The European Economic and Social Committee has adopted its ‘Opinion’ on the EU Fertilisers Regulation revision. EESC supports the objective of extending the existing regulation from only mineral fertilisers (at present) to cover organic and waste based fertilisers, subject to ensuring environmental protection, underlining that recycled fertilisers “may in the future constitute an important part of an integrated circular economy” (recalling the EESC Opinion on the Circular Economy jobs and SMEs, 2014). The need to clarify definitions of a “secondary raw material”, waste, by-products, end-of-waste are underlined, pointing to the contradictions in the current text between application to PFCs and CMCs [$4.2 of EESC Opinion]. EESC wants systems of control, labelling (present in the proposed text) and [$1.3] traceability (not present). EESC underlines [$1.9, $4.5] that municipal waste water has potential and value as a raw material for organic fertiliser – whereas this is excluded in the current regulation proposal. EESC also notes [$4.8] the need to exempt from REACH recovered materials beyond compost (EESP comment: e.g. digestate see www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory) .
Opinion of the EESC on the EU Fertilisers Regulation Revision, adopted 13-14 July 2016, refs. NAT/691 – EESC-2016-03054-00-01-AC-TRA (EN) 1/8, rapporteur Cillian Lohan www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.nat-opinions.39587
The programme is now online for the ESPP workshop on “Pharmaceuticals and organic chemicals in sewage biosolids: questions for recycling”, Malmö (near Copenhagen) 27th October 8h00 – 12h00, in cooperation with the Nordic Phosphorus Conference, 27th October (12h00) – 28th 13h30 (same venue).
See for more details and registration here.
ESPP’s 2016 General Assembly will take place Brussels, 1st December 2016 (9h – 17h), looking at phosphorus in industry: sustainability, recycling, new applications and processes, P4 and phosphorus chemicals. Tis is within the EU’s First Raw Materials Week parallel to ESPP’s general Assembly, the thematic meeting will enable industry and stakeholder dialogue on developments such as: new uses and applications for phosphorus in industry and energy, P-recovery from waste streams to industrial chemicals and P4, recycling of phosphorus in industry through other routes (e.g. fire safety chemicals, plastics), reducing environmental impact of P chemistry, challenges and opportunities around medical and industry applications nano forms of phosphates.
The EU’s “Expert Group for Technical Advice on Organic Production” (EGTOP) has published its response to two dossiers proposing authorisation of recycled phosphate products as fertilisers in organic agriculture (under EU Organic Farming Regulation 889/2008). The dossier for struvite was submitted by the UK in 2014 and concerns struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) recovered in sewage works or from animal waste processing. The dossier for calcined phosphates was submitted by Austria in 2011 and concerns recovery from ashes of sewage sludge, meat and bone meal (MBM), or other biomass ash. The committee concludes that for Ostara Pearl struvite (the submitted dossier) there is no hygiene risk (organic pollutants or pathogens), but that this is not proven for other struvite production methods. Struvite recovery is noted to be conform to environmental objectives (reduces N and P losses to surface waters, recycles nutrients, reduces consumption of non-renewable P resources) and concludes that struvite should be authorised for organic farming “provided that the method of production ensures hygienic and pollutant safety”. For calcined phosphates, the committee also concludes that recovery from ashes is conform to environmental objectives (but with some concerns about energy consumption) and that calcined phosphates should be authorised for organic farming subject to being recovered from sewage sludge incineration ash and that heavy metal content should be limited (proposal: chromium(VI) non detectable, other heavy metals “minimised”). However, EGTOP also concludes that these two products cannot be authorised under the Organic Farming Regulation until they are authorised under the EU Fertilisers Regulation, so confirming the importance of the ‘STRUBIAS’ process underway to integrate such products into the current revision of this Regulation.
Expert Group for Technical Advice on Organic Production (EGTOP) “Final Report on Organic Fertilizers And Soil Conditioners (II)”, final version 2 February 2016
A meeting was organised by CEN (the European Standardisation Committee) and CENELEC (electrical equipment) on 'Standards for circular economy: waste management and secondary raw materials' in Brussels 8th September. Of around 100 participants, ESPP and the paper industry were maybe the only representatives of the bio-nutrient and bio-materials sector. Yet, the need for standards development to support nutrient recycling and valorisation of bio-waste streams was made clear. Some of the day’s conclusions are strongly applicable to the nutrient circular economy: need to standardise terminology and definitions, including how to measure the recycling rate, importance of public information (e.g. traceability) to develop trust; potential of EN standards to open markets for export; quality standards for input materials, processes and recycled (nutrient) products; benchmarking to indicate for what uses a recycled product is appropriate. The meeting registered that a number of initiatives are underway or expected: EC mandates to CEN for standards development to support the Fertilisers Regulation revision and the EU Circular Economy Package, interface work to identify gaps and incoherence between fertiliser regulations, REACH, waste regulation; BS 8001 proposed standard “Framework for circular economy principles”. This meeting aims to launch a CEN informal process for dialogue on on standards for the circular economy, waste and secondary materials, in which ESPP will actively participate.
Historical SCOPE newsletters about phosphorus and nutrient management are now online on the ESPP website and can be downloaded here.
With the opening of its « Technophos » Centre of Excellence and Technology in Varna, Bulgaria, the Belgian group EcoPhos consolidates its pioneering role in the area of phosphates and phosphorus recycling. For more details see this information, the website and the live stream of the opening.
13 - 15 March, Tampa, Florida, USA.
The only global event for the fertilizer, industrial and feed phosphate markets.
Best practice models from the Nordic countries and Europe, challenges of P recovery and recycling, quality standards and developing secondary markets with the Nordic Council of Ministers, the EU Commission, EPAs of the Nordic Countries, companies and local authorities. Oganized by Swedish Waste Management, Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association, and DAKOFA Waste and Resource Network Denmark and is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers in cooperation with the Nordic country national water industry federations.
Programme and registration https://dakofa.com/conference/conference
ESPP is organising a workshop on “Pharmaceuticals and organic chemicals in sewage biosolids: questions for recycling”, Malmö (near Copenhagen) 27th October 8h00 – 12h00, in cooperation with the Nordic Phosphorus Conference, 27th October (12h00) – 28th 13h30 (same venue). The workshop will look at which pharmaceuticals and organic consumer chemicals are found in sewage biosolids, at what concentrations, effects of composting, anaerobic digestion, whether there is a risk to health and the environment when treated biosolids are used in agriculture, how levels can be reduced and what further data and research is needed.
See programme for more details. If you are interested in presenting (speaker or poster) please contact with a short summary of your proposed presentation.
Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).
ESPP working meeting
Pharmaceuticals in sewage biosolids, 27/10/2016
New ESPP member
Fraunhofer IGB new ESPP member
REVAQ sewage certification: biosolids recycling quality
Cooperl Emeraude-Energy launched
PHORWater final conference
Ductor biogas & nutrient recovery from chicken manures
EU exceeds international ammonia emissions limit
EU EIP Raw Materials publishes first “Raw Materials Scoreboard”
“Soil organic matter matters”
ESPP joins FAO Technical Advisory Group on Nutrient Cycles Accounting
Funding opportunities and calls
Alternative nutrient sources for organic farming
Everglades Foundation US$10M Premoval & recovery prize now open
European Network for Rural Development – resource efficiency
Science and media
UK research shows crop value of digestate and compost
Biowaste collection and recycling could mean 90 000 jobs in Europe
Phosphorus offtake threatens sustainability of grasslands
Where there’s swill there’s a way
Scientists propose fertiliser tax to balance biodiesel environmental impacts
HTC technology update and AVA Cleanphos pilot
EFSA say phosphonate is safe for food contact use
Phosphorus recycling by micro-algae growth
ENRD (European Network for Rural Development, funded by the European Commission DG Agriculture) is calling for participants for a Thematic Group on “Resource efficient rural economy”. Deadline for candidates is 27th August 2016. Registration here. More information here.
The George Barley Water Price launched. Everglades teams with Ontario for 11.2 million US$ nutrient removal and recovery challenge. Opening of the challenge is expected before mid- July with first submission deadline end summer 2016, then several rolling submission deadlines.
The Everglades Foundation Grand Challenge for new approaches to remove recycle phosphorus from dilute waters (rivers, drainage ditches, lakes) has now partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and Xylem, to offer a total of 11.2 million US$ prizes. For more information, see summary of Everglades Grand Challenge in SCOPE Newsletter n°111.
A new website has been launched and submission application documents will be online at the challenge opening, expected early before mid-July. To be informed and pre-register, create your user profile: www.barleyprize.com
“Everglades Foundation Announces The George Barley Science Prize Competition at White House Event Today”
Summary of the ESPP working meeting on the EU Fertiliser Regulation revision, held Brussels 29 June 2016, can be downloaded here. Presentation by the European Commission and other stakeholders are included as annexes. Background information of the workshop can be found here. See also other inputs of ESPP to the Fertiliser regulation revision process in the Regulatory Activity section.
Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).
This is the number 2 edition of ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform) monthly News. We hope that you will find this useful. If other people wish to subscribe, it is free at www.phosphorusplatform.eu If you have comments or news on nutrient management to share, please contact
In particular, much is happening in the Nordic countries: see below SyreN success story, manure acidification and Nordic Phosphorus Conference, Malmö / Copenhagen 27-28 October.
For full list of events, see below the news section of this email and on www.phosphorusplatform.eu
Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).
ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform) is launching a new monthly News, to provide regular updates on nutrient management success stories, regulatory developments, science and reports.
This will be in addition to the SCOPE Newsletter, which will provide, as to date, in-depth coverage of science publications, conferences and regulation.
This is the "Beta" first edition of this monthly News, pending finding a more attractive and readable layout. It is sent initially to all SCOPE Newsletter subscribers. We hope that you will find this useful. If other people wish to subscribe, it is free at www.phosphorusplatform.eu If you have comments or news on nutrient management to share, please contact
For list of events, see below the news section of this email. Next ESPP meeting: EU Fertiliser Regulation workshop 29th June Brussels: Discussion of proposed Regulation text, application to recovered nutrient products, composts, digestates.
On 17th June, Ostara and Vallei Veluwe water board officially inaugurated the 900 tonnes/year Pearl struvite recovery unit at Amersfoort sewage works, treating sewage from 300.000 population equivalent and sewage sludge from 1 million. With EU LIFE supportOn 17th June, Ostara and Vallei Veluwe water board officially inaugurated the 900 tonnes/year Pearl struvite recovery unit at Amersfoort sewage works, treating sewage from 300.000 population equivalent and sewage sludge from 1 million. With EU LIFE support, the water and sewage treatment plant is energy neutral, and uses thermal hydrolysis (ELIQUO) and WASSTRIP to increase soluble phosphorus release. Objective is to recover 40% of works input P as struvite. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. inaugurated the Ostara unit, noting that the company will have units operating in 14 sewage works worldwide by end 2016. The recovered struvite is sold by Ostara as Crystal Green performance fertiliser prills, with granulometry size grades, hardness, low-dusting and salt index conform to fertiliser industry SGN specifications.
Omzet Amersfoort WWTP information
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Solutions
ELIQUO technology at WWTP Amersfoort
Struvite blues song
ESPP published a SCOPE article overview on struvite as an effective fertiliser which you can read here (page 5). This overview can contribute to the discussion about the effectiviness of struvite, also in the light of the revision of the EU Fertiliser Regulation, see the ESPP website regulatory section.
ESPP will organise a technical meeting on recycled nutrient products in the proposed EU Fertiliser Regulation revision,
29th June 9:00-17:00, Brussels. If you wish to participate in this meeting please indicate to me your name and organisation
The meeting will also discuss:
Comments or proposals on meeting content welcome.
1 = published proposal for EU Fertilisers Regulation revised text 17/3/16: www.ec.europa.eu/DocsRoom/documents/15949
2 = comments to date see: www.ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/?fuseaction=feedbackreport&doc_id=3092157
3 = ESPP is selected as a member of this EIP-AGRI Focus Group, as are also several ESPP network participants. First meeting is 31 May – 1 June. The aim is to define research needs, information assessment and communication needs concerning agronomic value and use of recycled nutrient products. ESPP will need input from agronomic experts, researchers and nutrient recyclers. See: www.ec.europa.eu/eip/agriculture/en/news/eip-agri-focus-groups-new-topics-announced
4 = ESPP draft criteria are completed for struvite, ashes, and are under finalisation for biochars, see www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory EU JRC work is being launched to define EU criteria, to add into the Fertiliser Regulation revision. The deadline for candidature for the DG GROW expert group to support JRC work on this is 31st May and first meeting 6-7 July. This point therefore be for information, not for discussion.
On 10 July 2016 in Denver (USA), ESPP will lead an opening plenary session on "Closing the loop for P success stories" at the WEF/IWA Nutrient Removal and Recovery 2016 conference.
Session program can be found here:
More information about the conference here:
ESPP has submitted first comments on the draft revised EU Fertiliser Regulation. This new text is positive and important step to opening the market for recycling of nutrients and carbon from organic wastes and by-products. ESPP proposes to introduce traceability into the regulation, for products liable to contain organic contaminants from sewage, manures, food wastes and animal by-products, in order to ensure public and food-chain confidence and safety. ESPP also proposes to require demonstration of the agronomic fertiliser effectiveness of recycled nutrient products. In order to enable innovation with new recycled nutrient products, ESPP proposes to clarify the criteria for authorisation of new categories and to already launch work on additional new products: recovered mineral N fertilisers, other phosphates (as well as struvite), processed manure and sewage products. Summary of Fertiliser Regulation proposal text see SCOPE Newsletter 120. ESPP comments here.
Five Live Science, BBC5 Radio UK, has put out an interesting 20 minute roundup of why phosphorus is important, how to reduce uses and losses and opportunities for recycling. Robert Evans, Anglia Ruskin University, explains how Coton near Cambridge used to be the UK’s dinosaur poo capital until resources ran out leaving Europe largely dependent on imports to supply fertilisers and grow food. Pete Vale, Severn Trent Water, presents the beauty of sludge cake, full of natural goodness for crops and healthy soil, and the potential of P-recovery as struvite. James Dyke, Southampton University, discusses the risks of geopolitical concentration of phosphorus rock supply worldwide. John Hammond, Reading University discusses how to better use P in agriculture and in soils, and how to reduce society’s phosphorus needs for exampling by changing diets.
Listen online: 5 Live Science Naked Scientists – Phosphorus Shortage 14th May 2016 (35 minute point – 59 minutes)
More info including the radio item can be found here: www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/interviews/interview/1001817
Call for partners for an Interreg project on the use of ashes as fertiliser or soil amendment.
See call here.
Meet at 16 June 2016, Amersfoort, Netherlands, European struvite recovery operators willing to share their practical experience and learn more about running recovery technologies. This workshop will be linked to the official commissioning of the first WASSTRIP/PEARL/LYSOTHERM facility in the world.
More information at: http://www.eip-water.eu/arreau-struvite-recovery-recycling-learning-alliance