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The ESPP stakeholder meeting, Brussels, 5th September 2018, showed a shared concern that the new EU Fertilisers Regulation be rapidly finalised. The meeting also showed general satisfaction with progress on many questions on STRUBIAS, that is the proposed EU-fertiliser criteria for recovered phosphate salts, ashes, biochars (which should be integrated into the new Fertilisers Regulation once this is adopted). Presentations by Fertilisers Europe (mineral fertilisers), ECOFI (organo-mineral fertilisers), Growing Media Europe and EFPRA (animal by products) outlined the importance of the new Fertilisers Regulation for the Circular Economy, progress made, and the need to resolve some outstanding questions (by-products, conformity assessment procedures, …). Companies and industry federations present called on ESPP to catalyse joint action to ask decision makers (European Parliament, Member States in Council) to finalise the Fertilisers Regulation, because companies need it to enable development of new recycled nutrient products and to remove obstacles to placing Circular Economy fertilising products on the market. The importance of maintaining the European Commission “delegation” to adjust Regulation annexes to take into account innovation and new data was underlined by all. Workshop discussions between stakeholders and a webinar with direct dialogue with JRC Seville underlined the considerable positive progress made in the new “Pre-Final” STRUBIAS report (online at and identified some significant outstanding questions: need to not exclude Cat1 Animal By-Product Ash (this would block a major phosphorus recycling route which is today operational in the UK, Portugal, The Netherlands, Switzerland …), sewage sludge as input to biochar/pyrolysis/gasification (need for data to show safe elimination of organic contaminants), absence of justification for 3% organic carbon limit for recovered phosphate salts (for coherence, refer instead to limits for “Mineral” and “Low-Carbon” fertilisers in PFCs), proposals for clarification of wording to make understanding easier for industry and users. One important question raised has much wider impacts for implementation of the new Fertilisers Regulation. JRC proposes definitions of “derivates” and “intermediates”, that is chemical processing of a recovered material to produce a fertilising product. This is essential, as was emphasised by ESPP in response to the first STRUBIAS proposals last year: safety criteria for ashes used directly on fields (which must be safe and have agronomic value, e.g. animal by-product disposal ash, poultry manure ash) are different from criteria for ash which is chemically reprocessed (contaminants removed, nutrient forms modified). JRC’s proposal is very positive, but dialogue is needed with industry and legal experts to ensure that the wording is legally unambiguous and compatible with real case examples of recycling – production processes and chemicals used.

JRC “Pre-Final” report and proposed Fertilisers Regulation criteria for recovered phosphate salts and derivates (including struvite), for thermal oxidation materials and derivates (ashes) and for pyrolysis & gasification materials (including biochars). Available for comment at Deadline for input = final STRUBIAS working group meeting, Sevilla, 25th September. Working Group Members (only) can submit comments until 14th September. So you should ensure that you get your comments to Working Group Members (e.g. ESPP) before then (comments should specify to which line number of report they refer).

JRC webinar presentation, speakers slides and key points from STRUBIAS stakeholders workshops on phosphate salts, biochars and ash criteria:

Comments on STRUBIAS Pre-Final Report to:

The European Commission has opened a public consultation, to 19th October 2018, on how the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWT 91/271/EEC) has affected sewage collection and treatment and contributed to the quality of water bodies and the environment. The objectives are to gather general public views and also expert opinion and detailed information, in addition to the first consultation which took place already in 2017. ESPP will respond to the consultation, based on our input to this first consultation (9/11/2017). We invite you to both respond directly online to the EU consultation and send any comments to ESPP to include in our input (comments on our 2017 input)

EU “Public consultation on the Evaluation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive” open to 19th October 2018

ESPP input to 2017 consultation on the UWWT Directive

ESPP has commissioned an independent journalist to prepare an outline “Mission” on nutrients, to input to the EU FP9 (Horizon Europe) R&D programme preparation process. This document is based on input received from stakeholders consulted by SYSTEMIC, Biorefine, ESPP, ESPC3 and INMS (international nitrogen management system). The two page synthesis was submitted to the European Commission on 20th July 2018 in order to start discussion, and aims to provide an accessible overview, for strategic consideration in the EU programme content definition process. You are invited to already contact your National R&D Contact Points (list here: to ask them to support towards the EU the inclusion of nutrients in FP9 Horizon Europe. Input and comment is welcome to adjust and develop this nutrients Mission proposal.

“Proposal for a Horizon Europe mission on nutrients. Grand challenge: Healthy people and planet. Mission: To halve the nutrient footprint of food by 2030, for more resilient farms, healthier diets and a better environment” Comments and input welcome to

European Commission proposed legislative text for FP9 Horizon Europe, 7th June 2018

On 1st June 2018, the European Commission published the legislative proposal for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020. Objectives are announced as fairer funding targeting (including limiting payments to 100 000 € per farm), higher environment and climate action objectives (in particular: preserving carbon rich soils such as wetlands, obligatory farm nutrient management tool, crop rotation) and tighter food safety (reducing pesticides, antibiotics). Art. 3 fixes that Member States shall establish a system of “Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients” and this is specified in Annex III “Rules of conditionality” (GAEC 5) – see detail below. The payment conditionality requirements (Annex III) also include (SMR 1) respect of the EU Water Framework Directive (and specifically “Article 11(3)(e) and Article 11(3)(h) as regards mandatory requirements to control diffuse sources of pollution by phosphates”) and (SMR 2) respect of the EU Nitrates Directive, as well as (GAEC 4) buffer strips (both within and outside Nitrate Directive Vulnerable Zones), tillage management (GAEC 6) and no bare soil in most sensitive periods (GAEC 7). Nutrients are also included in the CAP indicators (Annex I): “I.15 Improving water quality: Gross nutrient balance on agricultural land” and “1.16 Reducing nutrient leakage: Nitrate in ground water - Percentage of ground water stations with N concentration over 50 mg/l as per the Nitrate directive”.

In Annex III, footnote 2, it is specified that the Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients “shall provide at least for the following elements and functionalities”:

a) Elements

  • Relevant farm information based on LPIS and IACS (Integrated Administration and Control System and Land Parcel Identification System);
  • Information from the soil sampling, on an appropriate spatial and temporal scale;
  • Information on relevant management practices, crop history, and yield goals;
  • Indications regarding legal limits and requirements relevant to farm nutrients management;
  • A complete nutrient budget.

b) Functionalities

  • Automatic integration of data from various sources (LPIS and IACS, farmer-generated data, soil analyses etc.) as far as possible, to avoid data input duplication for farmers;
  • Two-way communication between PA/MAs and farmers allowed;
  • Modularity and possibility to support further sustainability objectives (e.g. emissions management, water management)
  • Respect of EU data inter-operability, openness and re-use principles;
  • Guarantees for data security and privacy in line with best current standards.

The CAP legislative proposal will now go to discussion by European Parliament and Council, a process in which stakeholders (including ESPP) will make input and representations.


* Annex III conditionality definitions: SMR = Statutory Management Requirement and GAEC = Standards for good agricultural and environmental condition of land
Legislative text proposal for a Regulation “establishing rules on support for strategic plans to be drawn up by Member States under the Common agricultural policy (CAP Strategic Plans) and financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) …” COM(2018) 392 final and 2018/0216 (COD), 1st June 2018 and presentation page

The European Commission JRC has circulated the pre-final STRUBIAS report, proposing EU Fertilisers Regulation criteria for phosphate salts and struvite, biochars - pyrolysis and gasification materials, and thermal oxidation materials (ashes). JRC has circulated the report to members of the official STRUBIAS Working Group and it can be consulted on the ESPP website here. It will be presented and discussed, as well as an update on the EU Fertilisers Regulation proposal, at the stakeholder meeting organised by ESPP in Brussels on 5th September. Please note that JRC will only accept comments on this report from members of the STRUBIAS Working Group (this includes: ESPP, DPP and several other ESPP members), so we invite comments to by 3rd September latest.

This “pre-final” report (450 pages …) includes report, annexes, market study and (pages 34-39) proposals for CMC requirements, labelling and conformity assessment for EU Fertiliser label eligibility of STRUBIAS materials (and for materials derived from them). The 450-page document was circulated on 13th August, and ESPP is now only starting its analysis. Many of the comments made on the “interim” and “market” reports of 2017 are taken into account and JRC has clearly done a lot of work to do this. ESPP wishes to express our recognition and appreciation of this. Many aspects of the proposed criteria for the STRUBIAS materials are considerably different from the 2017 version, taking into account comments, and in ESPP’s view greatly improved. ESPP already notes the following proposals (as we understand it so far … our analysis is still underway):

  • Sewage and sewage sludge are accepted as input materials for phosphate salts and for ashes, but not for biochars;
  • Raw manure is accepted as input substrate for all three STRUBIAS materials;
  • For all phosphate salts and all ashes, the criteria are widened to include “derivate” materials, that is: not only direct use of e.g. struvite or ash onto fields as a fertiliser or liming material (after granulation or blending), but also use of these materials as inputs to fertiliser production processes (with chemical processing);
  • This chemical processing can include reaction with any “intermediate” (as defined in REACH: any substance produced for and consumed in chemical processing to produce another substance), without any specific (additional) REACH registration requirements for these intermediate chemicals;
  • Phosphate salts (e.g. struvite) precipitated from industrial wastewaters (e.g. fertiliser industry, phosphate rock processing, biofuel production…) appear to be excluded;
  • No nutrient plant availability criteria are specified for any of the STRUBIAS materials – this avoids duplicating the proposed Fertiliser Regulation product function categories (PFC) criteria which define such criteria for fertilisers (or neutralising and reactivity criteria for liming materials);
  • Minimum phosphorus content of phosphate salts = 16% P2O5, maximum organic carbon = 3%, minimum dry matter = 90%;
  • Maximum iron + aluminium content of phosphate salts = 10% (Fe+Al);
  • Cat1 Animal By-Product ash is excluded, despite being a known, effective, safe and significantly used fertiliser product;
  • For most ashes, the only specific contaminant limits (beyond those applicable to all products in PFCs) are limits for chlorine, for PAH (poly aromatic hydrocarbons) and for dioxins (PCDD/F);
  • Similarly, the only specific limits for pyrolysis materials are chlorine, PAHs, dioxins and PCBs;
  • A PAH limit is fixed for phosphate salts precipitated from sewage;
  • No minimum temperature is defined for biochar – pyrolysis – gasification processes: the H/Corg ratio < 0.7 (under specified testing conditions) is considered sufficient to show that the process ensures pyrolysis;
  • All three STRUBIAS materials will be under Module D1 (Annex IV) conformity assessment procedure, that is production process quality assurance system is required, with a quality control system which is validated by a national notified body.

The above are points initially identified by ESPP. These remain to be verified and completed, for which your input is important. Overall, the report concludes that “many STRUBIAS materials provide plants with nutrients, especially P, with a similar agronomic efficiency to mined phosphate rock and processed P-fertilisers”, that they provide an “added value material” for both conventional European agriculture and organic farming, and that they offer the potential to replace 17-31% of mineral phosphate fertilisers” in Europe.

“Pre-final STRUBIAS Report. DRAFT STRUBIAS recovery rules and market study for precipitated phosphate salts & derivates, thermal oxidation materials & derivates and pyrolysis & gasification materials in view of their possible inclusion as Component Material Categories in the Revised Fertiliser Regulation”, European Commission (JRC), circulated 13th August 2018, download online at comments to ESPP by 3rd September 2018 and discussion at stakeholders meeting Brussels and webinar 5th September


Several Horizon 2020, INTERREG and LIFE EU research funding calls are open or will be opened soon for which nutrient recycling and stewardship fits in. Seven open calls under Horizon 2020 at this moment are related to the biobased industry (BBI) with a submission deadline soon of 6 September 2018, with two focused specifically on nutrients. One call (BBI.2018.SO1.D2) has a focus on finding solutions to dilution, pollution and content diversity challenges to turn mixed urban bio-waste into sustainable feedstock for the bio-based industry. The other call (BBI.2018.SO3.D4) has a focus on producing biopesticides or bio-based fertilisers as components of sustainable agricultural management plans.The other five calls have more general biobased industry focus.

Other interesting Horizon 2020 calls with a focus on nutrients should be published on 16 October 2018, with a submission deadline 23 January 2019. These calls will focus on closing nutrient cycles (CE-RUR-08-2018-2019-2020), high-quality organic fertilisers from biogas digestate (CE-SFS-39-2019), circular bio-based business models for rural communities (CE-RUR-10-2019), integrated water management in small agricultural catchments (SFS-23-2019), and sustainable European aquaculture 4.0: nutrition and breeding (DT-BG-04-2018-2019). A call on building a water-smart economy and society including reuse of wastewater and recovery of nutrients (CE-SC5-04-2019) should open 14 November 2018, submission deadline 19 February 2019.

In the same period several calls will be opened with a focus on more sustainably primary and secondary sourcing of critical raw materials (CRMs, e.g. phosphate rock and white phosphorus) and on soil management. INTERREG North Sea region and North West Europe region have submission deadlines in September and November 2018 respectively. The Integrated Projects and Preparatory Projects under the LIFE sub-programmes for Environment have deadlines in September 2018. Horizon 2020 SME instrument has cut-off dates in October, February, May and September.

ESPP is interested to collaborate in existing and upcoming research projects and can help in networking, dissemination and communication activities. Please contact Kimo van Dijk for more information and possibilities (). See our ESPP list of EU research funding calls and the ESPP list of running and finished EU and national funded nutrients research projects.

ESPP list of EU research funding calls

ESPP research activities and ESPP nutrient related R&D project list

Contact for ESPP research, development and innovation activities Kimo van Dijk

The European Commission (Joint Research Centre, JRC) has published a call for field testing sites to sample and analyse drainage/runoff waters following applications of manure (or compost, digestate, etc from manure). The activity can be embedded into ongoing field trials. JRC will cover full costs of sampling: 5 - 10 litre samples will be required, from ground and surface water, samples will be collected, stored and shipped according to JRC specifications and with supplied sampling equipment. JRC will ensure analysis and data evaluation. This is part of the JRC study to support DG Environment work on “manure in a processed form” under the Nitrates Directive. JRC’s stated objective is to assess possible risks of veterinary medicinal products (VMPs), including anti-microbial resistance (AMR), veterinary antimicrobial agents (AMA) and biocides (used for stable disinfection) following application of manure and processed manures. JRC considers that there is a data gap on the drainage of nutrients which have been irrigated with wastewater or fertilised with animal manure (or derived biosolids, such as compost or digestate). It would seem appropriate to also collect samples of the applied manure/biosolids, and to have ‘control’ fields (without application), but these are not specified in the JRC call. Given that the JRC call identifies a data gap, it would also be appropriate for any party having relevant existing data to JRC – email below (data or publications on nutrients and contaminants in runoff/ground water following manure or biosolids application, in particular for VMPs and AMR). Analysis of such existing data could, presumably, modify JCR’s specifications for possible field sampling.

Deadline to propose field sampling sites to JCR = 31st August 2018 to “Call for participation in an EU-wide monitoring campaign of manure” 31st May 2018 (includes link to Participation Form) and “EU-wide monitoring of manure supporting the development of safe processed manure criteria”, 31st March 2018, Joint Research Centre JRC Ispra, Water and Marine Resources Unit

ESPP and the EU Horizon 2020 project SYSTEMIC are collecting data, scientific reports or other relevant information to input into the EU study launched on (nitrogen-containing) recycled nutrient products produced from manures. This study aims to inform the European Commission as to which products might be exempted from limitations applicable to “manure in a processed form” under the Nitrates Directive. Objectives of this study are summarised below (SYSTEMIC workshop article).

Submission of existing data or publications on nutrients or contaminants in runoff or groundwater following application of manure, processed manure or biosolids – by 29th July latest – to SYSTEMIC and ESPP If product or trial information is confidential, please contact these emails so that we can arrange direct transfer under confidentiality agreement to JRC.

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.

  • update on triloue progress on the EU Fertilisers Regulation and outstanding issues, e.g. mineral and organic by-products, definition of mineral and low-carbon fertilisers, contaminant limits, animal by-products (ABPs CMC11) …
  • questions around implementation (3 year period?), guidance and accompanying standards
  • workshops on the three STRUBIAS draft criteria
    • struvite and recovered phosphate salts
    • biochars and pyrolysis materials
    • ashes, for direct application to soil, and as ingredients to fertiliser production processes
  • webinar with EU Commission JRC to discuss the draft final STRUBIAS report and proposed EU Fertiliser Criteria, in preparation for the final STRUBIAS meeting end September (closed meeting, STRUBIAS WG members and Member States only).

Participation = 96,84 € (inc. VAT) to cover meeting room and catering costs. Venue information will be sent to you on registration

Free for ESPP members, governments, policy makers – request free access code from Access online to webinar only (14h-15h30 only) is also free, but registration is obligatory.

Both the all-day Brussels event and the 14h - 15h30 webinar are open to STRUBIAS group members and to other interested stakeholders by online registration


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 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

Sign the Global call for a science initiative on phosphorus at

The European Commission has started preparation of FP9 (Horizon Europe) the Research & Innovation funding programme 2021-2028 which will follow on from Horizon2020. The new programme has an announced budget of nearly 100 billion € and the draft Regulation text (outlining structure and objectives) was published 7th June. As already communicated (eNews n°21), it is proposed to include in FP9 “Missions” (art. 5 of published Regulation) which will be horizontal, across the “Challenges” (thematic R&D funding). There are expected to be only a “small number” of missions over the whole of FP9, with up to 10 year duration. Possible examples cited are: fight against cancer, clean transport, plastic-free oceans. Meetings have been organised on 30th May by DG Research, SYSTEMIC, Biorefine Cluster Europe, ESPP and INMS (international nitrogen management system) and a further meeting at the European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference 3 (ESPC3) on 11th June, with DG Research, BSAG and ESPP, to discuss proposing a possible “Mission” relating to nutrient sustainability. Such a “Mission” could concern all five of the FP9 thematic “Challenges”: health, inclusive and secure society, digital & industry, climate and food & natural resources. Proposed input and ideas for content and vision of such a “Mission” on nutrients should be sent to

FP9 regulation proposal published 7/6/18

Criteria for defining and selecting FP9 “Missions”, see the Mazzucato report
and summary

You are invited to send your ideas for a nutrients “Mission” (R&D needs, themes and content, vision and objectives …) to

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 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

The new edition number 126 of the SCOPE newsletter is now online here:

Earlier edition can be found here:

To 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 and their position on Circular Economy

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:

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 ( 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

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

Most up to date programme can be found here:

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
If you prefer to be invoiced, please use this registration link:

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




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:

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