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ESPP is organising a stakeholder meeting to discuss the EU Fertilisers Regulation and STRUBIAS, 5th September 2018, all day in Brussels. The meeting will update on trilogue progress on the Fertilisers Regulation and outstanding issues, questions around implementation, accompanying standards. The meeting will include a webinar with JRC, 14h00 – 15h30, to discuss the draft final STRUBIAS report proposing EU Fertiliser Criteria for recovered phosphate salts and struvite, biochars and pyrolysis materials, and ashes (used directly as fertilisers, or used as ingredients in fertiliser production processes). This will enable preparation of the final STRUBIAS Working Group meeting, 25-27 September (closed meeting, STRUBIAS WG members and Member States only).

Wednesday 5th September 2018, Brussels, 9h00 – 17h15

Programme here.

Registration: www.eventbrite.ca/e/eu-fertilisers-regulation-and-strubias-tickets-47156434164

 

The third European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC3), co-organised by BSAG and ESPP in Helsinki, 11-13 June was a success. Nearly 300 participants from 30 countries, significantly increased from ESPC1 (Brussels 2013) and ESPC2 (Berlin 2015). Highlights included input from the European Commission (DG Environment and DG Research), Finland national government (ministries of the Environment and Agriculture and Forestry). international organisations (HELCOM, Rhine Commission), company and nutrient management success stories. An active discussion addressed proposals for including nutrients in the next EU R&D funding programme (Horizon Europe, which will follow on from Horizon 2020). With UN-Environment support, the “Global call for a science initiative on phosphorus” was launched, please participate by signing at www.opfglobal.com. A full summary of the ESPC3 conference will be published in coming months in ESPP’s SCOPE Newsletter.

ESPC3 presentation slides and posters will be online soon at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/ESPC3

Sign the Global call for a science initiative on phosphorus at www.opfglobal.com

Over 200 people attended the session on tighter sewage phosphorus removal requirements and phosphorus recycling at IFAT 2018, Munich, organised by DPP (the German Phosphorus Platform) and ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform).

Monika Kratzer, Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection, noted that Bavaria depends strongly on imports of raw materials, including phosphorus for agriculture. Phosphorus recycling from sewage can contribute to reduce this dependency. The new German legislation sets objectives, and it is now important to identify which technologies are effective.

Pete Vale, Severn Trent Water UK, summarised key results of the UK national water industry trials of technologies to achieve very low phosphorus discharge limits, which will progressively come into force because of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Limits of 0.2 mgP/l will be introduced in the next couple of years, with further tightening possible in the future. Considerable progress has been made in reducing phosphorus emissions from sewage works in the UK, with a 60% reduction 1990-2009, with over UK£ 2 billion investment, but phosphorus remains the most common cause of WFD quality objective failure in England. The industry national trials tested optimisation of existing technologies in place, new technologies already operational at sites elsewhere in the world and “novel” technologies. Conclusion is that optimisation can reduce discharge to 0.5 mgP/l, but not 0.1 mgP/l. Some of the new and novel technologies can achieve 0.1 mgP/l, but not always reliably without other installation and operational changes. Full results will be published shortly, including discharge performance data, whole life cost and carbon/energy costs. These will be used both to define the UK water industry’s investment cycle and to input to defining the Environment Agency discharge permitting regime.

Daniel Klein, Emscher Genossenschaft / Lippeverband, Germany, indicated that this water board is also preparing for 0.1 mgP/l discharge limits, and is looking at costs and performance, especially of “add-on” technologies (filtration/flocculation). Currently around 90% of the board’s total sewage inflow phosphorus goes to sludge (and 10% is lost in discharge), and nearly all sludge goes to mono-incineration. Important questions need to be addressed concerning the impact of tighter P-removal on P-recovery, possibly synergies and costs, with major investments expected in the coming ten years. The water board is testing different approaches for phosphorus recovery with the aim of identifying cost-effective solutions.

Christian Hubert & Christian Schaum, Munich Bundeswehr University, presented some general ideas on the theoretical value of resources in sewage (based on Westerhoff 2015), energy and interest of cooperation between sewage treatment organisations on sludge processing/incineration.

Bruno Barillon, Suez, indicated that the company’s objective is to improve economic sustainability of sewage treatment by recovery of resources, water reuse and energy production – but that sludge management will still represent a significant net cost. Suez’ Phosphogreen struvite recovery process, enables recovery of 15-45% of inflow phosphorus in biological P-removal sewage works, with 5-10 year RoI (return on investment) resulting from struvite sales (350€/t in Denmark) and 15-50% reduction in ferric consumption, as well as reducing the environmental footprint (-10% CO2). Suez has now five references: three plants in Denmark (Aarhus, Herning, Marselisborg ) and two in France (Villiers Saint Frédéric, Sausheim). See SCOPE Newsletter n°121.

Ralf Czarnecki, Remondis (Rethmann group), indicated that the company manages some 1.5 million ton/year of sewage sludge (wet weight of dewatered sludge), of which 1.2 mega ton is incinerated and 0.3 mega ton is used on land. He presented the company’s Tetraphos process, for phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge mono-incineration ash. A 20 000 ton ash/year Tetraphos P-recovery plant will be operational in Hamburg in 2020: see summary above and in SCOPE Newsletter n°126. Further pilot trials are planned with several water boards including Emscher/Lippeverband.

Mathias Staub, Veolia, considered that the new German phosphorus recovery legislation will oblige construction of some new sludge mono-incineration capacity, but that in some regions continuing use of co-incineration or cement works disposal will be economically and environmentally preferable, subject to recovering phosphorus upstream in the sewage works. Veolia’s PhosForce system, especially adapted for medium size works (50 – 500 000 p.e.), aims to achieve more than 50% P-recovery, by combining bio-acidification of sludge upstream of anaerobic digestion and struvite and/or brushite (calcium phosphate) recovery (StruviaTM system). A 3 m3/day pilot is operational at Schönebeck and a full scale plant is planned for 2019. The system is designed to operate with both chemical and biological P-removal sludges with limited use of chemicals, to enable low phosphorus discharge levels and to facilitate nitrogen recovery by stripping.

Discussion with speakers was led by Daniel Frank, German Phosphorus Platform, and summarised by Ludwig Hermann, ESPP, concluding that:

-       Some new sludge mono-incineration capacity will be needed to meet the new German phosphorus recovery regulation obligations, especially in urban areas, but in other regions continuing use of existing co-incineration routes may be preferable;

-         Costs of tighter phosphorus discharge consents and of P-recovery will be passed on to water consumers, but in time may be partly covered by resource recovery;

-         New technologies for both phosphorus removal and recovery have been developed over recent years and now information is needed from operating trials in sewage works on costs and in-the-field reliability;

-         Long-term contracts with sewage works operators and technology developers and supplies are needed to enable investment;

-         Cooperation between water boards and WWTP-operators is crucial to identify and implement economic and operational solutions to meet the new phosphorus removal and recovery regulations.

“Phosphorus Special IFAT 2018. Phosphorus removal, phosphorus recycling and the circular economy: contradiction or opportunity?”, organised by DPP, ESPP with IFAT, the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Munich, 17th May 2018.

 

Meeting slides are available at www.deutsche-phosphor-plattform.de/information/dokumente under Präsentationen der IFAT-Veranstaltung „Phosphor-Special“

Full speakers summary can be found in this PDF

Confirmed lead speakers include: Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment (video message), Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament, Jonathan Trent, adjunct professor University of California at Santa Cruz, Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of city of Helsinki, Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, Will Brownlie, CEH Edinburgh (Our Phosphorus Future), International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine, HELCOM, Newtrient (US dairy industry), Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (North America), Netherlands Government, Fertilizers Europe, European Commission DG Environment and companies, R&D and projects including: SARIA, Nijhuis, WETSUS, Ostara, Italpollina, Kemira, EasyMining, Yara, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Baltic Slurry Acidification, Cooperl, Svenskt Vatten, Helsinki Region Environmental Services HSY, Metsä Group / Biolan Oy, and LIFE DOP.

ESPC3 Helsinki Speakers summary crop

Secanim Ltd is part of the Saria Group, and specialises in the safe treatment and disposal of Category 1 Animal By-Products. The company was established in 1948, as Granox, and today has four operational sites in the UK and provides a full service to farmers and businesses across the country, as well as similar operations in Europe. Secanim uses an innovative incineration process to produce a sustainable, recycled phosphate fertiliser with proven agronomic performance. Category 1 Animal By-Products must be treated to strict standards laid down by European legislation, and the derived material, Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), produced by this treatment must then be disposed of via incineration. Secanim’s plant at Widnes Cheshire, features two incinerators which safely incinerate the Category 1-derived material, producing a waste ash. Since 2014, this ash has benefitted from an End of Waste Position granted by the Environment Agency, and is now marketed as KalFos, a slow release, low cadmium, calcium phosphate and trace element fertiliser. This provides a sustainable alternative to landfilling, and replaces the use of phosphate rock-derived fertilisers. KalFos is sold across the UK and Europe either as a standalone fertiliser, or as a material for blending with other fertilising products to produce multi-nutrient blends. The incineration process also produces renewable electricity (sold to the National Grid) and heat (steam used on site in the rendering process). As part of the incineration process, waste liquids are used to control the calorific value of the MBM and provide a safe recycling route for traditionally “hard to handle” wastes that cannot go to anaerobic digestion or water treatment works.

More information about Secanim activities www.kalfos.co.uk

The new edition number 126 of the SCOPE newsletter is now online here: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/images/scope/ScopeNewsletter126.pdf

Earlier edition can be found here: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/SCOPEnewsletter

To subscribe: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/subscribe


In this SCOPE newsletter

Plant materials and organic by-products
Challenges of ensuring that organic material recycling routes are not excluded in the new EU Fertilising Products Regulation, that innovation and industrial feasibility are facilitated, and that safety of products from secondary raw materials is ensured (hygiene, non-dissemination of plant pathogens or invasive plant species).
Closing nutrient cycles in organic farming
Summary of the ESPP – IFOAM EU stakeholder meeting on closing nutrient cycles and uptake of recycled fertilisers
Swiss – German phosphorus recycling conference
Update on the new regulatory obligations for phosphorus recovery in Switzerland and in Germany, and on available technologies
European nutrient recycling R&D meeting
25 nutrient recovery research and demonstration projects meet to discuss project coordination and research needs
Dietary phosphorus and health
Major new book assesses nutrition and health aspects of phosphorus in food

 

Yara International ASA, a Norwegian company established in 1905, is a globally leading mineral fertiliser manufacturer and provider of environmental solutions. Yara is the only EU-based fertiliser manufacturer owning phosphate mines, in Finland and Brazil. Our mining operations and manufacturing processes maximize production efficiency and minimize losses to the environment. Internal recycling of energy, water and raw materials, as well as symbiosis with other industries and sectors, are an integral part of our industrial DNA. Our product and nutrient stewardship efforts extend beyond our factory gates. World-wide we help farmers to use our products safely, profitably and sustainably, through on-site training and by developing and promoting precision fertilisation tools and solutions. We recognize that recycled nutrients are an integral and growing component of future nutrient solutions, and that major fertiliser companies such as Yara can play a meaningful role in better closing nutrient loops. Yara welcomes the concept of circular economy and explores opportunities to advance safe and commercially viable circular nutrient solutions. We actively engage with nutrient platforms such as ESPP to exchange knowledge and develop novel partnerships. We foresee that nutrient streams will need to become aggregated and recovered by waste management companies and other intermediaries. Under such conditions, Yara can leverage its production and crop nutrition knowledge, to help build business cases based on transforming recycled nutrients into efficient and marketable fertiliser products.

More information about Yara www.yara.com and their position on Circular Economy www.yara.com/this-is-yara/sustainability/commitments-and-policies/our-opinions

A tender is open to 9th May (12h00) for “expressions of interest” to provide phosphorus (P) recovery technology (design, construct, commission, operate) for the biggest wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Dublin, Ireland, (Ringsend WWTP, Irish Water) which is being upgraded to Nereda bio-P removal. The plant currently operates anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge, followed by thermal drying. The objective stated is to “provide for the fixation and recovery of Phosphorus (P) in a form suitable for use as an agricultural fertiliser or as a raw material for mineral fertiliser formulations”, indicating “most likely” as struvite.

See more information in the tender: https://irl.eu-supply.com/ctm/Supplier/PublicTenders/ViewNotice/202381

ESPP is maintaining a list for nutrient related R&D projects focussed on nutrient recycling and management (not only phosphorus), for promotion on our website (www.phosphorusplatform.eu) and in our network of companies, public bodies and other stakeholders. It includes company, national and EU funded research projects, including EU H2020 (FP), LIFE and INTERREG funding. The list has been updated and can found at our ESPP R&D activity page. Please add missing nutrient R&D projects and/or send corrections to Kimo van Dijk ().

ESPP catalogue of nutrient R&D projects www.phosphorusplatform.eu/R&D

E2Metrix has developed an advanced electro-coagulation process for the reduction and recovery of nutrients in wastewater.  The ECOTHORTM process uses a unique, magnesium-alloy, sacrificial electrode and advanced power management to remove phosphorus down to <0.01 mg/l and recover struvite, and to also remove suspended solids, FOG (fats, oil and grease) and other micro-contaminants.  Full-scale installations are already in operation at food processing facilities, landfill leachate sites, mines (ammonia reduction in contaminated groundwater at a Quebec gold mine) and on sanitary wastewater.  The technology has been developed as a modular, Plug ‘n Play tertiary filtration solution that may be incorporated easily into any green field or retrofit application, from <20 to >4,000 m3/d.  In joining ESPP, which provides a forum for sustainable phosphorus information transfer, E2Metrix is eager to share its experience in the use of electro-coagulation as a mechanism for effective phosphorus removal and recovery, particularly for smaller municipal and industrial applications where alternative processes may not be practically or economically feasible.

More inforamtion about E2Matrix www.e2metrix.com

Most up to date programme can be found here: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/programmeESPC3

Confirmed lead speakers include: Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment (video message), Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament, Jonathan Trent, adjunct professor University of California at Santa Cruz, Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of city of Helsinki, Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, Will Brownlie, CEH Edinburgh (Our Phosphorus Future), International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine,HELCOM, Newtrient (US dairy industry), Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (North America), Netherlands Government, Fertilizers Europe, European Commission DG Environment and Companies, R&D and projects including: SARIA, Nijhuis, WETSUS, Ostara, Italpollina, Kemira, EasyMining, Yara, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Baltic Slurry Acidification, Cooperl, Svenskt Vatten, Helsinki Region Environmental Services HSY, LIFE DOP.

The registration is now open. You can register via https://events.eventos.fi/event/espc3/pages/registration
If you prefer to be invoiced, please use this registration link:
https://events.eventos.fi/event/espc3-invoice/pages/registration

The 3rd European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference 2018 (ESPC3), 11-13 June 2018, Helsinki, is the unique event bringing together companies, stakeholders, regional and national authorities, innovation and researchers, to discuss phosphorus sustainability actions and policies. This third conference (ESPC3) follows from the first two such European conferences in 2013 and 2015. In particular, the conference will present and assess integration of phosphorus and other nutrients into EU policies since the publication of the EU Consultative Communication on Sustainable Use of Phosphorus (2013), enable dialogue with industry and stakeholders concerning future policies and see success stories from companies and environmental management. Other objectives of the conference are: make links with soil organic carbon sequestration and climate change, showcase research and innovation, business success stories from across Europe and global scientists call for phosphorus sustainability (Our Phosphorus Future project).

ESPC3 is jointly organised by the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP) and the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG), and supported by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and EasyMining, Kemira and Yara. More information, the programme and registration can be found at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/ESPC3

 

 

 

Please respond to our call for posters and stands for the 3rd European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC3), Helsinki, 11-12 June. Deadline 30 April.

Full details of themes and required format submission can be found in this document.

 

The deadline for the call for speakers and presentations has past. Thanks for the submissions.

All information regarding the conference can be found here: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/ESPC3

The initial European Commission proposal text for the new EU Fertilisers Regulation means that any product where “by-products” have been used at any stage in production would effectively be excluded from the ‘EU Fertiliser’ label. A meeting organised by Fertilisers Europe, at which ESPP spoke, underlined that this would block most fertilisers today on the market, with presentations showing how by-product cycling into fertiliser production is core to the industry. The issue is today taken on board by European Parliament, Council and the Commission in the current trilogue discussions, and the challenge is now to reach a workable legal wording.

Javier Goñi del Cacho, CEO Fertiberia & President of Fertilizers Europe, and Jacob Hansen, Director of Fertilisers Europe, underlined that the fertilisers industry is a frontrunner in Circular Economy, with widespread use of by-products in production processes, so saving nutrients, energy and costs. The Fertilisers Regulation must both enable this to continue, and be open to innovation to recycling of other materials into fertilisers in the future, whilst continuing to ensure quality and safety in products delivered to farmers. A survey of fertiliser companies presented by Tiffanie Stefani, Fertilisers Europe Agriculture & Environment Manager, presented a survey of 6 large fertiliser companies: of 500 mineral fertiliser products currently CE marked, 75% use by-products in their production. The circular economy is vital to Europe’s fertiliser industry because Europe is largely dependent on imports for phosphorus supply, for natural gas (natural gas is 62-84% of production cost of nitrogen fertilisers) and has only 2% of the world’s potassium reserves (90% are in Russia, Bielorussia and the USA).

Case studies showed the reality and importance of circularity by examples of reuse of by-products in fertiliser production today. Joaquim Queisser, BASF, explained that his company uses one million tonnes/year of ammonium sulphate by-product from polyamide (performance polymer) upstream production as a nitrogen source for fertiliser production. Rachel Lombardi, Industrial Synergies, showed that industrial symbiosis is implemented worldwide. Javier Brañas, Fertiberia, presented the case of a recently developed specialist fertiliser for olives: 40% of input materials are by-products. Amaury Rosier, Solvakem, presented the use of spent industrial sulphuric acid (by-product) in fertiliser production: lower costs and local supply mean that can be crucial for the survival of SME phosphate fertiliser producers in Europe.

Tatu Liimatainen, Cabinet of EC Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, underlined the importance of the EU Fertilisers Regulation, as a key initiative of the Commission’s Circular Economy Package. He noted industry’s concerns on by-products and his full support for finding solutions. He also noted that the third set of package measures, presented in January 2018 includes addressing the chemicals regulation/waste regulation interface.

Mihai Ţurcanu MEP, Rapporteur for the European Parliament IMCO Committee, indicated that Parliament has adopted two amendments aiming to address this issue, the issue is now under discussion in trilogue, and is approached constructively by Council. He underlined the shared objective to finalise the Regulation under the Bulgarian Presidency (before end June 2018).

Stéphane Murieux, French Institute for the Circular Economy, underlined that the circular economy is a priority of the Macron government, and invited input to the working group on agriculture circular economy. Claudio Ciavatta, Bologna University Italy, underlined that R&D is needed to develop knowledge on safety and effectiveness.

Eugen Kohler, Deutscher Bauernverband (German Farmers’ Association) stated that farmers want to be assured of product safety, and so wish to have information on which by-products are used a fertiliser, or to have traceability.

Chris Thornton and Ludwig Hermann, European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP), reminded that the Fertilisers Regulation is highly ambitious because it covers a wide range of industries (inorganic fertilisers, organic products, liming materials, biostimulants …), including both large companies and many SMEs. This poses challenges for the different industries concerned to work together to propose workable solutions. Solutions for by-products in the EU Fertilisers Regulation must also consider by-products from plants, crops or bio-based industries. The new Fertilisers Regulation is also highly ambitious because it is the first time EU product legislation will confer “End-of-Waste” status, and is already addressing the REACH/chemicals/waste interface. It is therefore important to maintain Commission “delegation” to modify the annexes and to anticipate development of Commission Guidance Documents to support implementation by companies and by Member States.

In discussion, the importance of dialogue in coming weeks between trilogue (Parliament, Council, Commission), industry and stakeholders was underlined, to ensure that the final text combines legal soundness, industry workability and stakeholder acceptability. The inclusion of a “positive list” of all identified by-products was rejected by most participants as unrealistic (too many by-products not feasible to list all, not always clearly defined) and contrary to future innovation. Possible solutions voiced include: (1) acceptance of by-products which are REACH registered, (2) documentation that by-products are used for justified reasons, such as a useful role in the production process or improving agronomic value, (3) reliance on PFC contaminant and safety criteria, (4) some form of traceability (not necessarily on the physical label), (5) if a by-product is susceptible to contain source-contaminants and not covered in PFC criteria then these should be assessed, (6) in CMC1, exclude wastes and animal by-products (as in the proposed text) and a short negative list should exclude by-products from problematic sources (e.g. nuclear sector, waste treatment …).

 

Fertilizers Europe meeting “Symbiosis and Circular Economy in Fertilizers”, 7th March 2018 Brussels www.fertilizerseurope.com/media/news/single/article/symbiosis-and-circular-economy-in-fertilizers-1
Cross-industry “Joint Statement” on the EU Fertilisers Regulation, 20th November 2017 www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory

Resolving the EU Fertilisers Regulation blockage of by-products

The initial European Commission proposal text for the new EU Fertilisers Regulation means that any product where “by-products” have been used at any stage in production would effectively be excluded from the ‘EU Fertiliser’ label. A meeting organised by Fertilisers Europe, at which ESPP spoke, underlined that this would block most fertilisers today on the market, with presentations showing how by-product cycling into fertiliser production is core to the industry. The issue is today taken on board by European Parliament, Council and the Commission in the current trilogue discussions, and the challenge is now to reach a workable legal wording.

Javier Goñi del Cacho, CEO Fertiberia & President of Fertilizers Europe, and Jacob Hansen, Director of Fertilisers Europe, underlined that the fertilisers industry is a frontrunner in Circular Economy, with widespread use of by-products in production processes, so saving nutrients, energy and costs. The Fertilisers Regulation must both enable this to continue, and be open to innovation to recycling of other materials into fertilisers in the future, whilst continuing to ensure quality and safety in products delivered to farmers. A survey of fertiliser companies presented by Tiffanie Stefani, Fertilisers Europe Agriculture & Environment Manager, presented a survey of 6 large fertiliser companies: of 500 mineral fertiliser products currently CE marked, 75% use by-products in their production. The circular economy is vital to Europe’s fertiliser industry because Europe is largely dependent on imports for phosphorus supply, for natural gas (natural gas is 62-84% of production cost of nitrogen fertilisers) and has only 2% of the world’s potassium reserves (90% are in Russia, Bielorussia and the USA).

Case studies showed the reality and importance of circularity by examples of reuse of by-products in fertiliser production today. Joaquim Queisser, BASF, explained that his company uses one million tonnes/year of ammonium sulphate by-product from polyamide (performance polymer) upstream production as a nitrogen source for fertiliser production. Rachel Lombardi, Industrial Synergies, showed that industrial symbiosis is implemented worldwide. Javier Brañas, Fertiberia, presented the case of a recently developed specialist fertiliser for olives: 40% of input materials are by-products. Amaury Rosier, Solvakem, presented the use of spent industrial sulphuric acid (by-product) in fertiliser production: lower costs and local supply mean that can be crucial for the survival of SME phosphate fertiliser producers in Europe.

Tatu Liimatainen, Cabinet of EC Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, underlined the importance of the EU Fertilisers Regulation, as a key initiative of the Commission’s Circular Economy Package. He noted industry’s concerns on by-products and his full support for finding solutions. He also noted that the third set of package measures, presented in January 2018 includes addressing the chemicals regulation/waste regulation interface.

Mihai Ţurcanu MEP, Rapporteur for the European Parliament IMCO Committee, indicated that Parliament has adopted two amendments aiming to address this issue, the issue is now under discussion in trilogue, and is approached constructively by Council. He underlined the shared objective to finalise the Regulation under the Bulgarian Presidency (before end June 2018).

Stéphane Murieux, French Institute for the Circular Economy, underlined that the circular economy is a priority of the Macron government, and invited input to the working group on agriculture circular economy. Claudio Ciavatta, Bologna University Italy, underlined that R&D is needed to develop knowledge on safety and effectiveness.

Eugen Kohler, Deutscher Bauernverband (German Farmers’ Association) stated that farmers want to be assured of product safety, and so wish to have information on which by-products are used a fertiliser, or to have traceability.

Chris Thornton and Ludwig Hermann, European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP), reminded that the Fertilisers Regulation is highly ambitious because it covers a wide range of industries (inorganic fertilisers, organic products, liming materials, biostimulants …), including both large companies and many SMEs. This poses challenges for the different industries concerned to work together to propose workable solutions. Solutions for by-products in the EU Fertilisers Regulation must also consider by-products from plants, crops or bio-based industries. The new Fertilisers Regulation is also highly ambitious because it is the first time EU product legislation will confer “End-of-Waste” status, and is already addressing the REACH/chemicals/waste interface. It is therefore important to maintain Commission “delegation” to modify the annexes and to anticipate development of Commission Guidance Documents to support implementation by companies and by Member States.

In discussion, the importance of dialogue in coming weeks between trilogue (Parliament, Council, Commission), industry and stakeholders was underlined, to ensure that the final text combines legal soundness, industry workability and stakeholder acceptability. The inclusion of a “positive list” of all identified by-products was rejected by most participants as unrealistic (too many by-products not feasible to list all, not always clearly defined) and contrary to future innovation. Possible solutions voiced include: (1) acceptance of by-products which are REACH registered, (2) documentation that by-products are used for justified reasons, such as a useful role in the production process or improving agronomic value, (3) reliance on PFC contaminant and safety criteria, (4) some form of traceability (not necessarily on the physical label), (5) if a by-product is susceptible to contain source-contaminants and not covered in PFC criteria then these should be assessed, (6) in CMC1, exclude wastes and animal by-products (as in the proposed text) and a short negative list should exclude by-products from problematic sources (e.g. nuclear sector, waste treatment …).

Fertilizers Europe meeting “Symbiosis and Circular Economy in Fertilizers”, 7th March 2018 Brussels www.fertilizerseurope.com/media/news/single/article/symbiosis-and-circular-economy-in-fertilizers-1

Cross-industry “Joint Statement” on the EU Fertilisers Regulation, 20th November 2017 www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory

The EU has opened a public consultation (to 3rd April 2018) on thematic “missions” for the next European R&D funding programme (FP9), which will follow on from Horizon 2020. The FP R&D “Missions” are to be set in between broad global challenges (societal challenges such as sustainability) and specific projects, and should have “a clearly defined, measurable target … within a set timeframe”. ESPP will propose a mission on nutrients “Feeding a sustainable food system: nutrients are essential for agriculture but Europe depends on imports (phosphate rock, a Critical Raw Material; nitrogen via natural gas) – to address nutrient circular economy, flow data, contaminants, dietary choice, food waste, industry uses (P4, a CRM), nutrient losses (eutrophication, Emissions Ceilings), organic carbon to soil (3/°° climate objective, soil fertility, drought resilience), bio-energy and bio-economy”. ESPP will also submit proposals for R&D needs to support nutrient stewardship (see this document).

EU public consultation on “Research & Innovation” missions in FP9. Open to individuals and organisations to 3rd April 2018. https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/482a79de-3fad-17e1-c60d-2e4418c1a95d

Draft ESPP proposal R&D needs to support nutrient stewardship in EU FP9 www.phosphorusplatform.eu/images/download/ESPP-ideas-FP9-v11_2017.pdf

Wetsus is a European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology, connecting fundamental research at universities with industrial partners. Phosphate recovery is an important topic in water treatment and Wetsus considers that ESPP makes a very relevant contribution to knowledge exchange and building of relationships within Europe. Research at Wetsus is organised by themes which cluster different public and private stakeholders with similar interests. In the phosphate recovery theme, research is performed with Delft University of Technology on the interaction between iron and phosphate. One project focuses on the recovery of vivianite from sewage sludge and a second on phosphate adsorption on iron. Both approaches have now reached pilot scale. Other research themes at Wetsus also relate with phosphate recovery. For instance calcium phosphate recovery from cow manure is a topic in the Soil and Water theme and electrochemical calcium phosphate recovery is a topic in the Resource Recovery theme. These last projects are performed in collaboration with Wageningen University and Research.

See for more information about Wetsus: www.wetsus.nl

An overview of ESPP members can be found here: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/members

Deadline for poster submission is 30 April 2018 latest.
Full details of themes and required format submission can be found in this document.

The deadline for the call for speakers and presentations has past. Thanks for the submissions.

All information regarding the conference can be found here: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/ESPC3

IFAT, every two years, is world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management, with some 140 000 visitors (47% international from nearly 170 countries at the last IFAT, 2016). At IFAT 2018, several conferences target phosphorus removal and nutrient recovery.

A Run4Life workshop, 9h-13h on May 17th, with European Commission and German Federal Environment Ministry participation, will present regulatory and innovation aspects of sewage phosphorus recycling, experience of operators, decentralised nutrient recovery, and key nutrient R&D projects.

The IFAT / DPP / ESPP / Bavaria Environment Ministry workshop, 14h-16h 17th May will address interactions between nutrient recycling in sewage works and low levels of phosphorus removal, and impacts on costs and environmental burdens. This will include presentation of the UK CIP2 results testing seven systems to achieve very low phosphorus discharge consents in operation in sewage works. The POWERSTEP project final conference on 16-17 May will address “Wastewater treatment plants as resource recovery factories”.

Run4Life workshop www.run4life-project.eu/run4life-ifat (see menu “Run4Life @ IFAT”)
DPP / ESPP / Bavaria Ministry event
POWERSTEP conference www.powerstep.eu/powerstep-final-conference

 

Wednesday, 16.05.2018, 12:00 - 13:00, Hall B4, Booth 239/ 338

Phosphorus Day of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)

‘DBU-Phosphorus day’ at IFAT with DBU Secretary General Alexander Bonde, Gunda Röstel (Managing Director of Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH/Chairwoman of German Water Partnership) and representatives of the German Phosphorus-Platform (DPP). At IFAT 2018, the DBU will present exemplary and innovative solutions for the recovery and recycling of phosphorus, a vital resource. Afterwards invitation to the DBU trade fair reception and exchange of ideas over drinks and snacks.

Thursday, 17.05.2018

09:00 - 13:00, Run4Life @ IFAT, Conference Room A32 (1st floor, south of Hall A3)

Together with the European and German Phosphorus Platforms, the EU research project Run4Life is organising a stakeholder engagement workshop. In addition to the European and German regulations, major technical success stories of phosphorus recovery are presented, as are ongoing projects under the EU research framework programme Horizon 2020.

14:00 - 16:00, Phosphorus Special, FORUM Hall B4, Booth 329/428

In cooperation with the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment, the European Phosphorus Platform and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the German Phosphors-Platform DPP is organizing a 2-hour phosphorus special dedicated to the topics of material flow management, phosphorus elimination and phosphorus recovery in wastewater treatment plants. To start with, representatives of industry and local authorities will present practical reports, which will then be discussed with the public in a panel discussion.

If you wish to speak, propose a poster or present a success story, please send by 7 March 2018 latest an informal and short email (according to the themes below) to

Registration is now open for the 3rd European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC3) www.phosphorusplatform.eu/espc3

ESPC is the only Europe-wide event addressing phosphorus sustainability, covering farming, food, industry, phosphorus resources and environmental impacts. After 2013 Brussels and 2015 Berlin, ESPC3 will bring together 300-400 various stakeholders concerned by phosphorus and nutrient management, including the fertilisers sector, waste and water management, phosphorus industry, environmental managers, the food industry, research and innovation and policy makers.
 
The conference is organized by the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP) and the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) and supported by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, EasyMining and Kemira.
 
Confirmed lead speakers include:

  • Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment (video message)
  • Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization
  • Jonathan Trent, Project Scientist, NASA
  • Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary of the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki City
  • International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine
  • International Nitrogen Initiative
  • Newtrient (US dairy industry)
  • Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (North America)
  • Netherlands Government
  • Fertilizers Europe
  • European Commission DG Environment
  • Companies and R&D including: SARIA, Nijhuis, WETSUS, Ostara, Italpollina, Kemira, EasyMining …

 
Presentations can be

  • Thematic presentations (10-15 minutes), see themes below
  • Company success stories (3-5 minutes) on phosphorus/nutrient management
  • Flash presentations (3-5 minutes) on nutrient emission abatement or on ecosystem restoration

 
Conference themes:

  •         Implementation of EU Commission Consultation on Sustainable Phosphorus 2013
  •         Policy and economic tools in sectors concerned by phosphorus sustainability
  •         Nutrient recycling in Finland
  •         Phosphorus, nitrogen, organic carbon and climate change
  •         Nutrient circular economy
  •         Phosphorus in food, from the farm to the consumer
  •         Ecological nutrient restoration & nutrient recovery from sediments and run-off water
  •         Tomorrow’s agricultural nutrient management and fertilisation
  •         Innovation and business solutions and technologies
  •         Environmental management of nutrients

 
Please see full information for submission of proposed talks / success stories / posters, stand space possibilities, registration fees, etc at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/espc3

The European Commission has published a 3-part report on Critical Raw Materials (CRMs), on which stakeholder comment is invited. The stated objectives are to provide key data sources, promote best practices and identify possible further actions. The CRMs considered are 27 of the updated EU Critical Raw Material List (2017), so including both “phosphate rock” and “phosphorus” (meaning white phosphorus P4). The report estimates that 86% of phosphate rock (and also 24% of boron) are used in fertilisers, and 90% of white phosphorus in chemicals. It is noted that phosphorus recycling in biogenic wastes (manure, animal by-products, food wastes, wastewater) is “functional” and replaces primary phosphate rock consumption, as well as helping reduce eutrophication. The revision of the EU Fertilisers Regulation is presented, but no best practices are identified relevant to phosphorus. Horizon 2020 and LIFE projects addressing CRMs are noted: but none concerning phosphorus recycling. Proposed further EU policy actions potentially relevant to phosphorus include: recovery of CRMs from landfill, and development or optimisation of technologies or chemical processes for safe recycling or reuse of CRMs in the fertiliser and chemicals sectors.

“Report on Critical Raw Materials and the Circular Economy”, European Commission, DG GROW, 16 January 2018, 68 pages, ref. SWD(2018) 36 final
https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/27327

The second EU JRC report on ‘STRUBIAS’ recycled nutrient products (precipitated phosphate salts, ashes and processed ash products, biochars and pyrolysis products) in the EU Fertilisers Regulation is open to comment. This second report assesses economic and market aspects, in complement to a first technical report May 2017). Comments to ESPP by 7th March latest. More information in article in last eNews 19.

Documents are available at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory. Comments must be transmitted via a member of the STRUBIAS working group (which includes: ESPP, DPP and several ESPP members). Please therefore transmit your comments to by 7th March latest.

For three days in January 2018, the German Phosphorus Platform (DPP) visited Italy to advise the country on setting up an organization for sustainable phosphorus management and phosphorus recycling, including meetings and events with parliamentarians, entrepreneurs, scientists and citizens. The highlight was a conference in the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Rome, the Camera, to which also several hundred people participated online. Italian Member of Parliament Alberto Zolezzi stated: "In Italy, environmental protection has not played a big role for too long. We now want to do our utmost to not only make a meaningful contribution to environmental protection with this platform, but above all to convince the Italian population of the importance of a more sustainable use of resources. From phosphorus recovery alone in Italy, we can save 100 million euros a year through improved water treatment, not to mention environmental damage (especially the emergence of alien species) and health care”. Daniel Frank, director of DPP, underlined that both the German and European phosphorus platform are ready to provide experience and to cooperate with the project in Italy. The Italian Parliament has agreed to support the initiative with € 100,000 in 2018.

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