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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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Omzet Amersfoort WWTP information

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Solutions

ELIQUO technology at WWTP Amersfoort

Struvite blues song

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

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

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

The meeting will also discuss:

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

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

Comments or proposals on meeting content welcome.

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

2 = comments to date see:

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

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


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

NRR 2016 logo 18 5 16

Session program can be found here:

More information about the conference here:

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

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

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

More info including the radio item can be found here:

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

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

More information at:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The input of ESPP can be found here.


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

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

More information and the report can be found at

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

Opportunity for recognition, visibility and networking

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

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

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

Service to deliver

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

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

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

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

Reliability and commitment

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

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

Call for proposals

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

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

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

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

Please send your response to



20 April, Helsinki, Finland.

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

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

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

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

Phosphates 530 115

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

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

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

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

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

Greece was fined 10 million € in October plus 20 000 € per day for failing to install adequate sewage collection and treatment in 6 areas (agglomerations > 15 000 pe), as required by the 1991 Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive 1991/271. The daily fine will run until compliance is achieved, depending on the number of areas still not in conformity. The European Commission has now asked for an additional 16 million € plus 35 000 € per day fine for failure to collect and treat sewage discharged into the Gulf of Elefsina, in the area of Thriasio Pedio. Greece was already condemned by the European Court of Justice for this same area in 2004 and the Commission notes that still today only 28% of sewage is collected and treated. Poland has also received a ‘final warning’ from the European Commission for failure to implement the EU Water Framework Directive 2000/2000, including failure to classify water bodies, large scale works carried out on rivers and unjustified exemptions to Good Quality Status objectives.

European Commission 19/11/2015 “Commission proposes fines and refers GREECE back to the Court of Justice of the EU over persistent poor waste water treatment. Greece facing fines over lack of urban waste water treatment”

European Court of Justice, case C-167/14, 15/11/2015 “Because of its delay in implementing the directive on urban waste water treatment, Greece is ordered to pay a fixed sum of €10 million and a periodic fine of €3.64 million per semester of delay”

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