A circular solution for phosphorus fertiliser

If we are serious about transforming to a circular economy, we need to reuse already sourced raw materials as often as possible. This is particularly true about raw materials that are finite and cannot be replaced, such as phosphorus.

Phosphorus, one of the key nutrients in mineral fertiliser, is crucial for agriculture to be able to produce enough food. But Europe is dependent on phosphorus from mines in a few other countries. This leads to large climate emissions, creates great supply risk, and makes the EU vulnerable to wild price fluctuations.

EasyMining focuses on technologies for the recovery and recycling of nutrients. This is why we have developed Ash2Phos, a circular solution for recovering phosphorus from the sewage sludge that forms in large quantities at wastewater treatment plants.


Circular phosphorus

EasyMining’s Ash2Phos process extracts phosphorus from the ash of sewage sludge after incineration, along with other commodities such as iron and aluminium. It can recover more than 90% of the phosphorus present in the ash.

The phosphorus content in sewage sludge ash is many times higher than that of phosphate rock. The potential in putting it to use is enormous. By separating out the metals in the ash, the Ash2Phos technology enables domestic production of cleaner, safer phosphorus.

Phosphate rock, the standard raw material for the production of phosphorus fertiliser, is a finite resource. It is also often contaminated with high levels of heavy metals like cadmium and uranium. Today, these toxic substances are not completely separated out during the production process and tend to end up in the fertiliser being spread on farmland.

By incinerating the sewage sludge and treating the ash with the Ash2Phos technology, undesirable substances are either destroyed or separated out for disposal. The final product contains next to no contaminants.


Germany at the forefront of recovering phosphorus from sewage sludge

EasyMining is in the process of setting up a plant for recovering phosphorus in Schkopau, Germany, together with the German utility company Gelsenwasser.

Germany was early to mandate phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge or sludge ash. After a transitional period, all larger wastewater treatment plants are required to make sure that the phosphorus from their sludge is circulated. With more than 1.7 million tonnes (dry solids) per year, Germany is one of the largest producers of sewage sludge in Europe, providing a major potential for phosphorus recovery using circular methods like Ash2Phos.

For more information, please contact:

Jan Svärd

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+46 (0)70 978 64 74

Christian Kabbe
Managing Director EasyMining Germany

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+49 176 61537926