Recycling of Plant Fertilizer, Focusing on Phosphorus (Phosphorus Recycling)
Main objective of the funding activity is to develop, to test and to compare technologies of phophorus recovery and other fertilizer from waste ressources respectively from municipal wastewater, sludge and other suitable secondary raw materials.
Phosphorus is an indispensible component of mineral fertilizers and therefore a crucial basis for securing the agricultural food production. According to current knowledge, however the global and economically accessible supplies of phosphates are going to decline within the next 100 years.
Germany is completely dependent on the import of rock phosphates. In the years and decades to come, the global need for phosphorus will considerably increase due to global population growth. Therefore, rising prices up to distribution conflicts are to be expected.
Since Germany has no own phosphate deposits, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched the funding initiative "Closed-cycle management of plant nutrients, especially phosphorous" in 2004.
Subject of the funding measure is the testing and comparing of novel, i.e. not yet applied techniques and methods for the recovery of phosphorus and, if possible, of other plant nutrients from waste resources (in particular from municipal sewage and sludge and other suitable secondary raw materials).