 89 000 t/y of municipal sewage sludge and 41 000 t/y OFMSW, that is a total of nearly 23 000 t/y dry solid content. Cost estimates, based on different struvite process supplier technologies, ranged from 13 to 18 €/kgP recovered. Cost differences were not considered pronounced, but costs for struvite recovery were around half of costs for evaporation processes (but these could also recover nitrogen and potassium). Possible operation cost savings resulting from phosphorus recovery were not considered.
Line Blytt, COWI, “Solutions and costs for public facilities, example from an evaluation of technologies for nutrient recovery at Grødaland biogas plant in Rogaland, Norway” https://dakofa.com/fileadmin/user_upload/1100_Line_Blytt_Danielsen_COWI.pdf


 
Events



Copyright © 2017 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

The previous European Commissioner for Science and Research and then for the Environment,

Janez Potočnik, has joined the Board of the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform

(ESPP). Mr Potočnik has also previously been a Minister in Slovenia, and is currently Co-Chair of

UNEP International Resource Panel. He will act as an ambassador for sustainable phosphorus

resource management, particularly to national and regional governments, and to the food

industry.

 

ESPP’s General Assembly (1/12/2016, Brussels) elected the following Board:

• President: Ludwig Hermann (Outotec, a global leader in minerals and metals processing technology)

• Treasurer: Bengt Hansen (Kemira, a water treatment chemicals company)

• Secretary : Anders Nättorp (FHNW University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland)

Herman Walthaus (Netherlands Government)

Christian Kabbe (DPP German Phosphorus Platform)

Fertilizers Europe, the European fertiliser industry federation

Janez Potočnik (proposed by BSAG Baltic Sea Action Group)

 

The General Assembly fixed the following priority actions for the Platform for 2017

- The revision of the EU Fertilisers Regulation, to cover recycled nutrient products, in

particular adding struvite, biochars and ash-based products (currently not covered) and

enabling traceability to ensure safety and confidence in recycled products susceptible to

contain organic contaminants

- Refining justification for maintaining phosphorus / phosphate rock in the EU Critical Raw

Materials list

- Developing standards for secondary nutrient raw materials, to accompany recycling

- Sustainable manure management across Europe

 

Innovation in the chemicals industry

The 2016 General Assembly was followed by a thematic meeting looking at innovation and

sustainability in industrial uses of phosphorus. Sixty participants, mainly from industry, but also

from R&D and the European Commission, explored the wide range of industries in which

phosphorus chemicals are essential, including fire safety, energy storage, electronics, medical

applications, catalysts and lubricants. A number of companies, including Clariant, ICL, Magpie

Polymers, Italmatch, Prayon, ProPHOS and Remondis, presented their actions to make

phosphorus chemistry processes more sustainable.

 

Success stories presented include recycling of phosphorus (from sewage sludge, from spent

fire extinguishers), and the development of phosphorus chemicals with improved health, safety

and sustainability profiles.

 

Summary is online in SCOPE Newsletter n° 123 and slides at:
http://www.phosphorusplatform.eu/P-in-industry

The presentations of the ESPP conference on Phosphorus stewardship in industrial applications (01-12-2016) are now online under Downloads and below. The report of the conference is published as a SCOPE newsletter No. 123 article "Phosphorus in the chemicals industry".

The ESPP General Assembly 2016 was followed by a thematic meeting looking at innovation and sustainability in industrial uses of phosphorus. 60 participants, mainly from industry, but also from R&D and the European Commission, explored the wide range of industries in which phosphorus chemicals are essential, including fire safety, energy storage, electronics, medical applications, catalysts, lubricants. Several companies including Clariant, ICL, Magpie Polymers, Italmatch, Prayon, ProPHOS and Remondis, presented company actions to make phosphorus chemistry processes more sustainable. For example, their success stories cover the recycling of phosphorus from sewage sludge and from spent fire extinguishers, and to develop phosphorus chemicals with improved health, safety and sustainability profiles.

Opening: Janez Potocnik - Co-chair of the UNEP International Resource Panel and previous EU Environment Commissioner
Phosphorus: global resources perspective
Willem Schipper – Willem Schipper Consulting
Phosphorus in industry and society
Carl Szöcs – Prayon
Phosphorus recycling initiatives in a multi-sector P company
Chris Slootweg - SUSPHOS network
Circular phosphorus chemistry and knowledge transfer from one sector to another (chemistry, agriculture, industry)
Steve van Zutphen - Magpie Polymers
Metal Scavenging: using low-value phosphorus materials to make metal refining more sustainable
Alexander Maurer - ICL Fertilizers
The RECOPHOS-Process P4 from Sewage Sludge Ashes
Andreas Rak and Martin Lebek - Remondis
Clean technology for P-recycling to phosphoric acid: REMONDIS TetraPhos®
Marco Michelotti and William Grandi - ProPHOS Chemicals
Innovative solution for phosphate recovery from exhausted extinguishing powders (PhoSave Horizon2020 project)
Wolfgang Wanzke – sustainability manager Clariant
Sustainability in the Phosphorus Value Chain: P-based flame retardants and fire retarded plastics
Maria Cristina Pasi - Italmatch Chemicals, Coordinator of the TRIALKYL LIFE project
Reducing the impact of P chemistry
Tomas Turecki – European Commission DG RTD
Industry innovation and phosphorus sustainability in FP7 & H2020
Solon Mias - EU Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME)
LIFE Environment Water

Report and presentations are now online for the ESPP workshop Pharmaceuticals in sewage biosolids (27/10/2016). The main workshop conclusions are:

  • Incineration of sewage sludge can be an appropriate solution depending on local conditions (e.g. contaminated sludge, lack of agricultural space for spreading …) but is lower down the recycling hierarchy (energy “recovery” not recycling). Even if phosphorus is recovered from ash (to produce fertiliser or for industry applications), organic carbon, nitrogen, potassium, sulphur and micro-nutrients are lost.
  • Concerns about sludge contaminants must be taken seriously and addressed both by developing data and information to support risk assessments, and by taking upstream actions wherever possible to reduce contamination of sewage sludge. For industrial chemicals and consumer chemicals, this is possible by actions targeting users and households (reduce discharge to sewers), but for pharmaceuticals it is much more difficult.
  • Public exposure risk to organic contaminants via sewage sludge should be put into context of exposure from other routes (both the same and other organic contaminants via direct contact and in household dust, air, water). However, this does not absolve the need to address sewage sludge use in agriculture in order to inform farmers, the food industry, consumers and decision makers.
  • Veterinary pharmaceuticals and hormones are also present at significant levels in manures, and this should also be addressed, both by reductions at source where possible, and by monitoring and treatment where manure nutrients are recycled.
  • There still a need for more data regarding fate of organic contaminants, including pharmaceuticals in sewage sludge. There is more data on heavy metals, and more data on organic contaminants in water (sewage works discharge, rivers, drinking water) than in biosolids. The question is multi-faceted: contaminants in biosolids, fate in sewage treatment and in sludge treatment processes, in soils, in crops, both short and medium term presence and impacts.
  • Pharmaceuticals and other organic chemicals in sewage sludge are varied and complex, and cannot be considered as a single issue. Of the wide number of molecules, new pharmaceuticals and chemicals, breakdown products, which to monitor? Further data and understanding is needed to try to identify different families of substances which have similar behaviour, but without over-simplifying.
  • Pharmaceuticals and hormones are important challenges, because of the inherent obstacles to upstream reductions, both in sewage sludge and in animal manures.
  • More immediately however, industrial and household chemicals require monitoring and action, in particular:
    • PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and other perfluorinated chemicals, e.g. from Teflon
    • triclosan and triclocarban
    • brominated flame retardants and substitute chemicals
    • dioxins
    • PAH (poly aromatic hydrocarbons)
  • Composting is generally effective for removing many, but not all pharmaceuticals. Female hormones however are largely not degraded.
  • Removal of organic contaminants in sewage treatment systems is very variable and difficult to predict, depending on contaminant molecule chemistry, sludge properties, dewatering, treatment conditions.
  • Anaerobic digestion can break down some pharmaceuticals, but further work is needed to better understand how to improve this, including looking at sludge disintegration upstream of digesters (e.g. Cambi, Haarslev, Biothely). Further work is needed on degradation metabolites to verify if these pose issues.
  • There is potential to develop new sludge treatment process chains in order to improve pharmaceuticals removal, e.g. treatments upstream of anaerobic digestion, or modification of conditions in digesters and in the sewage works biological treatment cycles
  • Female hormones are often not degraded in sludge treatment, but this may be not of environmental or health significance. Manures either spread or going directly to soils from animals in the field often contains significant levels of such hormones.
  • Antibiotic resistance is a globally important health issue, and should be better studied for sewage biosolids application. Knowledge shows that soils can naturally adapt, because soil organisms naturally release antibiotics, so that antibiotic resistance appearing after sludge application seems to be only temporary.
  • Several studies confirm that movement of organic contaminants to groundwater is very low from sewage sludge land application. This is unsurprising, as the contaminants found in sludges are those which tend to partition to solids, and not to water.
  • Data is needed to develop robust risk assessments of agricultural use of sewage biosolids, and also of manures, taking into account fate of and possible impacts of pharmaceuticals in sewage treatment processes, sludge treatment, in soil and possibly in crops and for grazing livestock. This cannot be feasibly done for the large number of pharmaceutical molecules and other organic contaminants, so screening is needed to identify priority substances.

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

Please subscribe www.phosphorusplatform.eu/Subscribe 
Link to www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews5
Download as PDF

Success stories
- NuReSys Appeldoorn struvite plant now operational
- Robobank selects nutrient recycling innovators

Policy and regulation
- EU Commission call for information on struvite – biochar – ashes
- German sludge P-recycling ordinance notified to Europe
- EESC Opinion on Fertilisers Regulation
- Manure management in livestock intensive regions
- Nordic Phosphorus Network announced by Nordic Council of Ministers
- European farmers’ federation position on Fertilisers Regulation
- France Nitrates Directive programme approved by Brussels

Funding opportunities
- Two new Horizon 2020 research calls on raw materials
Science & media
- Update of phosphorus Dietary Reference Intake not justified
- Calcium phosphate nano particles inhibit cancer cells
- Comparing manure management to reducing livestock numbers
- Improving digestate fertiliser performance by injection
- No risk bacterial expected from recovered struvite


Phosphorus stewardship in the chemicals industry
and new industrial applications
Thursday 1st December, Brussels

ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform) General Assembly and thematic meeting within the First EU Raw Materials Week (EU Raw materials information & brokerage event 30th November)
Register:
Programme: www.phosphorusplatform.eu


Success stories


The NuReSys struvite recovery unit at Appeldoorn (Vallei en Veluwe water board), The Netherlands, is now operational. The NuReSys Stripper unit operates on anaerobic digester outflow liquor, upstream of sludge thickening by centrifuges. This optimises the beneficial impact objectives of improved sludge dewatering and reduced polymer consumption in dewatering, and to avoid nuisance deposit risks in sludge dewatering equipment. This is obtained by simply exhausting the magnesium present. After dewatering the effluent is lead to a NuReSys Crystalizer where MgCl2 is added to form struvite. When works engineering upstream of the unit is completed the plant in Apeldoorn will produce about 750 tonnes/year of struvite. NuReSys sell recovered struvite to the fertiliser industry, for example Timac Agro who use it after conditioning as a specialist starter fertiliser for maze, showing high performance results in field crop trials (see SCOPE Newsletter n°118).
See NuReSys success story in SCOPE Newsletter n°115.

The world’s leading food and agribusiness bank, Robobank, has nominated 10 innovative agri-food start-ups for FoodBytes! Boulder, of which three concern nutrient recycling or food loss minimisation. Biotech Services Senegal, will collect, sort, grind, sieve and process urban wastes to produce organic fertilisers, using a specific fermentation process (Biopost). FreshSurety addresses food waste for fresh produce (fruit, vegetables, but also cut flowers), with new technology based on sensors of chemical metabolites emitted to air (a high-tech equivalent of sniffing fruit to gauge its freshness) and algorithms enabling to real-time report on freshness and better manage shelf-life and consumer-delivered quality. Mad Agriculture will grow black soldier fly larvae on food waste, then convert the larvae into a protein-rich supplement for animal and fish feed, so recycling nutrients. Note: other companies already have full-scale scale black soldier fly larvae factories operational in Canada and South Africa, see SCOPE Newsletter n°118. Another of the ten selected start-ups is One Hop Kitchen producing insect-based Bolognese source, but the two projects are not linked.

Policy and regulation

In the context of the future European Fertilisers Regulation (STRUBIAS working group), the European Commission (JRC-IPTS) is calling for input of any information relevant to:
  • agronomic value; environmental and health safety; and potential market
  • recovered struvite, biochars or ashes (e.g. from sewage sludge incineration, biomass or manure combustion …)
  • use of these materials either as fertilisers or soil improvers, or as raw materials (ingredients) for production of these
The European Commission will use this information to prepare an Impact Assessment (to evaluate whether or not each of these three materials should be included into the future EU Fertiliser Regulation (as CMCs Component Material Categories) and if the impact assessment concludes positively, then draft criteria for this inclusion. All relevant information (publications, data, studies, market estimates, examples of products already placed on the market …) should be sent EU JRC as below.
Send all relevant information to by 15th November, or as soon as possible. If any information sent is company confidential (e.g. product analysis, company market data) then this should be indicated clearly on the sending email. Please send non-confidential information also in copy to because ESPP is represented in STRUBIAS.

The new German sewage sludge ordinance (AbfKlärV), which will make phosphorus recovery obligatory for most of Germany’s sewage, has been notified by Germany to the European Commission on September 26th 2016 and may enter into force in early 2018. The ordinance will make phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge obligatory for all German sewage works larger than 50,000 person equivalents (p.e.), that is, around 500 out of a total of c. 9 300 sewage works in Germany. These 500 larger sewage works represent around 2/3 of the total phosphorus removed from German wastewater and transferred into sludge. For these larger sewage works, phosphorus recovery will be obligatory if the sludge contains > 2% phosphorus (dry solids), either by P-recovery from the sludge or by mono-incineration and recovery from sewage sludge incineration ash. If P < 2%, then co-incineration will be authorized. Land application of sludge will only be allowed for sewage works < 50,000 p.e. and will have to respect the quality criteria of the new German fertilizing ordinance (DüV). Currently 29% of German sewage sludge is spread on farmland. The entry into force of these two new ordinances (AbfKlärV and DüV) is expected to be cut this by half.
See ESPP’s SCOPE Newsletter in press http://www.phosphorusplatform.eu/scope-in-print/scope-in-press/1327-german-sludge-p-recycling-ordinance-notified-to-europe and (in German) http://www.bmub.bund.de/themen/wasser-abfall-boden/abfallwirtschaft/wasser-abfallwirtschaft-download/artikel/abfklaerv-klaerschlammverordnung

The European Economic and Social Committee has adopted its ‘Opinion’ on the EU Fertilisers Regulation revision. EESC supports the objective of extending the existing regulation from only mineral fertilisers (at present) to cover organic and waste based fertilisers, subject to ensuring environmental protection, underlining that recycled fertilisers “may in the future constitute an important part of an integrated circular economy” (recalling the EESC Opinion on the Circular Economy jobs and SMEs, 2014). The need to clarify definitions of a “secondary raw material”, waste, by-products, end-of-waste are underlined, pointing to the contradictions in the current text between application to PFCs and CMCs [$4.2 of EESC Opinion]. EESC wants systems of control, labelling (present in the proposed text) and [$1.3] traceability (not present). EESC underlines [$1.9, $4.5] that municipal sewage sludge has potential and value as a raw material for organic fertiliser – whereas this is excluded in the current regulation proposal. EESC also notes [$4.8] the need to exempt from REACH recovered materials beyond compost (EESP comment: e.g. digestate see www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory). EESC calls for incentives to support company investments in [$1.8, $4.10] in nutrient recycling, in particular for recycling nutrients from livestock manure.
Opinion of the EESC on the EU Fertilisers Regulation Revision, adopted 13-14 July 2016, refs. NAT/691 – EESC-2016-03054-00-01-AC-TRA (EN) 1/8, rapporteur Cillian Lohan http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.nat-opinions.39587

Stakeholders and experts from six European regions with high livestock intensity (Brittany, Flanders, Netherlands, Lombardy, Catalonia and North-West Germany) met at the pig production forum organised by COOPERL (France’s biggest pig production cooperative), Rennes, Brittany, 13th September. Although production systems and environmental contexts may be very different between these regions, a number of regulatory and market trends were identified , in particular: opportunities to develop markets towards consumers who are prepared to pay higher prices for pork produced respecting animal rights and environmental criteria, phosphorus spreading limits (beyond the ‘literal’ implementation of the Nitrates Directive which limits only nitrogen), processing manure to enable production of recycled fertiliser products with involvement of new actors (contractors, farmers’ cooperatives, organic fertiliser companies) in manure processing and marketing, value of traceability to ensure user (farmer, food industry) confidence in recycled fertiliser products, reducing ammonia emissions, because of both greenhouse gas impacts and local air quality (including PM10 particles).
Summary in ESPP’s SCOPE Newsletter in press www.phosphorusplatform.eu

At the Nordic Phosphorus Conference, organised by Danish, Swedish and Norwegian waste associations (DAKOFA, Avfall Norge, Afvall Sverige), Malmö, 27-28 October, a Nordic Phosphorus Network was announced by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Michael Höysti, Secretariat of the Nordic Council of Ministers, underlined that the Nordic countries can and should take the lead in phosphorus sustainability in Europe. He indicated that the new network will provide a platform for phosphorus recycling and reuse, information exchange, and will identify challenges and define a Nordic phosphorus strategy.
A summary of the Nordic Phosphorus Conference and of the ESPP international workshop on organic contaminants in sewage biosolids organised prior to the Conference will be published shortly on the ESPP website “SCOPE Newsletter in press” www.phosphorusplatform.eu Speakers slides are available on the Nordic Phosphorus Conference website https://dakofa.com/conference/conference/programme

The EU farmers’ and agri-cooperatives’ federation COPA COGECA has published (ref. FER(16)3924) a position paper expressing concern that the revision of the EU Fertilisers Regulation, by enabling EU marked recycled products to displace existing nationally authorised fertilisers, will increase fertiliser costs and reduce the quality of products sold to farmers. The economic logic is not clear as to how opening the market to new recycled fertilisers products would lead to an increase in price of fertilisers already on the market. The federation also suggests that competition with recycled fertiliser products will make it more difficult for farmers to dispose of their own manure (under Nitrates Directive manure N application limits). COPA COGECA proposes to limit organic carbon to 1% in “inorganic fertilisers”, to not reduce cadmium limits below 60 mgCd/kgP2O5 (again because of possible cost implications); to oblige declaration of different nitrogen forms and of phosphorus solubility tests, and to impose stricter constraints on organic and organo-mineral fertilisers - composts and digestates (in order to not undermine currently existing stricter regulations in some Member States). COPA COGECA wants processed manure to be a recognised EU fertiliser ingredient (CMC11) and wants digestate to be exempt from REACH – but only for digestates produced from agricultural by-products.

France has updated its Nitrates Directive Action Programme, intended to prevent agricultural nitrate pollution of surface and ground waters in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones. France was condemned by the European Court of Justice in 2013 and 2014 (SCOPE Newsletter n°107). The updated Programme corrects points raised in the condemnation, five years after initiation of the proceedings by the European Commission in 2011: forbidden manure spreading periods, manure storage prescriptions, forbidding of spreading on frozen soils, accounting of nitrogen from livestock other than pigs and cows. However, the Government’s own Environmental Authority opinion considers that the changes are “a minima” to respond to the condemnation, include other non justified changes (e.g. use of simplified nutrient balance on pig farms) and do not appear to correspond to an “ambition to restore ecosystems perturbed by nitrates”. The Authority requests an evaluation of the impacts of the Action Programme on eutrophication, water quality, Water Framework Objectives and Natura 2000 areas.
Journal de l’Environnement 30/9/2016Arrêté soumis à consultation 2016 – Opinion of the Autorité Environnementale adopted 16/3/2015

Funding opportunities

The European Commission (EC) published on 14th October two new research funding calls within the Horizon 2020 research program Societal Challenge 5 “Climate action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials“. The EC concludes that the EU is highly dependent on raw materials that are crucial for a strong European industrial economy. Securing the sustainable access to raw materials, including metals, industrial minerals and construction raw materials, and particularly Critical Raw Materials (CRM), for the EU economy is of high importance. Call SC5-14-2016-2017 about “Raw materials Innovation actions” focusses on “sustainable metallurgical processes”, and “processing of lower grade and/or complex primary and/or secondary raw materials in the most sustainable ways”. The EC wants to stimulate industry to scale-up promising raw materials production technologies and to demonstrate that raw materials can be produced in an innovative and sustainable way. The objective is to make sure that (1) research and innovation end-up on the market, (2) to strengthen the competitiveness of the European raw materials industries, (3) to meet ambitious energy and climate 2030 targets and (4) to gain the trust of the EU citizens to raw materials sector. The other call SC5-15-2016-2017 about “Raw materials policy support actions” focusses on optimising collection of raw materials data in Member States. According to the EC, one of the major challenges regarding the EU knowledge base on primary and secondary mineral raw materials is the quality, harmonisation of the collected data and information sharing at the different levels within the EU. There is a need to optimise collection of data in Member States in support of the EU Knowledge Base on Raw Materials (EC Raw Materials Information System – RMIS). For both calls the first-stage deadline is 7 March 2017.
EC Horizon 2020 call SC5-14-2016-2017
http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/sc5-14-2016-2017.html
EC Horizon 2020 call SC5-15-2016-2017
http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/sc5-15-2016-2017.html

Science & media

A methodical scanning of studies concerning diet phosphorus and health concludes that there is not sufficient evidence to justify updating the US Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) which dates from 1977. The DRI takes into account both recommended minimum intakes (EAR Estimated Average Requirement and RDA Recommended Dietary Allowance) and safe maxima (TUIL Tolerable Upper Intake Level). Here, relevant publications since 1996 were assessed: 127 potential publications were identified, of which 29 were fully reviewed. Papers were rejected because either non-systematic review papers only, addressed mechanisms not outcomes, not relevant to phosphorus – health response or not concerning healthy populations. Only 15 papers were finally identified as relevant, and these do not provide indications that diet phosphorus is linked to health issues such as cardio-vascular disease, bone mineral density. The authors note that the phosphorus DRI was planned for update in 1997, which has not happened, and that this evidence scan concludes that there is insufficient new evidence to prioritise a review of the phosphorus DRI.
“Scanning for new evidence to prioritize updates to the Dietary Reference Intakes: case studies for thiamin and phosphorus”, P. Brannon et al., Am J Clin Nutr (AJCN) 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.128256

High temperatures are known to transform amorphous calcium phosphates into crystalline forms with lower water solubility. Here tri calcium phosphate (= hydroxyapatite = TCP) was sintered at 700 - 1000°C then tested for inhibition in vitro of MCF-7 strain breast cancer cells. 900°C sintering of TCP produced approximately spherical nanospheres, with less agglomeration and so smaller particle size than at 700 or 1000°C. These nano calcium phosphate particles achieved 80% inhibition of breast cancer cells at 50 mg/l. A differential effect to non cancer cells may be related to higher negative charges on the cancer cells. This study confirms previous work suggesting that hydroxyapatite nano particles can inhibit cancer cell proliferation (Choi 2015, Han 2014, Meena 2012, Morgan 2001).
“Inhibitory Effect of Tricalcium Phosphate Sintered at Different Temperatures on Human Breast Cancer Cell Line MCF-7”, M. Rahmanian et al., Tehran, Iran, Multidisciplinary Cancer Investigation, January 2017, Volume 1, Issue 1 http://dx.doi.org/10.21859/mci-010112

The EU-funded (Horizon2020) TRANSrisk project is comparing two possible transition pathways to reduce the environmental impacts of livestock production in the Netherlands: reduction of livestock numbers or integrated manure management (IMM). The project indicates that livestock production represents 3% of Netherlands GDP, so that reducing livestock numbers would have considerable economic impacts. At the same time, significant action is needed to reduce agricultural environmental impacts are recognised to be needed, including greenhouse emissions, ammonia emissions and phosphates. Mature management is expected to have cost impacts for farmers, to offer the benefit of increasing renewable energy production (anaerobic digestion of manure to produce biogas), and may have some negative side-effects (e.g. reduced animal grazing time, as farmers optimise in-stable manure production to input to biogas). Livestock reduction may not have anticipated positive results if production is simply transferred to other regions of the world. Farmers, manure managers, bioenergy actors and other stakeholders are invited to contact the project to participate.
“Cows and pigs for sale!? Assessing the side-effects of low carbon transition pathways in livestock farming in the Netherlands”, Addendum JIQ Magazine vol. 22, no. 3, Oct 2016 Joint Implementation Network (JIN http://cdn.jin.ngo/) Climate & Sustainability

Short-term (2 year) field tests of digestate in Brescia, Lombardy, Italy, show that it is as effective or more effective as a nitrogen fertiliser than urea, on condition that it is soil injected not surface applied. The digestate was from a biogas plant using as inputs cattle slurry and energy crops and it was applied (surface application and soil injection, whole digestate or liquid fraction) in field trials for two growing seasons on silage maize, with comparison to no fertiliser, urea and animal slurry (both surface applied). Injected digestate gave better crop production than urea, whereas surface application gave slightly lower results. Ammonia emissions were generally slightly lower for injected digestate than for surface urea application, but were higher for surface applied digestate. This study shows that, as for animal manures, application method of digestates is very important, with soil injection offering better N fertiliser effectiveness and lower ammonia emissions.
“Short-term experiments in using digestate products as substitutes for mineral (N) fertilizer: Agronomic performance, odours, and ammonia emission impacts”, C. Riva, V. Orzi, M. Carozzi, M. Acutis, G. Boccasile, S. Lonati, F. Tambone, G. D'Imporzano, F. Adani, Science of the Total Environment 547 (2016) 206–214 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.12.156

An article by Shiba et al. indicates that two strains of Bactillus subtilus bacteria were found in struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) recovered from raw sewage sludge at East Rand sewage works, South Africa. The process involved extraction of P from the sludge using 1M sulphuric acid at 5%, ion exchange to separate P from ion, then struvite precipitation (at pH 9) and drying for 12 hours at 100°C. The recovered struvite was then tested for bacteria growth (petri dish culture). Bacillus subtilis strains were shown to be present, but the authors note that these bacteria exist in the general environment, as well as in human and animal gastrointestinal tracts, so that their presence may have come from laboratory working conditions not from the sewage. The authors also underline that these bacteria are in any case naturally found in humans and soil, so are not a pathogen issue, with no possibility of harm to users of the recovered struvite.
“Extraction and precipitation of phosphorus from sewage sludge”, N. Shiba, F. Ntuli, Waste Management 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2016.07.031

Copyright © 2016 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP) General Assembly focussing on Phosphorus stewardship in industrial applications will be held on Thursday 1st December, Brussels within the First EU Raw Materials Week. Success stories and innovation in P stewardship in industry will be presented and areas for possible research or value-chain collaboration will be identified.

The general programme of the day is as follows, more details in the programme:
8h30 – 10h30    ESPP General Assembly (open to non-members): accounts, election of Board, actions underway and action plan priorities for 2017
10h30   Coffee break
11h00 -17h30    Phosphorus stewardship in industrial applications

Participants: ESPP members and network - waste, water, chemicals, fertiliser industries, policy makers, knowledge centres.
To participate: registration obligatory

After more than 10 years of revision, the new draft of the German sewage sludge ordinance (AbfKlärV), which will make phosphorus recovery obligatory for most of Germany’s sewage, has been sent by the Federal Ministry of Environment (BMUB) to the European Commission for notification at September 26th 2016. This notification is the standard procedure for new member state regulations (directive 2015/1535/EU). Once approved by EC, the content cannot be changed afterwards except for minor adaptions. During notification, there is a three months stand-still agreement.

The next steps after notification will be cabinet resolution within the German Federal government in January 2017 and presentation for enactment to the Federal Council of Germany and the Parliament in spring 2017. The new ordinance may thus enter into force with a date 1st January 2018.

The ordinance will make phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge obligatory for all German sewage works larger than 50,000 person equivalents (p.e.), that is, around 500 out of a total of c. 9 300 sewage works in Germany. These 500 larger sewage works represent around 2/3 of the total phosphorus removed from German wastewater and transferred into sludge.

For these larger sewage works, phosphorus recovery will be obligatory if the sludge contains more than 2% phosphorus (dry solids), either by P-recovery from the sludge or by mono-incineration and recovery from sewage sludge incineration ash. If P < 2%, then co-incineration will be authorized. Land application of sludge will only be allowed for sewage works < 50,000 p.e. Currently 29% of German sewage sludge is spread on farmland, and will have to respect the quality criteria of the new German fertilizing ordinance (DüV). The entry into force of these two new ordinances (AbfKlärV and DüV). Is expected to be cut by half the amount of sewage sludge going to farmland.

The new fertilizing ordinance is the German implementation of the EU Nitrates Directive and will already dramatically impact sewage sludge use in Germany in 2017.

Article by Christian Kabbe (former P-REX).
See also: http://www.bmub.bund.de/themen/wasser-abfall-boden/abfallwirtschaft/wasser-abfallwirtschaft-download/artikel/abfklaerv-klaerschlammverordnung

After compost, PVC and non-ferrous metals from bottom ash, struvite will be the fourth secondary resource to be addressed within the International Green Deal North Sea Resources Roundabout (NSRR). Struvite is a specific mineral form of magnesium ammonium phosphate recovered from waste water. A working group of French and Dutch public and private sector experts has its first meeting in the Dutch embassy in Paris on October 7. The case, initiated by Suez, Veolia, Reststoffenunie and Waternet, will focused on the perceived barriers relating to the use of struvite in crystal form. It will specifically explore ways to facilitate the export of struvite recovered from municipal wastewater plants as a raw material for the purpose of producing fertiliser. The initiators hope that this case will be a first step towards creating a European market for struvite.

Full press release here.
More details and a video about the Green Deal North Sea Resources Roundabout.
Parlimament Magezine article about the Green Deal.

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

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Link to www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews4
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Summary:
Success stories
NuReSys struvite recovery technology chosen at Braunschweig, Germany.
NuReSys Appeldoorn struvite plant now operational
Phosphorus recycling from expired fire extinguishers
Outotec and Thermo-Systems partner for nutrient recycling

Opportunities
€ 400 million for raw materials in Horizon 2020
Policy
EU Fertilisers Regulation enters Parliament – Member State discussion
Standard for land use of sewage sludge out for consultation
UN Environment Assembly recognises global nutrient challenges
Restriction on ammonium salts in insulation materials
ECHA consultation on toxicity testing of monosodium phosphate
EU Organic farming committee positive opinion on recovered struvite and calcined phosphates
CEN considers standardisation needs for secondary raw materials

Science and media
Phosphate fertiliser prices falling
Evaluation of manure management in Europe
Technology reviews: nutrient recovery from digestate
EFSA considers data on urea user risks
Agriculture and air pollution
Dietary choices key to reducing phosphorus footprint
Innovative solutions to food waste

Events

 

ESPP workshop “Pharmaceuticals and organic chemicals in sewage biosolids: questions for recycling”: Malmö (near Copenhagen) 27th October 8h00 – 12h00, with the Nordic Phosphorus Conference, 27 - 28 October. Programme www.phosphorusplatform.eu

ESPP General Assembly: phosphorus innovation and stewardship in the chemicals industry: Brussels, 1st December www.phosphorusplatform.eu
For full list of events, see below the news section of this email and on www.phosphorusplatform.eu

 

Success stories

The Municipality of Braunschweig, assisted by PFI Planungsgemeinschaft GbR, has awarded its future phosphorus recovery plant to the combination Bremer-Pro-Aqua - who is the main contractor and will build the struvite recovery unit - and NuReSys - who provides design, support, start-up and commissioning of the unit. The P-recovery unit will treat 100% of the sewage sludge dewatering liquor from the Steinhof sewage works (275 to 350 000 e.h. biological phosphorus removal EBPR). The requirements of the tender required a versatile and flexible solution: flow to the struvite reactor can vary from 8 to 25 m³/h and soluble phosphate (P- PO4) levels between 300 and 800 ppm. The combination offered a tailor-made solution which offers phosphate recovery taking into account the possible effects on post and preceding treatment processes.
Press release: http://www.nuresys-p.be/files/160924-Press-Release-Braunschweig.pdf - http://www.abwasserverband-bs.de/ - http://www.bremerproaqua.de/

The PHOSave project (Horizon 2020 SME Instrument), led by PROPHOS Chemicals will construct a pilot plant near Cromona, Lombardy, to recover and recycle phosphate from exhausted fire extinguishing powders. Over recent years, problematic chemicals in fire extinguishers have been largely replaced by phosphate based dry powders, considered as not posing environmental or health issues and effective in combating fire. Phosphates are also widely used as additives to water sprayed on forest and wildland fires, again because they are considered (see e.g. review Kalabokidis 2000) to have minimal health impacts and to generally not harm ecosystems. Prophos Chemicals is Italy’s only producer of dry fire extinguisher chemicals of all classes. Fire extinguishers have to be periodically emptied, overhauled, refilled and re-pressurised, to guarantee reliable performance in case of fire. The recovered phosphate will be recycled into the chemical industry or as fertilisers.

Outotec, a global leader in minerals and metals processing technologies, has agreed partnership with Thermo-Systems, German-based leader in low-energy drying solutions. These technologies will enable pre-drying of municipal sewage sludge and other bio-materials (e.g. manures) before thermal treatment, where Outotec can deliver a range of technologies for energy recovery and nutrient recycling. Options include mixing of dried bio-materials with biomass ashes to develop slow-release, organo-mineral fertiliser products. A pilot is under construction, in cooperation with the Finland organic fertiliser producer Ecolan Oy, near Nokia, Finland.

Opportunities

The European Commission has published an update of the 2016-2017 Horizon 2020 Work Programme for climate, environment and raw materials, allocating €400 million to raw materials. This will target mainly the EU Critical Raw Materials list, which includes phosphate rock, and will include raw material data systems, international cooperation, the objective of a World Forum on Raw Materials, international networks of raw materials training centres and raw materials ‘innovation actions’ (pilot projects or scale-up and roll-out of new technologies to produce raw materials).
Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016 – 2017 - 12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials C(2016)4614 of 25 July 2016

Policy

The revision of the EU Fertilisers Regulation will define European criteria for placing on the market of recycled nutrient products (as fertilisers, as soil improvers or as artificial soils), including composts, digestates, plant and crop by-products, food industry wastes, animal by-products and in the future recovered fertiliser products such as struvite or ammonia salts. The draft text published in May 2016 has now entered the European Parliament – Council (Member States) discussion and amendment process. A first proposal for amendments has been published, as a starting point, by Slovakia, the Council Presidency. This includes tighter contaminant levels for both organic and inorganic fertilisers. ESPP is inputting to the discussion process of this text, addressing in particular: the need to include traceability as an option (important to ensure farmer and food industry confidence for nutrients recycled from organic wastes), animal by-products and manures (currently an “empty box” in the Regulation proposal CMC11), workability and definitions of CMCs and PFCs, interactions with REACH …
Summary of Commission proposal: SCOPE Newsletter n° 120 and www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory

A working draft for an international ISO standard for land application of wastewater biosolids has been circulated for comment (not published online). The guidelines cover sewage sludge and composted sludge application to farmland (for food crops, biofuels), to forestry and for soil remediation. The document considers that land application of biosolids brings advantages of improved soil quality (soil carbon, biological activity, density, stability and porosity, cation exchange enabling reduced fertiliser use and pH), nutrient supply and greenhouse emissions benefits (long-term sequestration of c. 50% of biosolids carbon in soil, offset of c. 200 kgCO2 /dry tonne biosolids for nitrogen and phosphorus mineral fertiliser equivalent. The draft ISO Guidelines provides definitions, general information about biosolids nutrients and quality criteria, and then guidelines for application for food and non-food crops and for land reclamation, including principles of risk management, application programme definition and management, information of farmers and others, and sampling. As proposed, the document provides general outlines within which existing national or local biosolids quality and management schemes can be implemented.
ISO 275/WG4 - ISO 19698 WD “Land application of biosolids: guidelines for the land applications of biosolids and biosolids derived products”, dated 5/9/2016. Document not available online: contact your national standards organisation or

UNEA-2, second meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly brought together 174 nations and 120 Ministers in Nairobi, May 2016. The final resolutions on Sustainable Consumption and Production (UNEP/EA2/L.9) and on Oceans and Seas (UNEP/EA2/L.11/Rev.1) recognise the need for further action to reduce nutrient inputs to the marine environment. The in 2012 Manilla Declaration is confirmed, mandating action on this by UNEP and GPA (Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities). A resolution also recognises the need to address food waste (UNEP/EA2/L.10/Rev.1).

The EU has published a Restriction of the use of “inorganic ammonium salts” in cellulose insulation materials, unless ammonia emissions are shown to be low (specified concentrations and CEN/S 16516 adapted conditions). This concerns ammonium phosphates and polyphosphates used for fire safety in a range of cellulose-based building insulating materials, including recycled materials such as textiles, straw or paper. The restriction follows incidents of ammonia emissions occurring during storage or installation of such materials (not during building use) related to temperature and humidity. Ammonia salts and ammonia gas are not considered to show chronic toxicity but in enclosed spaces can be irritating to throat, lungs and eyes and so pose risks for workers. The restriction as published enables continuing use of ammonia phosphates for fire safety, subject to processing or application which prevents ammonia emissions.
Commission Regulation 2016/2017 of 23 June 2016, amending REACH http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2016.166.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2016:166:TOC

ECHA (European Chemical Agency) has opened to 17th October 2016 a public consultation on animal toxicity testing of sodium dihydrogenorthophosphate (EC 231-449-2, monosodium phosphate), for reproductive toxicity (extended one-generation reproductive toxicity study). The testing proposal has been submitted under REACH by the producers of this substance, who propose to carry out this testing at their expense. The submission notes that there are no studies available to generate necessary information for REACH chemical dossier endpoints, but that there is no data suggesting toxicity. This phosphate is approved for use in human foods (E339 sodium or potassium orthophosphates) and has been widely used, and indeed will simply dissociate to sodium ions Na+ and phosphate ions PO4- in solution and in the body. The public is invited to submit any comments on the proposed animal testing, or any additional relevant data. The full list of all studies relevant to inorganic phosphates is published by industry at http://www.inorganic-phosphates.org/files/ip-consortium/IP%20Website/Documents/Studies/IP_All_studies_list.pdf
ECHA testing proposal consultation: reproductive toxicity (extended one-generation reproductive toxicity study) on Sodium dihydrogenorthophosphate, EC Number 231-449-2, CAS Number 7558-80-7 https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/testing-proposals/current/-/substance-rev/14512/term

The EU’s “Expert Group for Technical Advice on Organic Production” (EGTOP) has published its response to two dossiers proposing authorisation of recycled phosphate products as fertilisers in organic agriculture (under EU Organic Farming Regulation 889/2008). The dossier for struvite was submitted by the UK in 2014 and concerns struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) recovered in sewage works or from animal waste processing. The dossier for calcined phosphates was submitted by Austria in 2011 and concerns recovery from ashes of sewage sludge, meat and bone meal (MBM), or other biomass ash. The committee concludes that for Ostara Pearl struvite (the submitted dossier) there is no hygiene risk (organic pollutants or pathogens), but that this is not proven for other struvite production methods. Struvite recovery is noted to be conform to environmental objectives (reduces N and P losses to surface waters, recycles nutrients, reduces consumption of non-renewable P resources) and concludes that struvite should be authorised for organic farming “provided that the method of production ensures hygienic and pollutant safety”. For calcined phosphates, the committee also concludes that recovery from ashes is conform to environmental objectives (but with some concerns about energy consumption) and that calcined phosphates should be authorised for organic farming subject to being recovered from sewage sludge incineration ash and that heavy metal content should be limited (proposal: chromium(VI) non detectable, other heavy metals “minimised”). However, EGTOP also concludes that these two products cannot be authorised under the Organic Farming Regulation until they are authorised under the EU Fertilisers Regulation, so confirming the importance of the ‘STRUBIAS’ process underway to integrate such products into the current revision of this Regulation.
Expert Group for Technical Advice on Organic Production (EGTOP) “Final Report on Organic Fertilizers And Soil Conditioners (II)”, final version 2 February 2016 http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/eu-policy/expert-advice/documents/final-reports_en

A meeting was organised by CEN (the European Standardisation Committee) and CENELEC (electrical equipment) on 'Standards for circular economy: waste management and secondary raw materials' in Brussels 8th September. Of around 100 participants, ESPP and the paper industry were maybe the only representatives of the bio-nutrient and bio-materials sector. Yet, the need for standards development to support nutrient recycling and valorisation of bio-waste streams was made clear. Some of the day’s conclusions are strongly applicable to the nutrient circular economy: need to standardise terminology and definitions, including how to measure the recycling rate, importance of public information (e.g. traceability) to develop trust; potential of EN standards to open markets for export; quality standards for input materials, processes and recycled (nutrient) products; benchmarking to indicate for what uses a recycled product is appropriate. The meeting registered that a number of initiatives are underway or expected: EC mandates to CEN for standards development to support the Fertilisers Regulation revision and the EU Circular Economy Package, interface work to identify gaps and incoherence between fertiliser regulations, REACH, waste regulation; BS 8001 proposed standard “Framework for circular economy principles”. This meeting aims to launch a CEN informal process for dialogue on on standards for the circular economy, waste and secondary materials, in which ESPP will actively participate.

Science and media

Integer market research consultants suggest that world phosphate fertiliser prices, which have fallen very low, may stop dropping. The current low price level of DAP and MAP (di- and mono ammonium phosphate) has led to a 30 – 50% reduction in China’s exports and is pressuring even integrated producers’ margins, despite low sulphur and ammonia prices. The consultants suggest that the PotashCorp – Agrium merger announced in North America may push prices upwards. On the other hand, important capacity investments in MENA (Middle East North Africa) soon to come into production will lead to further overcapacity and downwards pressure on prices. ESPP notes that producers of recycled fertilisers in Europe are also facing difficulties, as current low mineral fertiliser prices push down the sale prices of their products.
“What is driving Phosphate markets and have prices stopped falling?” Integer Research 5/9/2016

The EU-funded LIFE+ 5-year MANEV project, bringing together 8 knowledge institutes in Denmark, Spain, Italy and Poland, has published its final report assessing the sustainability of manure management systems in Europe. Livestock in Europe generates 1 400 million tonnes of manure per year, containing 7 million tonnes of nitrogen (N) – compared to some 11 million tonnes N applied in mineral fertilisers. The environmental impact cost of ammonia emissions, greenhouse gases and nitrogen losses to rivers alone is estimated at 12 300 million €/year. Treatment systems assessed are: acidification, solid-liquid separation, anaerobic digestion, aerobic biological treatment, composting, evaporation, thermal drying, ammonia stripping and recovery, filtration / osmosis, phytoepuration and land spreading. The report concludes that the appropriate treatment depends on the local situation. Land spreading is the first option where possible (not local manure surplus), that nutrient removal should not be implemented without recovery and recycling, and that aerobic digestion can support nutrient recovery. Also, it is noted that manure acidification will develop if legislation requires limiting of ammonia emissions, solid-liquid separation is important to facilitate nutrient recovery, further work is needed on the quality of recovered products from ammonia stripping, quality standards are needed to develop a market for composted manure, filtration and osmosis are likely to remain limited because of high cost.
MANEV “Evaluation of manure management and treatment technology for environmental protection and sustainable livestock farming in Europe” (LIFE09 ENV/ES/000453), final report, December 2015, 180 pages www.lifemanev.eu

Vaneeckhaute et al. 2016 summarise the characteristics of digestate are summarised, noting the wide variability, and processing technologies discussed. Most processing starts with solid/liquid separation. A number of nutrient recovery technologies as applicable to digestate are reviewed, looking at technical and economic aspects, and marketability of the end-products as fertilisers: ammonia stripping and adsorption, acidic air scrubbing, membrane filtration, ammonia and phosphorus sorption onto different materials (e.g. natural zeolites), biomass production and harvest, struvite precipitation, calcium phosphate precipitation, phosphorus recovery from ashes/biochar. Ammonia stripping then recovery using acidic air scrubbing and struvite precipitation were identified as the best available technologies. However, ammonia sulphate from the former does not necessarily find a market in liquid form as it is generally produced. Biomass production can be cost effective, but requires a large land footprint. Membrane filtration systems have often suffered technical problems and are not today economically viable for digestate treatment.
Drosg et al. 2015 provide a practical presentation of nutrient recovery from digestates for biogas plant operators and developers, as well as policy makers. The report covers both solid-liquid separation (decanter centrifuge, screw press, belt filters, decantation, flotation and others), processing of the digestate solid and liquid fractions (composting, drying, ammonia stripping, ion exchange, struvite precipitation, membranes, evaporation). A detailed cost analysis for six digestate processing scenarios is provided, concluding that direct land application is most cost effective if locally possible, and optimal processing system is highly site and case specific.
“Nutrient Recovery from Digestate: Systematic Technology Review and Product Classification”, 20 pages, C. Vaneeckhaute et al., Waste and Biomass Valorisation, 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12649-016-9642-x
“Nutrient Recovery by Biogas Digestate Processing”, B. Drosg, IEA Bioenergy ISBN 978-1-910154-15-1, 2015, 40 pages http://www.iea-biogas.net/files/daten-redaktion/download/Technical%20Brochures/NUTRIENT_RECOVERY_RZ_web1.pdf

EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) has published an assessment of urea – safety for users – regarding use under the Plant Protection Products Directive 91/414/EEC. EFSA cite the US EPA conclusions that chromosome aberrations have been noted in some tests and that data does not enable to exclude genotoxicity or carcinogenicity. EFSA notes that data submitted is inadequate to derive acceptable exposure levels for operators (AOEL). Previous EFSA Opinions have concluded that urea is safe for appropriate uses in cosmetics and in ruminant animal feeds.
“Outcome of the consultation with Member States, the applicant and EFSA on the pesticide risk assessment for urea in light of confirmatory data”, EFSA 12 July 2016. “Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of Urea for ruminants”, EFSA-Q-2004-030 2012.

The UK’s Financial Times reports that agriculture is Europe’s biggest contributor to air-pollution related mortality. Based on a Netherlands government funded study (not yet published), the article states that air around “farming hotspots” can be as damaging to health as in a city with traffic. A key problem is indicated to be ammonia, released from manures in livestock production, manure storage and spreading. Ammonia can combine with other atmospheric pollutants to form particles which can damage the lung and the heart. 94% of Europe’s ammonia emissions come from agriculture. A study of 2 500 persons in the Netherlands indicated that people living within “Farming ‘hotspots’ carry air pollution risk, Dutch study finds”, P. Clark, Financial Times, 2 September 2016. Study by Lidwien Smit, Utrecht University, Netherlands.

The average Australian diet includes c. 0.67 kgP/day (1.8g phosphorus per day) but with a phosphorus footprint of 4.9 kgP/year to produce this food. The authors calculate that changing to a vegetarian diet with the same protein content would reduce this P-footprint by -72% whilst the diet P intake (and so P in human excreta entering sewage) would increase by +8%. This assumes the same protein intake in the vegetarian diet, which is probably unrealistic as this would mean replacing a 150g of braised steak by nearly 600g of cooked lentils or beans. Even though some authors recommend a 25% higher protein intake with a vegetarian diet, the Australia average protein intake is around 80% higher than needed for health (world average is one third higher).
“Potential impact of Dietary choices on Phosphorus recycling and Global Phosphorus Footprints: the case of the Average Australian city”, G. Metson1, D. Cordell & B. Ridoutt, Frontiers in Nutrition, Aug. 2016, vol. 3, art. 35 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2016.00035

The Sierra Club USA magazine highlights ten innovative solutions for food waste. The US is estimated to waste half the food grown, generating 70 million tonnes of food waste per year, containing significant contents of nutrients. Action is however starting in the US, with an official objective announced a year ago to cut food waste by 50% by 2030 and legislation to loosen restrictions and increase tax benefits for restaurants, stores and institutions which donate food. The ten solutions presented by Serra Club support businesses to make food waste minimisation a revenue centre and local government to enable food waste management, provide geolocalisation to bring past-date food to needy charities, ensure marketing of imperfect produce, online exchange of surplus garden fruit and veg, composting of non-edible food waste.
“10 Innovative Solutions to Food Waste” K. O’Reilly, Sierra Magazine, July-August 2016

 
Events
 
 
Copyright © 2016 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

The European Economic and Social Committee has adopted its ‘Opinion’ on the EU Fertilisers Regulation revision. EESC supports the objective of extending the existing regulation from only mineral fertilisers (at present) to cover organic and waste based fertilisers, subject to ensuring environmental protection, underlining that recycled fertilisers “may in the future constitute an important part of an integrated circular economy” (recalling the EESC Opinion on the Circular Economy jobs and SMEs, 2014). The need to clarify definitions of a “secondary raw material”, waste, by-products, end-of-waste are underlined, pointing to the contradictions in the current text between application to PFCs and CMCs [$4.2 of EESC Opinion]. EESC wants systems of control, labelling (present in the proposed text) and [$1.3] traceability (not present). EESC underlines [$1.9, $4.5] that municipal waste water has potential and value as a raw material for organic fertiliser – whereas this is excluded in the current regulation proposal. EESC also notes [$4.8] the need to exempt from REACH recovered materials beyond compost (EESP comment: e.g. digestate see www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory) .

Opinion of the EESC on the EU Fertilisers Regulation Revision, adopted 13-14 July 2016, refs. NAT/691 – EESC-2016-03054-00-01-AC-TRA (EN) 1/8, rapporteur Cillian Lohan www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.nat-opinions.39587

The programme  is now online for the ESPP workshop on “Pharmaceuticals and organic chemicals in sewage biosolids: questions for recycling”, Malmö (near Copenhagen) 27th October 8h00 – 12h00, in cooperation with the Nordic Phosphorus Conference, 27th October (12h00) – 28th 13h30 (same venue).
See for more details and registration here.

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