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The ESPP eNews no2 July 2016 can be read here with short communications related to nutrient management.

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

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This is the number 2 edition of ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform) monthly News. We hope that you will find this useful. If other people wish to subscribe, it is free at If you have comments or news on nutrient management to share, please contact

In particular, much is happening in the Nordic countries: see below SyreN success story, manure acidification and Nordic Phosphorus Conference, Malmö / Copenhagen 27-28 October.

For full list of events, see below the news section of this email and on

New Platform member

New ESPP member ITALPOLLINA SPA, Italy, is a leader in the production of naturally derived fertilizers and specialty plant nutrition products, with 40 years experience. The company’s products are used in organic and conventional agriculture, and include fertilisers based on processed manure, biostimulants of vegetal origin and beneficial microbials. The company sells in more than 70 countries worldwide. Key principles are food and environment safety and optimal fertilisation efficiency, and so yield and quality, based on selection of raw materials, technologically advanced manufacturing processes and stringent internal controls. Luca BONINI, CEO, declares “Joining ESPP is an opportunity for us to develop our technologies, to create partnerships and to sustain the promotion of the recovery nutrients”. Benoît PLANQUES, Regulatory Manager, will follow the activities of ESPP.

Success stories BioCover’s SyreN system is an innovative, modular, on-farm system for improved manure management using technologies integrated into farmers’ existing slurry tankers. This reduces costs, enables mobility and makes use of slurry tankers during idle periods. SyreN offers five technologies: (1) manure acidification during application using sulphuric acid, reducing ammonia air emissions by up to 70% (2) dosing of additives to improve manure plant availability, soil properties or reduce odour (3) ammonia and N-stabiliser dosing, so improving N:P ratio and reducing N losses from soil (4) software / mobile phone system to optimise slurry application and (5) phosphorus recovery. The P-recovery module (SyreN+) firstly precipitates phosphate as struvite within the slurry tanker (leaving a low-P slurry liquor, which can be spread), then dissolves the struvite in the tanker using sulphuric acid (using the acidification equipment), giving a marketable and transportable NPS liquid fertiliser. BioCover SyreN has received the Baltic Manure Handling Award 2012, Agromek awards 2010, European Corporate CSR 2013 and US EPA Manure Nutrient Recovery Challenge 2016. BioCover is now looking for project or investor funding to adapt and implement SyreN in other countries, according to farmers’ regional modes of operation and equipment, or to recover the struvite as a solid fertiliser product (SyreN Crustal).
BioCover Photo: slurry tanker equipped with SyreN A 5.4 million € EU InterReg project has been launched to roll-out manure slurry acidification in the Baltic States, following on from Denmark’s experience (see SyreN above). The objective is to reduce ammonia emissions to air during slurry application, in order to cut greenhouse gas impacts to eutrophication (atmospheric deposition of N to the Baltic), as well as avoiding loss of valuable nitrogen nutrient for farmers. Over 1 000 famers are already using one or more modules of SyreN technology for acidification during slurry spreading (see above). The InterReg project aims to enhance capacity of public authorities and farmers, through pilot installations, feasibility studies and environmental and economic assessments.
International seminar on slurry acidification to reduce ammonia emissions, 28 - 29 September 2016, Vejle, Denmark (nearby Billund Airport) The KOTO company’s AlgaeBioGas installation, Llubljana, Slovenia, is featured as one of the European Biogas Association (EBA)’s six Success Stories: anaerobic digestion of biodegradeable municipal solid waste in European cities. The 13 000 m3/y feedstock anaerobic digesters, using mainly household food waste and food industry wastes, produce methane used for co-generation (4 GWh/y electricity and 2.8 GWh/y thermal energy). Part of the resulting digestate (0.5 m3/day) is used to feed a pilot-scale open raceway algae pond (30 m2), commissioned in 2014, ensuring biological treatment of the digestate and recycling nutrients into production of algae, which are then used as feedstock for further methane production, or for use in bioplastics or fertiliser production. The system is energy and greenhouse emission efficient, because exhaust gas from the methane-burning electricity co-generation is injected into the algae production pond, so using the waste heat and carbon dioxide in algae production, as well as reducing digestate odor. /

Projects The PHOSave project (Horizon 2020 SME Instrument), led by PROPHOS Chemicals will construct a pilot plant near Cromona, Lombardy, to recover and recycle phosphates from exhausted fire extinguishing powders. Halogenated chemicals in fire extinguishers have been largely replaced by phosphate based dry powders, because phosphate does not pose environmental or health issues and is effective in combating fire. 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. The Lombardy Region, Italy, has been selected to lead the Vanguard BioEconomy pilot project “Biogas beyond energy” (European Commission, Regional and Urban Policy). The project also involves Brandenburg (Germany), Baden-Württenberg (Germany), North-Rhein Westfalia (Germany), Navarra (Spain), Asturias (Spain), Skåne (Sweden), Emilia Romagna (Italy), Malopolska (Poland), and West Finland. The product will develop valorisation of different sources of organic raw materials as biogas plant inputs, in particular livestock manure, and transformation into value-added products including fuels, chemicals, energy and recycled nutrients. Lombardy Region press release 21/6/16

Media and meetings The new water sector publication Aqua Strategy, launched February this year, has published its third issue largely devoted to phosphate recovery and recycling from sewage. ESPP point to the Circular Economy as the key driver today for phosphorus stewardship, with aspects both of reducing European dependence on imports from a few regions, and opportunities for revival of rural areas and decentralised job creation. The EU Fertilisers Regulation revision is a key step forward, but the current proposals exclude the use of sewage-derived recycled nutrients. However, Member States will be able to authorise “national” fertilisers which are sewage biosolids based, such as the existing France compost standard. Ostara struvite recovery is presented as a success story, with now ACWA as technology licensee in the UK. Leon Korving, WETSUS, summarises new R&D challenges for phosphate recovery, in particular how to recover phosphorus from iron containing biosolids. AquaStrategy June 2016. "Releasing forms of P that other forums can't reach!” is the slogan of the provides online information on publications, events, research projects concerning organic phosphorus in soil, fertilisers and soil phosphorus. The site includes an active discussion and exchange forum, information on phosphorus analysis methods. @SoilPforum SusChem is the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (created by between Cefic, DECHEMA, EuropaBio, GDCh, ESAB and RSC). SusChem’s Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (1/3/2015) refers to phosphorus under $1.1 access to critical raw materials and 2.1 sustainable agriculture “There is a need for new and improved technologies for recovering and recycling these essential biological elements: phosphorus … nitrogen and potassium”. SusChem’s five priority factsheets state (under priority: water): “Resource recovery (“circular economy”), development of novel highly selective and energy-efficient separation technologies to recover specific resources (e.g. phosphorous) from industry wastewater”. SusChem is organising a project brokerage event, Seville, 13th September.
SusChem brokerage event 13/9/2016 Seville Jean-François Soussana, GIEC scientist and Scientific Director of INRA, opened the UNIFA (French fertiliser industry association) public workshop on the Circular Economy, Paris, 24th June. He explained that agriculture is a major contributor to global greenhouse emissions, with global emissions increasing despite reductions in emissions/kg production. But a 0.4%/year increase in world topsoil carbon stocks would compensate fossil fuel emissions. 0.2 kg N and 0.08 kg P are needed to stock 1 kg carbon. Challenges are measuring C effectively sequestered, and ensuring that C stays in soil. Australia pays farmers 11$/tonne-CO2 stored in soil. Chris Thornton, ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform) emphasised the business opportunities of phosphorus stewardship, synergies with organic carbon circular economy and current progress on EU legislation. Didier Marteau, farmer and Aude county Chamber of Agriculture underlined the need for traceability of input materials in recycled nutrient and organic carbon products and the advantages of developing methanisation. Gilles Poidevin, UNIFA, concluded with the importance of different sectors working together to develop the bio circular economy and to enable synergies between soil carbon, soil fertility and farm economic productivity.
UNIFA and ESPP presentation slides (in French)

Science and News The European Court has fined Portugal 3 million Euros, plus 8 000 €/day for failing to implement the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. The Directive required that all agglomerations of > 15 000 p.e. should have sewage collection and treatment by 2000. In 2009, the European Court identified 22 agglomerations not compliant. The new Court judgement concerns two agglomerations were still not compliant in 2014, with one now completed and one not planned for completion until 2019, nearly twenty years after the Directive deadline.
European Court of Justice press release 22/6/2016, judgement Case C-557/14 Phosphorus in municipal wastewater in China represents c. 5.5% of mineral fertiliser consumption. Data is presented on the number of operating sewage works in China, showing a doubling in capacity since 2005, and on the process treatments installed. Data on sludge treatment and disposal is not available, but estimates suggest that anaerobic digestion is not widely implemented and that 84% of sludge is no correctly managed. This study concludes that digestion then appropriate land application will be the main route for P-recycling, but with a need for strict control of land application to ensure biosolids quality and to avoid runoff and pollution. Struvite recovery is expected to develop in biological P-removal wastewater treatment plants. Proposed policies include: improving wastewater collection and P-removal, promoting anaerobic digestion and biological P-removal, developing legal and business framework.
“Phosphorus recovery from municipal and fertilizer wastewater: China's potential and perspective”, J. Environ. Sci. (2016), K. Zhou , M. Barjenbruch, C. Kabbe, G. Inial, C. Remy Phosphorus cycling in China over the last 4 centuries is studied, showing considerable increases in phosphorus use and high inefficiencies. Phosphorus in annual arable crop output increased from c. 0.4 million tonnes P/year (MtP) in the 1600’s to 3.3 MtP in 2012. Average input to crop production is today estimated at 80 kgP/ha, more than twice crop uptake capacity 85% of this excess phosphorus input is estimated to be immobilised in soil as “legacy P”. Phosphorus losses to China’s surface waters have increased threefold, with freshwater aquaculture the largest source of phosphorus losses (90% of fish-feed P lost to water). However, only c. 20% of the total P lost to rivers reaches the ocean, as most is retained in inland and coastal sediments due to relatively flat terrain and dams. China’s dietary P intake is estimated to be 30% lower than for the USA, but nonetheless higher than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The authors estimated that improved management of P in China (better use, recycling) could prolong the lifetime of China’s phosphate rock reserves by 20 years.
“Intensification of phosphorus cycling in China since the 1600s”, X. Liu, H. Sheng, S. Jiang, Z. Yuan, C. Zhang, J. Elser, PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA), vol. 113, n° 10, 2016 A combination of P-recycling from meat and bone meal, sewage sludge and compost could replace 70% of mineral phosphate fertiliser use in Austria. The study is based on a detailed 2013 national phosphorus flow analysis. An optimal strategy would reduce import dependency by nearly 90%, reduce losses to water bodies by nearly 30% and nearly avoid consumption of mineral P fertilisers. This optimal scenario includes recycling, reduction of meat consumption, improved crop P-efficiency, optimisation in other applications (gardens, industry), reduction of point source emissions and soil erosion.
“Supporting phosphorus management in Austria: Potential, priorities and limitations”, O. Zoboli, M. Zessner, H. Rechberger, Science of the Total Environment 565(2016) 313-323

50% P-recovery from Germany’s sewage biosolids is feasible

Scenarios are proposed to recover 50% of total phosphorus in Germany’s sewage sludge biosolids. Economic and environmental impacts are assessed. Of c. 60 000 tP/year in German sewage sludge, around 25-30% are currently used in agriculture and this should remain an important part of nutrient recycling for high-quality biosolids. To efficiently recover P from the remaining sludge will require modification of logistics in sludge treatment, to ensure that sewage sludge goes to mono-incineration and is not mixed with low phosphorus wastes, in order to deliver sewage sludge incineration ash with a P content of around 8%. Technical processes are available to recover P from such ash. A scenario with 30% recovery of Germany’s sewage biosolids P by technical processes from ash, and 20% continuing to be used in agriculture, resulting in a net positive impact for energy consumption and climate change emissions. “Phosphorrecycling aus Klärschlamm in Deutschland: eine Abschätzung von Kosten und Umweltauswirkungen” (Phosphorus recycling from sewage sludge in Germany : an estimate of costs and environmental impacts), F. Kraus, C. Kabbe, C. Remy, B. Lesjean, 10 pages (in German), Korrespondenz Abwasser, Abfall 2016 (63) Nr. 6

Full events listing online at:
To add your event, please contact
Copyright © 2016 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

The ESPP eNews no1 June 2016 can be read here with short communications related to nutrient management.

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

Please subscribe 
Link to
Download as PDF

ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform) is launching a new monthly News, to provide regular updates on nutrient management success stories, regulatory developments, science and reports.

This will be in addition to the SCOPE Newsletter, which will provide, as to date, in-depth coverage of science publications, conferences and regulation.

This is the "Beta" first edition of this monthly News, pending finding a more attractive and readable layout. It is sent initially to all SCOPE Newsletter subscribers. We hope that you will find this useful. If other people wish to subscribe, it is free at If you have comments or news on nutrient management to share, please contact

For list of events, see below the news section of this email. Next ESPP meeting: EU Fertiliser Regulation workshop 29th June Brussels: Discussion of proposed Regulation text, application to recovered nutrient products, composts, digestates.

On 17th June, Ostara and Vallei Veluwe water board officially inaugurated the 900 tonnes/year Pearl struvite recovery unit at Amersfoort sewage works, treating sewage from 300 000 population equivalent and sewage sludge from 1 million. With EU LIFE supportOn 17th June, Ostara and Vallei Veluwe water board officially inaugurated the 900 tonnes/year Pearl struvite recovery unit at Amersfoort sewage works, treating sewage from 300 000 population equivalent and sewage sludge from 1 million. With EU LIFE support, the water and sewage treatment plant is energy neutral, and uses thermal hydrolysis (ELIQUO) and WASSTRIP to increase soluble phosphorus release. Objective is to recover 40% of works input P as struvite. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. inaugurated the Ostara unit, noting that the company will have units operating in 14 sewage works worldwide by end 2016. The recovered struvite is sold by Ostara as Crystal Green performance fertiliser prills, with granulometry size grades, hardness, low-dusting and salt index conform to fertiliser industry SGN specifications.

The European Commission’s JRC (Joint Research Centre) has launched the official process, mandated by DG GROW, to prepare EU “fertiliser criteria” for struvite, ash-based materials and biochars. A first meeting of the group (“STRUBIAS”) of around 30 experts selected by the Commission to advise this criteria process will take place 5-6 July. ESPP, DPP and Fertilisers Europe are designated to this expert group. The criteria elaborated by JRC will then be submitted to the European Commission for addition as an annex to the revised EU Fertiliser Regulation (once this has been adopted and promulgated). These annexes will be integrated into the Regulation by European Commission without requirement to consult European Council or Parliament. Contact to input.
EU Fertilisers Regulation proposed revised regulation summary in SCOPE Newsletter n° 120 - EU publication of comments received by deadline of 12th May 2016: ESPP comments 12th May 2016 - ESPP input to struvite, ash and biochar EU fertiliser criteria definition

A draft Bill submitted to the US Congress proposes a 30% investment tax credit (ITC) for biogas production and for manure nutrient recovery installations. The bill would also open to new Clean Energy Bonds. The bill would open ITCs for biogas production which do not generate electricity (e.g. for production of natural gas energy) and would facilitate funding, and so implementation, of nutrient recovery on farms.
US Congress proposed Bill H. R. 5489 “ To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make qualified biogas property and qualified manure resource recovery property eligible for the energy credit and to permit new clean renewable energy bonds”
“Biogas Industry Applauds Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act”, 16th June 2016

EU Commission public consultation open to 28th August 2016 on Horizon 2020 (R&D funding) 2018-2020 on food security, sustainable agriculture, forestry, water and bio-economy (Societal Challenge 2). This is open to individual citizens and all organisations. Online is a 9-page scene setter text and a simple questionnaire. The scene setter outlines the Horizon 2020 priorities which govern this 2018-2020 Work Programme (including sustainable food security – resilient and resource efficient value chains, rural renaissance – innovation and business opportunities and biobased innovation: all of which are very relevant for nutrient use optimisation and phosphorus recycling. Open questions ask to indicate key challenges, desired outputs and impacts, innovation needs, science and social gaps, game changers – accelerators and horizontal issues (social, sustainability).
European Commission Research & Innovation “Public consultation on Horizon 2020 ‘Food Security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy’ Work Programme 2018-2020”, open to 28/8/2016

EU Commission call open to 15th September 2016, first phase Expressions of Interest. Innovation Deals are a new EU concept, based on the Netherlands “Green Deals” (see example of North Sea Resources Roundabout in SCOPE Newsletter N° 120). The aim of an Innovation Deals is “in-depth understanding and clarification of how an EU rule or regulation applies. If a rule or regulation is confirmed as an obstacle to innovations … the Deal will make it visible and feed into possible further action”. The Deals “will allow innovators to swiftly address legislative obstacles, shortening the time … to market uptake”. The Deals take the form of voluntary cooperation between the EU, innovators, and national, regional and local authorities and are without EU funding. Five Deals will be selected from this call for Expressions of Interest, plus up to ten via Horizon 2020 circular economy calls CIRC-01 and CIRC-02. A simple application form (20 line description of proposal) and proposal template are available online.
European Commission (DG Research & Innovation) “Innovation Deals for a Circular Economy. Pilot phase within the scope of the Circular Economy” call open to 15/9/16. application form - 1-page presentation template - selection criteria

Following the proposal submitted by ESPP and 60+ organisations across Europe (SCOPE Newsletter n° 114) to launch, the EU’s EIP-Agri Innovation Partnership has selected the theme Recycled Nutrients for its 19th Focus Group. The first meeting took place 31st May – 1st June. The 20 selected experts include ESPP. Expected outputs of the Focus Groups are “mini-papers” (to be written by the expert group and published by EIP-Agri), proposals for EIP-Agri Operational Groups, which will summarise issues and identify R&D needs (possible input to Horizon 2020) and of dissemination needs and other actions. Possible mini-papers suggested to date cover themes such as: quality and monitoring standards for recycled nutrient products, logistics and flows, end-user requirements (farmers, food industry), P-recovery technologies, regulations, on farm nutrient management tools and practice, soil organic matter, nutrient use efficiency, LCA and environmental impacts of nutrient recycling. Contact for further information or to input.

The United Nations FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation) LEAP (Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance) Partnership has selected 31 world-level experts for its “Nutrient cycles accounting and Impact assessment Technical Advisory Group” (TAG), including ESPP’s Kimo Van Dijk. The TAG aims to define nutrient assessment and accounting frameworks for benchmarking environmental performance of livestock production, feeding and processing chains, methods for accounting soil nutrients stock changes, for emissions and for life cycle analysis, proposing indicators to assess phosphorus as critical resource. The first FAO Nutrient TAG meeting will take place in July. Contact to input.

Monopotassium phosphate MKP solution was tested as a fungicide in vitro on apple scab Venturia inaequalis (conidia germination, germ tube elongation) and in the orchard. MKP showed to be relatively ineffective (c. 20% effectiveness), compared to boric acid or commercial fungicide. Previous literature has however shown that MKP can be an effective fungicide against powdery mildew on rose or pepper. None of the treatments had adverse impacts on leaves or fruit.
“Efficacy of Boric Acid, Monopotassium Phosphate and Sodium Metabisulfite on the Control of Apple Scab”, Journal of Phytopathology 2016, A. Arslan

A 37 day study of 16 early-lactating cows shows that treatment of feed concentrates with lactic acid can improve efficiency of animal feed phosphate use. 5% lactic acid treatment of feed concentrates resulted in the same metabolic and energy efficiency (lower food intake, maintained body weight and milk yield) as 0.8% calcium monophosphate. The authors conclude that the lactic acid feed treatment improves energy and mineral status and can thus reduce feed phosphate requirements, in lactating cows fed high levels of concentrates (47% in this study). There are possible concerns of rumen acidosis, identified in this study but without adverse physiological or performance effects.
“Metabolic responses, performance, and reticuloruminal pH of early-lactating cows fed concentrates treated with lactic acid, with or without inorganic phosphorus supplementation”, A. Khol-Parisini, E. Humer, H. Harder, E. Mickdam, Q. Zebeli, J. Dairy Sci. 99:1–14, 2016

France’s national radio, France Info, criticises the failure to act on agricultural nutrients emissions which continue to cause algal blooms on Brittany’s beaches. The 2-minute report and online article “Green Algae in Brittany: Inconvenient Truths” accuses the State and the Brittany Region of covering up health impacts, removing funding from independent scientific investigation and using funding intended to reduce nutrient emissions to subsides increasing the size of pig farms.
“Algues vertes en Bretagne : des vérités qui dérangent”, Inès Léraud, France Info, 2 minutes plus online article

A report by Wageningen UR for the Netherlands Ministry for Economics gives data for urban P-flows, information on recent P-recycling development and future perspectives. Only 12% of P in urban waste and wastewater is recycled, mainly from industrial wastewater (2 300 tP/y), particularly food industry sludge. P-recovery in sewage works is developing with struvite recovery, but quantities today are small. A significant increase in P-recover from waste water will result from the SNB – HVC – EcoPhos contract which will concern half of Netherlands sewage sludge from 2018. Today, 2 400 tP/y are lost to surface waters in wwtp discharges. Perspectives discussed include reducing food waste, installing kitchen sink grinders to send food waste to sewage works, source separation of urine in several projects, reducing wwtp discharge concentrations, separating storm waters from wwtp input and incinerating meat and bone meal ash in processing routes where P-recovery is possible.
“Phosphorus recycling from the waste sector”, PRI Report 641, Wagening UR, 2016, F. de Ruijter, W. van Dij,, J. van Middelkoop, H. van Reuter

The Järki project, Finland, has published an assessment of nutrient use in agriculture, recycling potential and markets and of relevant regulation, covering the EU level and seven country cases (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and Finland). The report notes major regional differences in nutrient flows across Europe, and also that EU legislation is implemented differently between Member States and national regulations are also different: e.g. Nitrates Directive, fertiliser spreading, manure processing, livestock production BAT, sewage sludge regulation, national fertiliser regulations, National Ceiling Emissions Directive for ammonia ….
“Twists in Nutrient Recycling”, L. Hari, K. Riiko, BSAG and Nature and Game Management Trust Finland. English summary 11 pages Full report in Finnish 60 pages

US study shows that nutrients will be a limiting factor for algae biofuel production, unless they are recycled in the process and also recycled nutrients are used as input. The US EISA (Energy Independence and Security Act 2007) targets for biofuel production are considered, assuming a 19 billion litres/year target for algae-based biofuels, based on Chlorella and Nanochloropsis. Catalytic hydrothermal gasification (producing methane and hydrogen from algae) offers the highest potential for nutrient recycling in the biofuel production process. Secondary sources of nutrients are estimated to be sufficient to supply the “new” nutrient input necessary, beyond in-process recycling.
“Implications of widespread algal biofuels production on macronutrient fertilizer supplies: Nutrient demand and evaluation of potential alternate nutrient sources”, C. Canter, P. Blowers, R. Handler, D. Shonnard, Applied Energy 143 (2015) 71–80

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

On 17th June, Ostara and Vallei Veluwe water board officially inaugurated the 900 tonnes/year Pearl struvite recovery unit at Amersfoort sewage works, treating sewage from 300.000 population equivalent and sewage sludge from 1 million. With EU LIFE supportOn 17th June, Ostara and Vallei Veluwe water board officially inaugurated the 900 tonnes/year Pearl struvite recovery unit at Amersfoort sewage works, treating sewage from 300.000 population equivalent and sewage sludge from 1 million. With EU LIFE support, the water and sewage treatment plant is energy neutral, and uses thermal hydrolysis (ELIQUO) and WASSTRIP to increase soluble phosphorus release. Objective is to recover 40% of works input P as struvite. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. inaugurated the Ostara unit, noting that the company will have units operating in 14 sewage works worldwide by end 2016. The recovered struvite is sold by Ostara as Crystal Green performance fertiliser prills, with granulometry size grades, hardness, low-dusting and salt index conform to fertiliser industry SGN specifications.

Omzet Amersfoort WWTP information

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Solutions

ELIQUO technology at WWTP Amersfoort

Struvite blues song

ESPP published a SCOPE article overview on struvite as an effective fertiliser which you can read here (page 5). This overview can contribute to the discussion about the effectiviness of struvite, also in the light of the revision of the EU Fertiliser Regulation, see the ESPP website regulatory section.

ESPP will organise a technical meeting on recycled nutrient products in the proposed EU Fertiliser Regulation revision,
29th June 9:00-17:00, Brussels. If you wish to participate in this meeting please indicate to me your name and organisation

  • overview of proposed revision text (1) (EU Commission DG GROW = participation confirmed) and of comments received to date (2)
  • rapid presentation of key proposals / positions / questions (as relating specifically to recycled nutrient products) by ESPP, European mineral and organic fertilisers, biogas, compost, farmers organisation (to be confirmed)
  • discussion of selected technical issues concerning the proposed Fertiliser Regulation revision text
    • Traceability of sewage and manure derived products (ESPP proposal, not in Commission text)
    • Definition of organic and inorganic fertilisers
    • Fertiliser effectiveness and how to demonstrate this
    • Contaminant levels and other technical criteria for recycled nutrient products
    • “Missing” categories currently not covered
    • Other technical issues to be defined – proposals welcome

The meeting will also discuss:

  • EIP AGRI Focus Group on agronomic use of recycled nutrients (3): aims of the Focus Group, what actions are needed and what input ESPP can provide and how to do this
  • Information will be provided on the JRC criteria process for struvite, ashes, biochars (4)

If you wish to participate in this meeting please indicate to me your name and organisation

Comments or proposals on meeting content welcome.

1 = published proposal for EU Fertilisers Regulation revised text 17/3/16: 

2 = comments to date see:

3 = ESPP is selected as a member of this EIP-AGRI Focus Group, as are also several ESPP network participants. First meeting is 31 May – 1 June. The aim is to define research needs, information assessment and communication needs concerning agronomic value and use of recycled nutrient products. ESPP will need input from agronomic experts, researchers and nutrient recyclers. See:

4 = ESPP draft criteria are completed for struvite, ashes, and are under finalisation for biochars, see EU JRC work is being launched to define EU criteria, to add into the Fertiliser Regulation revision. The deadline for candidature for the DG GROW expert group to support JRC work on this is 31st May and first meeting 6-7 July. This point therefore be for information, not for discussion.


On 10 July 2016 in Denver (USA), ESPP will lead an opening plenary session on "Closing the loop for P success stories" at the WEF/IWA Nutrient Removal and Recovery 2016 conference.

NRR 2016 logo 18 5 16

Session program can be found here:

More information about the conference here:

ESPP has submitted first comments on the draft revised EU Fertiliser Regulation. This new text is positive and important step to opening the market for recycling of nutrients and carbon from organic wastes and by-products. ESPP proposes to introduce traceability into the regulation, for products liable to contain organic contaminants from sewage, manures, food wastes and animal by-products, in order to ensure public and food-chain confidence and safety. ESPP also proposes to require demonstration of the agronomic fertiliser effectiveness of recycled nutrient products. In order to enable innovation with new recycled nutrient products, ESPP proposes to clarify the criteria for authorisation of new categories and to already launch work on additional new products: recovered mineral N fertilisers, other phosphates (as well as struvite), processed manure and sewage products. Summary of Fertiliser Regulation proposal text see SCOPE Newsletter 120. ESPP comments here.

Five Live Science, BBC5 Radio UK, has put out an interesting 20 minute roundup of why phosphorus is important, how to reduce uses and losses and opportunities for recycling. Robert Evans, Anglia Ruskin University, explains how Coton near Cambridge used to be the UK’s dinosaur poo capital until resources ran out leaving Europe largely dependent on imports to supply fertilisers and grow food. Pete Vale, Severn Trent Water, presents the beauty of sludge cake, full of natural goodness for crops and healthy soil, and the potential of P-recovery as struvite. James Dyke, Southampton University, discusses the risks of geopolitical concentration of phosphorus rock supply worldwide. John Hammond, Reading University discusses how to better use P in agriculture and in soils, and how to reduce society’s phosphorus needs for exampling by changing diets.

Listen online: 5 Live Science Naked Scientists – Phosphorus Shortage 14th May 2016 (35 minute point – 59 minutes)

More info including the radio item can be found here:

Call for partners for an Interreg project on the use of ashes as fertiliser or soil amendment.
See call here.

Meet at 16 June 2016, Amersfoort, Netherlands, European struvite recovery operators willing to share their practical experience and learn more about running recovery technologies. This workshop will be linked to the official commissioning of the first WASSTRIP/PEARL/LYSOTHERM facility in the world.

More information at:

Netherlands Member of the European Parliament, Jan Huitema’s, text calls on the European Commission to revise the EU Fertiliser Regulation , remove barriers in the Nitrates Directive and implement special rural development programmes to stimulate the recycling of nutrients as mineral concentrates from animal manure. This was voted in April 2016 by a large majority of the Parliament Agriculture Committee, in Mr Huitema’s report on innovation and economic development in European farm management (2015/2227). The voted text notes concern that the EU is highly dependent on the import of minerals for fertilisers and the possibility to recover nutrients from animal manures to produce ‘green fertilisers’. Mr Huitema’s website notes that mineral concentrates from manures can make a major contribution to the circular economy, are good for the environment, and avoid natural gas consumption and mineral import for fertiliser manufacture. ESPP note: the EU Fertiliser Regulation revision proposals published 18th March and open to consultation (see SCOPE Newsletter 120) cover digestate and compost produced from manure, but phosphate minerals recovered from manure are not covered (work on struvite is underway) and nitrogen concentrates or chemicals recovered from manure are not yet taken into account. The Nitrates Directive issues with nitrogen minerals recovered from manures are discussed in SCOPE Newsletter 100.

Jan Huitema website “Huitema’s initiative for green fertiliser widely supported”

European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development “Draft report on enhancing innovation and economic development in future European farm management”, Rapporteur Jan Huitema, 2015/2227(INI), vote in Committee 21st April 2016

Using this FUSIONS study ESPP estimates 130,000 ton phosphorus in annual EU food waste, equal to 6% of net P imports. More details in this SCOPE Newsletter article.

Norwegian Environment Protection Agency (EPA) proposes how to move forward national phosphorus recycling.
More details in this SCOPE Newsletter article.

The US EPA has published the names of the ten technologies awarded in the manure Nutrient Recycling Challenge, selected from the 75 entries received. ESPP’s SCOPE Newsletter publishes details of these technologies and links to their websites. The awarded technologies cover manure digestion, chemical treatment, separation, stripping. See SCOPE article here.

Ecophos (Aliphos) has started construction of its 75 million Euros plant to produce animal feed grade calcium phosphates from secondary materials and low-grade phosphate rock, in Mardyck, near Dunkerque France. Ecophos has also announced the formal inauguration of its industrial demonstration plant in Varna, Bulgaria, in September, with production starting there in June. More details in SCOPE 120.

ICL (Israel Chemicals Ltd), already a frontrunner in recycling secondary materials into phosphate fertiliser, has acquired the RecoPhos technology (from SGCL Carbon GmbH). This thermal induction process, already tested at pilot scale, produces white phosphorus (P4) from waste materials such as ashes, and potentially sludges. More details in SCOPE 120.

ESPP response to EU consultation on preparation of Horizon2020 WP 2018-2020 on Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials - 8-4-2016

The input of ESPP can be found here.


The RISE Foundation launched a study on Nutrient Recovery and Reuse (NRR) in European agriculture. A review of the issues, opportunities, and actions. The report makes a thorough revision of the use of nitrogen and phosphorus in European agriculture and assesses the scope for increased nutrient recovery and reuse and the actions needed to make it possible.

The Foundation's Chairman, and former European Commissioner for Science and Research and the Environment, Janez Potocnik said that "In the coming years we will have to change the current resource intensive economic model to address global and European food and environmental security. The growing leakage of nutrients into the environment is an unwanted consequence of our current system that deserves immediate attention."

More information and the report can be found at

ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform) SCOPE Newsletter ( see on ) is a recognised source of synthetic information about nutrient management and recycling, circulated to c. 45 000 emails* (companies, scientists, decision makers …). Published 8-10 issues per year, with over 100 back-numbers online, it has become the reference source of information on phosphorus management. * 5 – 6 000 identified opens for each Newsletter, plus online reading …

Opportunity for recognition, visibility and networking

ESPP is looking for R&D institutes, projects or other experts interested in providing a regular content input (articles) for SCOPE Newsletter, in exchange for:

  • (in-kind) partnership of the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform: logo on ESPP publications, website home page and events; partner webpage on ; participation in ESPP network and projects (value 2000 €/year);
  • specific recognition in the SCOPE Newsletter as responsible for selected theme content.

This is an interesting opportunity for your organisation to obtain visibility as expert and recognised knowledge provider for a theme area in nutrient management, and to develop a high-level network in this area.

Service to deliver

Your institute would commit to deliver 4-8 articles per year for SCOPE Newsletter. In the style of the current SCOPE Newsletter, articles are 1 to c. 3 page summaries of scientific publications, reports, conferences … with the aim of providing a technically accurate but readily accessible summary.

The objective is not to “advertise” your own activities, but to provide an up-to-date summary of leading publications and information from across the world.

Your role would be, under coordination of the ESPP Secretariat and Board responsible for editorial control of the SCOPE Newsletter, to select publications for summary based on permanent monitoring, to prepare the summary articles, and to contact authors to verify the text with them before publication, so developing new network contacts.

You can also propose SCOPE Newsletter articles 1-2 times per year providing an overview of developments in a specific area, as a function of new emphasis of scientific publications and other interests, or based on key conferences relevant to the area.

Reliability and commitment

ESPP’s objective is to establish lasting partnerships with organisations, to enable follow-up of SCOPE Newsletter content, and to enable you to develop expertise and network.                                                                        

Experience in the past shows that this can function if and only if your institute can make appropriate personnel time available for this work, usually if the content corresponds closely to your internal development activities  and/or if specific funding or resources can be dedicated, for example through a funded R&D project or work programme. Research students or similar time can be effective, but only if competent permanent staff time is also clearly budgeted/available to ensure quality, delivery, consistency over time.

Call for proposals

ESPP is calling for proposals for potential Partners for SCOPE Newsletter content, with objective to select 5-8 Partnerships to start by mid 2016.
Possible themes could include the following – your proposals are welcome to better define themes to fit your areas of interest and competence:

  • Technological phosphorus recovery (already covered by WETSUS)
  • Biological routes for phosphorus recovery (plants, algae …)
  • Links between diet and phosphorus consumption, food waste, …
  • Nutrient flows (c.f. DONUTSS)
  • Phosphorus use efficiency in agriculture
  • Phosphorus fertiliser developments, recycled P fertiliser products
  • Manure processing and valorisation
  • Nutrient valorisation in digestates and composts
  • Phosphorus losses and eutrophication
  • Phosphorus in diet and human health
  • Phosphorus uses in industry
  • Phosphorus resources and mining
  • Nutrient recycling in developing countries and/or Ecosan
  • Nutrient circular economy

To be selected as an ESPP SCOPE Newsletter Partner, please send a proposal of maximum 4 pages (using size 11 point characters) explaining:

  • The theme you propose to cover (what is included, excluded) and the potential interest of this theme (max. ½ page)
  • Competence and experience of your organisation in this area  (max. ½ page), references to e.g. recent publications, websites, other (max. ½ page)
  • Organisation of your commitment to deliver (max. 1 page): lead experts and their availability, supporting resources (e.g. research students, other staff …), budget/ funding and/or institutional or project management support/commitment
  • Comments and proposals as to how you propose to ‘design’ your input to SCOPE Newsletter: sources of information or soliciting content, article approach / design, methods of writing / validation … (max. 1 page)
  • Other advantages, possibilities and objectives of your partnership between with ESPP: network, projects, … (max ½ page)
  • Include 1-2 lead contacts email and telephone

Please send your response to



20 April, Helsinki, Finland.

The objective of the international seminar is to present initiatives that enhance the recycling of nutrients in manure and wastewater sludge, in the context of the bio-circular economy. The seminar gives an overview of political and administrative measures and presents success stories in nutrient recycling from various parts of Europe. It brings together businesses, research, administration and NGOs to finding new solutions to nutrient recycling. At the event we also have a Forum of Solutions where you may hear the views of companies and project actors on experiments with nutrient recycling and how these have succeeded.

The seminar has been organized by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Rural Network Support Unit of Finland, EU Baltic Sea Strategy and European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform.

This international seminar is linked to a national event on 19th April (same venue, in Finnish) presenting the new Finland circular economy programme and funding opportunities. All participants are invited to a networking buffet 19th April evening, which will be held in the Forum of Solutions stands area, enabling to meet Finnish and international companies and stakeholders.

Registration now open and program online.
You can present your experiments and experiences in nutrient cycling on the Forum of Solutions

Phosphates 530 115

13 - 15 March, Marriott Rive, Paris, France.

The only global event for the fertilizer, industrial and feed phosphate markets.

Switzerland will as first country in the world make phosphorus recovery and recycling from sewage sludge and slaughterhouse waste obligatory. The new regulation (see also SCOPE Nr. 105 and Nr. 108) will enter into force on the 1.1.2016 with a transition period of 10 years. Switzerland banned direct use of sewage sludge on land in 2006, so the regulation will lead to technical recovery and recycling in the form of inorganic products. Swiss sludge and slaughterhouse waste together represent an annual flow of 9100 t of phosphorus whereas technical recycling from the wastewater stream in Europe today totals of around 1000 t of phosphorus in the form of struvite. In an implementation guide details such as required efficiency of the recovery process and plant availability of fertilizer is to be defined in collaboration with Swiss stakeholders.

Italmatch Chemicals, ESPP member, project for more sustainable phosphorus chemistry has been approved by the EU LIFE programme. The LIFE TRIALKYL project will demonstrate more sustainable and efficient production of phosphorus compounds used in a range of applications, including crop protection, fire safety, plastics, childcare products and pharmaceuticals. The new process will avoid toxic chemical intermediaries and byproducts (e.g. tertiary amines, phenol derivatives) and will not produce contaminated wastewater because water use is largely avoided (640 000 litres/year of water saved). It will also use less energy and generate ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) as a by-product, which can be recycled in other sectors such as agriculture.

“Italmatch takes part in LIFE, the European Community program dedicated to sustainable development”

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