From bioindustry waste to premium fertilisers

In the project ‘Chemical recycling: from bio-based raw materials to safe, clean, and efficient fertilisers‘ we aim to develop a process to reclaim important nutrients from bioindustry waste, turning them into high-quality fertilisers with well-defined chemistry and application areas.

Bioindustries in the pulp and paper, food, forestry, and animal sectors produce a lot of materials with important nutrients like potassium and phosphorus, essential for life but often wasted because of heavy metal contamination. 

Many such streams are landfilled due to contamination with heavy metals, while others are spread on land as low-quality fertilisers. Both are not optimal solutions. Chemical processing to convert these materials into commercial compounds comes with many advantages and significantly improves the sustainability of bio-based technologies.

In this project "Chemical recycling: from bio-based raw materials to safe, clean, and efficient fertilisers", we will develop a robust process to decontaminate materials and wastes from the aforementioned bioindustries and recover highly desired potassium and phosphorus fertilisers with well-defined chemistry and application areas.

Validation of the recovered fertilisers will be done by stakeholders and will include growth tests, quality, and performance assessments. A thorough market analysis, LCA and implementation plan will be done to speed up the commercialisation of the developed technology.

Project goals:

  • Characterising bio-based materials from various industries to evaluate nutrient recovery potential.
  • Developing an efficient chemical process for high-purity fertiliser recovery and assessing its feasibility.
  • Conducting assessment and validation of fertilisers with stakeholders.
  • Performing market analysis to assess technical, business potential, and limitations.
  • Conducting a life cycle assessment focusing on environmental impact and comparing with virgin fertiliser production.

Expected results:

  • A robust chemical solution for high-yield potassium recovery from biomaterials.
  • Technology delivering clean commercial fertilizers like potassium sulfate.
  • Validation trials proving functional equivalence to mined counterparts.
  • Conceptual framework for bioindustries as circular resource hubs.
  • Market analysis for commercial viability.
  • Life cycle assessment demonstrating reduced environmental footprint.
  • Achieving technology readiness level 5, market readiness level 6, and sustainability readiness level 5 by project end.