Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wastewater – a recyclable resource!

26.09.2012
European joint research project P-REX has started to foster phosphorus recovery systems

Wastewater is not simply waste. Besides a considerable amount of energy, the sludge produced during wastewater treatment contains also a number of vital nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.

For this reason, it has been a longstanding tradition to use sewage sludge as agricultural fertiliser. This method however, is hotly debated in the meanwhile, since besides valuable nutrients, also heavy metals or organic trace substance may occur, which should not find their way into food chains.

As a consequence, nowadays mainly artificial fertiliser is used for agricultural purposes. In this context, a problem has arisen due to the fact that the added phosphorus, which is mined in the form of phosphate rock in only few regions worldwide, e.g. China or Morocco, is a finite resource. The commodity markets have reacted accordingly in recent years: In 2006, the markets valued 1 tonne of phosphate rock to around € 35. Since then, the phosphate prices have increased manifold, and continues to trend upward.

90% of the phosphate rock used in Europe is imported. Germany imports 120.000 tons of these plant nutrients in the form of mineral fertiliser per year.

At the same time, wastewaters contain around 70.000 tons of phosphorus which is not used in most cases. The targeted recycling of phosphorus from wastewater could cover up to 60% of the demand in Germany. Numerous methods have been developed in the frame of pilot projects, but none of them has allowed for a large scale implementation. According to Andreas Hartmann, Managing Director of Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin, this is due to the fact that the research activities carried out so far have rather focused on phosphorus yield than on the practical feasibility of the methods applied.

The priorities are to be changed now. The European research initiative P-REX, which is coordinated by Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin, is intended to assist with advancing the development of efficient technological solutions for recycling phosphorus from sewage sludge throughout Europe.

In close cooperation with partners from science, industry sectors and agricultural professionals, the best practice recycling methods will be evaluated. Besides different technical solutions, these methods explicitly include also the direct use of wastewater in agriculture. The project aims to increase the recycling rate of phosphorus from wastewater to 80 %. In addition to the evaluation of the phosphorus yield, systematic investigations will also be carried out on the fertilising effect of the recycling products. Furthermore, the market potential of the individual recycling schemes and recycling products will be analysed.

The project consortium comprises 15 partners from seven European countries, among then nine SMEs. The project has an overall budget of € 4.4 million covering a period of three years, and will be supported by the EU with € 2.9 million.

P-Rex at a glance:

Project title:
Sustainable sewage sludge management fostering phosphorous recycling and energy efficiency (P-REX)

Volume:
€4.4 million, project duration 3 years; EU contribution €2.9 million

Consortium:
15 partners from 7 countries, including 9 SMEs.

Aims:
Demonstration and systematic validation of technical processes and plants; systematic evaluation of recycling products with regard to their fertilising effects; market potential analysis of recycling technology and recycling products; development of strategies for phosphorus recovery form wastewaters taking into consideration regional conditions

Web:
http://www.p-rex.eu

Coordination:
Dr. Christian Kabbe
christian.kabbe@kompetenz-wasser.de

Consortium:
Agro Plus Handelsunternehmen eU (Austria); ASIO, spol. s r.o. (Czech Republic); BSH Umweltservice AG (Switzerland); Berliner Wasserbetriebe (associated Partner)(Germany); BAM Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (Germany); Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (Switzerland); Ingitec GmbH (Germany); IASP atr Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany); Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH (Germany); LimCo International GmbH (Germany); Outotec Oy (Finland); P.C.S. Pollution Control Service GmbH (Germany); PFI Planungsgemeinschaft GbR (Germany); Proman Management GmbH (Austria); Solintel M&P, S.L. (Spain); Veolia Eau (France)

Dr.-Ing. Bodo Weigert | idw
Further information:
http://www.p-rex.eu
http://www.kompetenz-wasser.de

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>