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The European Commission has published a report “Circular approaches to phosphorus, research to implementation”, presenting conclusions of the 4th March 2015 Berlin workshop on P-recycling.

The workshop was organised by the European Commission, P-REX and ESPP parallel to the ESPC2 (2nd European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference) and brought together 80 participants and 28 nutrient recycling projects (see list below). Initiatives present included R&D and demonstration projects funded by the EU (FP7, LIFE+, InterReg) as well as national funded projects and industry initiatives.

The workshop noted that some processes are already at the commercial production scale, e.g. processing manure to organic fertiliser, calcium silicate filter media for diffuse farm P-removal, struvite recovery, EcoPhos P-recovery from manure and sludge ash.

Participants underlined the need for policy support for phosphorus recycling and coherent interpretation of pertinent EU and national legislation as preconditions for widespread implementation.

The workshop identified the following R&D needs:
•    Phosphorus flow studies (mass flows, characteristics), to identify points for P-recovery implementation
•    Social science (attitudes, acceptance, choices) to accompany P-recycling implementation
•    Actions covering the whole value-chain, from P-recovery to market of recycled P products
•    Detection & risk assessment of organic contaminants in sewage sludge and recovered nutrient products
•    Full-scale demonstration projects
•    R&D to support standards, BAT, product criteria, best practices
•    Coherency and interpretation of EU and national legislation
•    Regional approaches and adapting to specific local situations or niche markets
•    Clustering of projects and networking to enhance impact on policy, improve synergy and mutual learning and facilitate market uptake

“Circular approaches to phosphorus: from research to deployment”, 48 pages, European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation 2015, ISBN 978-92-79-46827-8 See also SCOPE Newsletter n° 113.

Kemira waste water treatment plant

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