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 Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>