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ESPP proposes to support the European Commission’s proposal that all farmers should inform a nutrient balance (inputs in fertilisers, crop remains, other amendments; offtakes in crops), included in the proposals for the new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) as FaST - Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients. Some regions already have such systems, but others do not: for example, only around half of United Kingdom farmers have in place a nutrient balance (Achim Dobermann, Rothamsted, IFS Conference, 6/12/18). The Commission’s FaST proposal includes development of a smart phone tool, made available to farmers, which will provide information on applicable regulations and enable entry of nutrient data, field by field, as well as enabling coherent data reporting. Member States and farmers will also be able to use other existing tools to enter their nutrient balance, subject to reporting compatibility. ESPP is asking the European Parliament and Member States to maintain the FaST nutrient tool in the new CAP as a mandatory condition for farmers receiving EU subsidies. Stakeholders wishing to support this position are invited to contact ESPP.

European Commission presentation of FaST (Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients)

ESPP organised a one day dialogue meeting between scientists, stakeholders and ESPP members and partners on questions around the use of sewage biosolids in agriculture. This will be presented in detail in a future SCOPE Newsletter. In conclusion, it is clear that different stakeholders, industries and countries have widely varying positions. On the one hand, there are concerns about the proven presence of different contaminants, which the “precautionary principle” suggests to not disseminate. However, there seems to be no evidence that these contaminants pose significant risk to health or to the environment where sewage biosolids are appropriately managed (this should include monitoring zinc and copper, and limiting spreading as a function of their levels if necessary). Accumulation of contaminants or leaching to groundwater should also be avoided, including heavy metals, organic contaminants and microplastics. On the other hand, agricultural valorisation of sewage biosolids offers benefits: recycling of phosphorus, nitrogen and other nutrients; return of carbon to soil, and is cost-effective for both taxpayers and farmers.

Technical phosphorus recovery processes enable recycling of phosphorus without release of contaminants to the environment, so ensuring depollution and safety. Most participants however agreed that there is no one best solution: different options for sewage biosolids management fit different local contexts. Thermal valorisation responds to the needs of regions with low agricultural demand, for example densely urban areas and regions with significant supply of animal manures. In countries with high agricultural demand, farmland application of biosolids under strict quality control conditions can enable nutrient and organic carbon recycling.

Anaerobic digestion of sewage biosolids is effective for energy recovery, as well as sanitising and stabilising sewage sludge, and some phosphorus recovery processes, such as struvite precipitation, are compatible with both thermal sludge valorisation or agronomic application of biosolids organic content. Many of the contaminants which currently generate concerns in sewage sludge are also found in animal manures and other organic secondary materials (in particular pharmaceuticals and antibiotic resistance genes). Further research and monitoring are strongly needed, including into improving organic contaminants removal in biosolids treatment, optimisation of energy recovery, and development and implementation of nutrient recovery processes. In all cases, the priority should be reduction at source and preventing that contaminants enter municipal sewage.

It was underlined that a strong point of ESPP is to bring together in dialogue a heterogeneous range of industries and stakeholders. ESPP should not promote a particular route or technologies for sewage biosolids management and phosphorus recycling, but should promote the advantages of different approaches appropriate to different regional contexts, subject in all cases to quality control, transparency and to effective nutrient recycling.

Meeting presentation slides are available (soon) at

The European Standards Organisation (CEN/CENELEC) has circulated the final report of the NEN/BTWG11 working group into standards needs for sustainable chemicals for the Circular Economy. ESPP has followed this work. Although nutrients are partly ‘excluded’ because already covered by the new EU Fertilisers Regulation proposal, the report does cover cycling of biomass by recycling or by degradation to produce nutrients to feed new biomass production. Recommendations for standards needs include the need to develop “Standardised methodology for calculating recycled content” (following proposal of ESPP amongst others) and a “Standard with criteria on properties of relevance for End-of-Waste, such as thresholds of contaminants”. Other recommendations include research into identification of product additives which hamper recycling and establishment at CEN/CENELEC of a mechanism to identify standards that exclude recycled materials. ESPP commented during the report development process that Critical Raw Materials are not well taken into account, but CEN considered this to be “out of scope” of this report. CEN however notes that the Ecodesign Mandate M/543 includes two relevant standards projects: prEN 45557 ‘General method for assessing the proportion of recycled material content in energy related products’ and prEN 45558 ‘General method to declare the use of critical raw materials in energy related products’. ESPP regrets that CEN did not finally recommend to widen the latter to other product types. Also, prEN 45558 only addresses the content of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) actually present in products, and does not consider ‘indirect’ CRM consumption (used upstream in the production chain, but not longer present in the final product).

CEN prEN 45557 and prEN 45558 proposals of 2017 submitted to final vote 28/12/2018 Draft texts available here and here
CEN-CLC/BTWG 11 'Sustainable Chemicals'

The trilogue agreement on the EU Fertilisers Regulation was approved by Member States’ representatives in Council on 12th December. It now goes to formal validation by the European Parliament and Council, before publication. ESPP understands that trilogue fixed then a three year implementation period before entry into force. The European Commission press release underlines that ‘national’ fertilisers and mutual recognition of these will continue after implementation of the new Regulation, so offering two different possible routes for producers and farmers. The Commission estimate that 30% of mineral phosphate fertilisers in Europe could be replaced by phosphorus recycling. According to our information, the agreement reached maintains the Commission mandate to modify the annexes of the new Regulation by ‘comitology’. This means that the STRUBIAS materials (recovered phosphate salts, ash based materials, biochars) can be added into the Regulation rapidly after its adoption. The JRC final STRUBIAS report proposing criteria is expected end 2018, then the Commission will hopefully rapidly consult Committees and write into a modification of Annex II (CMCs).

European Commission press release “Circular Economy: Agreement on Commission proposal to boost the use of organic and waste-based fertilisers” IP/18/6161
Council press release

Text of regulation with changes, as agreed in trilogue

ESPP’s annual General Assembly took place in Brussels, 4th December 2018. Membership of the Platform is slowly growing, reaching 44 members and partners end 2018. Important actions in 2018 included ongoing work pressing for adoption of the EU Fertilisers Regulation, the 3rd European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC3, with BSAG, Helsinki, June 2018, summarised in SCOPE Newsletter n°127), promoting inclusion of nutrients in the Horizon Europe R&D programme and enhancement of ESPP’s role as a hub of information, with the SCOPE Newsletter n°128 summarising key recent science publications addressing phosphorus sustainability. Priority actions defined for 2019 include: continuing action on the EU Fertilisers Regulation (guide to implementation, accompanying standards, implementation of STRUBIAS proposals …), EU SafeManure project, Common Agricultural Policy (FaST Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients), EU water policy revision, struvite REACH dossier update and Sweden proposed P-recycling legislation. ESPP’s Board was renewed with Ludwig Hermann (Promann), President, Anders Nättorp (FHNW), Secretary, Jean-Christophe Ades (Kemira), Secretary, Andrea Gysin (Thames Water), Antoine Hoxha (Fertilizers Europe) and Kristy Blakeborough-Wesson (Saria).

More information about ESPP activities and membership

ESPP submitted comments to two EU public consultations on Roadmaps for future evaluations of (1) the second “Environmental Implementation review” and (2) the impacts of EU farm policy on water, both closed on 26th November 2018. ESPP’s input underlined the importance of European Commission compliance enforcement of EU regulation in driving environmental improvement across Europe, for example for municipal wastewater treatment or for the Nitrates Directive, and suggested to widen the environmental implementation review to include pharmaceuticals, microplastics, the Circular Economy and Critical Raw Materials, as well as the Common Agricultural Policy. Concerning the assessment of farm policy on water, ESPP underlined the need to consult stakeholders (such as water basin management organisations), to consider key elements of the new (June 2018) CAP proposals (in particular the FaST = Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients) and coherence with CAP impacts on other policy objectives (such as Circular Economy) and impacts on water of Rural Development Funding.

ESPP inputs to EU consultations are published at:

Proposed Evaluation Roadmap “Evaluation of the impact of the CAP on water”

EU public consultation on the proposal for “Environmental Implementation Review” 

EU Environmental Implementation Review webpage and 2017 first report

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

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Upcoming ESPP events
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Past ESPP events
Outcomes 3rd European Nutrient Event at ECOMONDO 2018
Swiss phosphorus recovery / recycled fertilisers ordonnances published
EU Fertilisers Regulation: political agreement signs way to adoption
Study shows wide variation of agricultural phosphorus regulation in Europe
Phosphorus recovery by struvite precipitation considered as BAT
Food and drink environmental footprinting
EU consultations
EU consultation open on water policy
ESPP input on CAP – water and environmental implementation review
Phoshorus recovery fact sheets
Innovation and success stories
ExtraPhos process with cement valorisation conform to German P-recovery obligation
Vermont “Phosphorus Innovation Challenge” finalists named
Newfert BBI-JU project final meeting
Questions around sewage biosolids
Pharmaceuticals elimination and struvite recovery from sewage
Comparative LCAs for mineral fertilisers, recycling, sewage sludge
Greenhouse emissions from different sewage sludge valorisation routes
UBA report: antibiotics and resistance in sewage sludge and manure
ESPP Members
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Under the Austria Presidency, a political agreement was reached on 20th November on the EU Fertilisers Regulation (between Council = Member States, European Parliament and the European Commission), after nearly a year of ‘trilogue’. This in particular includes the question of cadmium limits, which has been the principle political blockage: the proposed initial cadmium limit of 60 mgCd/kgP2O5 will apply three years after entry into force of the new Regulation, and a review will then consider whether or not lower limits should be applied seven years later. Member States will be able to apply lower cadmium limits if they so wish. Final technical wording issues are expected to now be discussed before the end of the year, and the compromise proposal then will go the Member States Ambassadors and the Parliament IMCO Committee and then the Parliament Plenary and Member States Ministers for final approval. Ahead of the final trilogue meeting on 20th November, the joint letter coordinated by ESPP supporting the Regulation adoption was signed by over 100 companies and other stakeholders, underlining the importance of the EU Fertilisers Regulation to open the European market, remove obstacles and facilitate investment in circular economy nutrient products and recycling technologies.
Fertilizers Europe welcomed the Regulation progress as “balanced”, considering the short implementation delay for the cadmium limit to be a challenge, welcoming the announced inclusion of industrial by-products and the opening of the CE mark to organic fertilisers and biostimulants, but regretting that the low minimum nutrient levels in the Regulation will not ensure quality products.
Growing Media Europe, despite supporting the objective of opening the European market, regret that the new Regulation as currently proposed will exclude nearly all growing media products because of unrealistic Conformity Assessment requirements, and underline that the new Regulation does not include quality standards on agronomic efficiency.

European Parliament press release 20/11/18 “Fertilisers/cadmium: Parliament and Council negotiators reach provisional deal”

Fertilizers Europe 20/11/18 “New Fertilizer Regulation – acceptable compromise but challenges remain”

Growing Media Europe, 20/11/18 “New EU Fertilisers Regulation - Missed opportunity for the growing media industry?”

The 3rd European Nutrient Event (ENE3), 8 - 9 November 2018, Rimini, was jointly organised by the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP) and EU Horizon2020 funded SMART-Plant project. The presentations, final programme, list of key speakers of the event can be downloaded here. The event  was focussed on the theme “towards the circular economy of phosphorous (P) and other nutrients”, in Italy, the Mediterranean region and the EU, including research, development and innovation. Day 1 focussed on phosphorus and nutrient recycling in Italy and the Mediterranean region and the start up of the Italian Phosphorus Platform. It included presentations by the Italian Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, ESPP, European Commission DG RTD, key Italian institutes, EurEau, ISLE Utilities, OSTARA, CNP Cycles, Veolia, Suez, EasyMining, Outotec, Aqualia, Assofertilizzanti, Confagricoltura, ITALPOLLINA, Lombardy Region and CAP Holding. Day 2 was focussed on new nutrient recycling R&D projects, updates on current major projects, nutrient management in Horizon Europe and the potential “Mission on Nutrients”. It included presentations by the European Commission DG RTD and EASME, and R&D project presentations by Horizon2020 funded projects Circular Agronomics, HYDROUSA, INCOVER, PeGaSus, P-Al/Fe-WTR, Run4Life, SABANA, SaltGae, SYSTEMIC, Water2Return; INTERREG funded projects BEST, No_Waste, NuReDrain, SEABASED; LIFE funded projects DOP, MEMORY, Newbies, Trialkyl, Vitisom; amd other funded projects BiofuelcellAPP, HTC, MIND-P, PARFORCE, RAVITA and ViviMag. The full report will be be published soon.

All information and outcomes of the event can be found at

An overview of R&D activities by ESPP including a full description of the research projects and more information about the potential Mission on Nutrients can be found at

The Mission on Nutrients will be further discussed during the European Sustainable Nutrient Initiative (ESNI) event, 22 January 2019, Brussels,

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environment Management (CIWEM, United Kingdom) organised a workshop of industry, experts and regulators to input to the Institute’s Policy Position Statement on valorisation of sewage biosolids (currently being redefined), London, 3rd March 2018. ESPP was invited to give a presentation to summarise developments in Europe, and outlined the Germany and Switzerland regulations and Baltic HELCOM policies requiring phosphorus recycling from sewage, pressures on agricultural use of sewage biosolids (e.g. announced public enquiry in Sweden – ESPP eNews n°24, Global GAP food industry criteria excluding use of sewage biosolids on cropland …) and current proposals regarding sewage biosolids in the EU Fertilisers Regulation proposal (expected to be excluded from composts, digestates, biochars, but authorised for precipitated phosphate salts and ash-based recycling). Discussion in the group noted that concerns about non-biodegradable polymers used in sludge dewatering could prevent sewage biosolids application to land (e.g. new German regulations). The discussion noted that nearly half of sewage sludge biosolids in Europe are today recycled via use on lands, and similarly in the USA (60%), Australia (nearly 60%) and China (nearly 50%). The UK has one of the highest rates of use on farmland (80% of sewage biosolids), which poses operational risks (for the water industry) and cost risks (for the consumer) if this route were to be stopped. Sludge biosolids are estimated by David Tomkins (AquaEnviro) to represent around 17% of total phosphorus input to UK agriculture. Sludge biosolids recycling to land has changed considerably over recent decades, and today is mostly as stable, solid, storable composts or digestates. Participants considered that biosolids use on cropland is recognised as safe for the food chain, but that there are questions about possible impacts of organic contaminants (such as pharmaceuticals) or micro-plastics on soils and the environment, and these need to be addressed. The energy value of sewage sludge was emphasised, and the options today available for energy valorisation (high energy-efficiency incineration, hydrothermal gasification). Questions were asked about the return of carbon to agricultural soils in sludge biosolids: is this significant given the application rates (limited by crop nutrient requirements). Participants suggested that the positive values of sewage sludge as an energy, carbon and nutrient resource should be emphasised, underlining the need for appropriate valorisation routes and technologies, for different local contexts.

CIWEM Wastewater and Biosolids Panel
ESPP presentation at CIWEM workshop

ESPP input to the European Commission public consultation on the evaluation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWT) 1991/271/EEC suggesting that the explicit, command-and-control, treatment requirements and discharge limits fixed by this Directive (and by the Nitrates Directive) should be maintained as key “backstops”  within the more holistic and ambitious Water Framework Directive. ESPP noted that the UWWT Directive has led to large improvements in sewage collection and treatment in many Member States, often following EU verification and infringement procedures. Nonetheless, phosphorus losses to waters remain a major environmental challenge across Europe, and this will be accentuated with climate change. Further action will be needed, including in some cases lower phosphorus discharge consents for sewage works. ESPP underlined the potential for flexible permitting, e.g. catchment nutrient discharge trading systems, to achieve phosphorus loss reductions cost-effectively. ESPP noted the need to clarify the UWWT Directive definitions of “agglomeration”, of “appropriate treatment” (smaller sewage works) and of “sensitive areas” (take into account climate change). ESPP also emphasised that the UWWT Directive’s scope should be widened to ensure appropriate management of sewage sludge and valorisation, including nutrient recovery or recycling and valorisation of organic carbon.

ESPP input to the EU public consultation on the “Evaluation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive”, 19th October 2018
Note that a further EU consultation “Fitness Check of the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive” is open to 4th March 2019 at

Some fifty companies (fertiliser industry, compost producers, water industry, recycling sector) and other stakeholders have sent a joint letter to EU decision makers underlining the importance of the proposed new EU Fertilisers Regulation for the Circular Economy and to open the European market for nutrient recycling technologies. They ask Council, Parliament and the Commission to resolve the current blockage in ‘trilogue’ and to finalise and adopt the proposed Regulation. This letter is open for further signatures, with the objective of 100 signatory companies and stakeholders. Companies and organisations wishing to join the signatories on this Joint Letter should send by 16th November company name, name and email of signatory contact and logo (all as to be included on the letter) to .

Joint letter dated 15th October 2018, with signatories to date can be found at  

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

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Upcoming ESPP events
EU Fertilisers Regulation
Joint letter in support of the EU Fertilisers Regulation proposal
EU Fertilisers Regulation – STRUBIAS
New study on cadmium in fertilisers
New York Times calls fertiliser cadmium debate “Russian intrigue”
JRC meta-analysis of recycled phosphate fertilisers
New ESPP members
RAPSODEE research centre, Albi, France
Fertieuropa complex fertilisers, Spain
EU consultations
Impact of Common Agricultural Policy on water
Environmental implementation challenges
Struvite recovery in new BAT for Food, Drink and Milk industries
New EU BAT BREF for Waste Treatment
ESPP contribution on Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive
New EU Bioeconomy strategy emphasises Circular Economy
Valorisation routes for sewage biosolids
CIWEM working meeting on sewage biosolids
European Parliament and Council discuss increased transparency on sewage sludge
Success stories and actions
Paris – OCAPI: prize awarded for urine recycling to fertiliser
Ohio: sewage sludge ash used as fertiliser
INGELIA  biorefinery: bio-coal and bio-fertiliser from organics and sewage sludge
Slurry acidification update
Phosphorus and the food system
“Safe Operating Space” for livestock production in Europe
FReSH: business partnership for a sustainable food system
The food system and Planetary Boundaries
Estimates of raw phosphorus consumption for different diets
ESPP Members
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Fertieuropa (part of the SADER Group), based in Ribadeo (Spain) and manufacturing in Bilbao, is specialised in complex fertilisers (NPK) producing different formulas to satisfy a wide variety of crops based and depending on different regional crop needs. Phosphorus is an essential part of fertiliser production, with a very important role in the future of agriculture. Consumption of phosphorus fertilisers will increase in the future to ensure food production, but mined phosphate rock resources are limited. New methods and technologies for recovery and recycling phosphorus must be developed in order to satisfy the needs of the market without damaging the environment. For Fertieuropa, participation in the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform will provide the chance to learn about this theme, develop new ideas and participate in projects that promote the circular economy and ensure at the same time high-quality products.

Fertieuropa website

One of the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP)’s objectives is to be a hub for networking, for exchange of information and for interaction between research and industry. This SCOPE special edition aims to identify and summarise some of the most significant, recent, scientific publications into phosphorus stewardship. The following list of papers are summarised.

Download SCOPE Newsletter # 128

The summary of the 3rd  European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC3), Helsinki, 11 - 13 June 2018 is now published in ESPP SCOPE Newsletter no 127:

The ESPC3 was co-organised by Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) and ESPP, bringing together nearly 300 participants from 30 countries, significantly increased from ESPC1 (Brussels 2013) and ESPC2 (Berlin 2015).

You will find the all outcomes here including summary, presentations, conclusions and posters.

ESPP logo HD BW 1 line JPG 2 6 17 small

The 3rd European Nutrient Event (ENE3) will take place at the ECOMONDO 2018 green technology expo, 8 - 9 November 2018, Rimini, Italy 
Rimini, on the Adriatic coast, is only 1h45 train from Bologna airport and 2h10 train from Milan central.

ENE3 is Jointly organised by the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP) and SMART-Plant (Horizon 2020 research project).

Day 1: phosphorus and nutrient recycling in Italy and the Mediterranean region, the new Italian Phosphorus Project. Presentations by: Italian Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, ESPP, European Commission DG Research, key Italian institutes, EurEau, ISLE Utilities, OSTARA, CNP Cycles, Veolia, Suez, EasyMining, Outotec, Aqualia, Assofertilizzanti, Confagricoltura, ITALPOLLINA, Lombardy Region, CAP Holding.

Day 2: new nutrient recycling R&D projects, updates on current major projects, nutrient management in Horizon Europe, potential “Mission on Nutrients”. Presentations by: European Commission DG RTD and EASME. Project presentations by:
H2020 funding: AgroCycle, Circular Agronomics, HYDROUSA, INCOVER, Pegasus, PFeWTR, Run4Life, SABANA, SYSTEMIC, Water2Return
INTERREG funding: BEST, No_Waste, NuReDrain, Phos4You, SEABASED
LIFE funding: DOP, Newbies, Trialkyl, Vitisom
Other: BiofuelcellAPP, HTC, MIND-P, PARFORCE, RAVITA, StraPhos, ViviMag

Register here: (free ECOMONODO ticket included)
See updated programme here: 

Nearby the interest to exchange between different R&D projects addressing nutrient recycling (H2020, BBI, LIFE+, INTERREG, national, industry funded projects), technology providers and users, the objective of the meeting is to define together the need for action to foster nutrient recycling in Europe. This will be concretised in the publication of the proceedings and conclusions of the event, including a short presentation of all participating R&D projects. With the support of DG RTD, and P-REX (FP7 project), a similar event related to phosphorus recycling was organised in March 2015 leading to publication of the proceedings and conclusions by the European Commission:
Outcomes the 2nd European Nutrient R&D event (Basel, Switzerland) last year can be found at:


The launch of the Czech Republic Phosphorus Platform (CPP) was announced at the 3rd European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC3, 11-13 June 2018, Helsinki) by Jindra Duras (Vltava River Authority) who presented a poster (online here). CPP is as an initiative five first members: Two represent River Authorities (two of the five Authorities in Czech Republic) and advocate vision to control eutrophication of freshwaters. One member is interested in progress of new technologies for waste water treatment plants (ASIO) and two are from research, relating to the circular economy. CPP is open to new members and to new ideas and topics. The Platform project aims to engage government, other river basin authorities, universities, sewage treatment operators, industry, research and NGOs to develop actions to raise awareness about phosphorus losses, mitigation and recycling.

Website of Czech Republic Phosphorus Platform and email address of Jindra Dura  

Poster presentation of CPP at ESPC3

The 12th European Waste Water Management Conference (EWWM), Manchester (AquaEnviro), addressed a range of questions about water treatment, including tomorrow’s challenges of phosphorus removal to stringent discharge consents and of emerging contaminants (pharmaceuticals, antimicrobial resistance, organic chemicals, microplastics). The conference brought together around 230 participants, mainly from water companies and technology suppliers.

Chris Thornton, European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP), opened the conference session on phosphorus (P), by summarising the pressures to remove phosphorus from wastewater and the developments towards phosphorus recovery and recycling. He underlined opportunities including the proposed new EU Fertilisers Regulation, EU R&D funding and projects, the draft EU Water Reuse Regulation, the Water Framework Directive review, the pending EU pharmaceuticals strategy, technology transfer and flexible consent permitting. A key and pressing challenge however is the questioning of use of sewage biosolids in agriculture, both from regulators and from supermarket or food industry purchasing criteria, driven by negative perceptions around contaminants

Complete reporting of the phosphorus session can be found in ESPP eNews 26:

The 3rd European Nutrient Event (ENE3) will take place at the ECOMONDO 2018 green technology expo, 8 - 9 November 2018, Rimini, Italy Rimini, on the Adriatic coast, is 1h45 train from Bologna airport and 2h10 train from Milan central.

Day1: phosphorus and nutrient recycling in Italy and the Mediterranean region, the new Italian Phosphorus Project.
Day 2: new nutrient recycling R&D projects, updates on current major projects, nutrient management in Horizon Europe, potential “Mission on Nutrients”.

Register here: (free ECOMONODO ticket included)

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

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Register for the 3rd European Nutrient Event
Regulatory and policy
Progress on STRUBIAS and Fertilisers Regulation
Reference on regulations on anaerobic digestion and nutrient recovery
Sweden introduces atmospheric nitrogen emissions tax
New ESPP Member
PEGaSus project – phosphorus in the poultry and pig value chain
Success stories
Ostara announces further struvite recovery installations
Fertilisers and biostimulants from animal by-product processing
LKAB and EasyMining to test recovery from iron ore mine waste
Mavitec EcoChar from manures and other organic materials
WETSUS ViviMag iron(II) phosphate recovery (vivianite)
Need for EU soil protection legislation and greener CAP
Antibiotics in pig manure and transfer to struvite, China
Excess magnesium in certain struvite can inhibit maize
Report on demand trends for Critical Raw Materials
Over half of China arable fertiliser application is surplus
Czech Republic Phosphorus Platform project
EWWM12: challenges of waste water phosphorus management
Facing tomorrow’s phosphorus discharge consents
Innovative biological sewage treatment processes
Reducing ferric handling and CAPEX costs
Priority substances, pharmaceuticals, etc.
EWWM conference conclusions
Stay informed
GPDR & privacy policy
ESPP Members

The PeGaSus research project (Phosphorus efficiency in the chicken Gallus gallus and pig Sus scrofa), 2017-2020, will look at the fate of phosphorus in livestock production (in fodder, animals, microbiota, manure slurry, soil and water), model phosphorus management strategies and policy measures, carry out livestock trials of different feed strategies and alternative phosphorus feed sources and laboratory studies to characterise biological factors impacting phosphorus utilisation, assess phosphorus recycling potential (manure, bone meal), model phosphorus deficient/surplus areas within selected eutrophication Sensitive Areas, and propose policy measures to reduce phosphorus losses and increase recycling. PEGaSus is a project within the European Research Area NETwork on Sustainable Animal Production (ERA-NET SusAn), a network of 36 national research councils, national food and food safety agencies or similar, agricultural ministries and other organisations, which pool funds for transnational calls for research into sustainable animal production.

PEGaSus and SusAn (European Research Area on Sustainable Animal Production)

The ESPP catalogue of nutrient recycling and stewardship research, development and innovation projects has been updated and can be downloaded here.

Please put your R&D project to the list, complete gaps and send corrections if necessary and send you input to

You can find complete information about the ESPP R&D activities at our R&D website section:

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:

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