BAM@Hannover Messe: Phosphorus Recycling from Sewage Sludge for Fertilisers of the Future
25.04.2018. (Almost) nothing works without phosphorus: all living creatures need this nutrient and must absorb it from their food. Although phosphorus is a valuable raw material and its supply is limited, large amounts of it are landfilled in sewage sludge ash. The Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) is developing thermochemical processes that can recover this nutrient from sewage sludge ash for reuse in fertilisers – very much in the sense of sustainable use. BAM is presenting its latest research results at the Hannover Messe in Hall 2, Stand C 51.
„Thermally treated sewage sludge is particularly well-suited for recovering phosphorus because sewage sludge ash contains high concentrations of this nutrient and can easily be recycled,“ explained BAM scientist Dr. Christian Adam. Together with his team, he is developing processes for phosphorus recycling for BAM’s Thermochemical Residues Treatment and Resource Recovery division.
After-treatment of sewage sludge ash at temperatures of just below 1000 degrees Celsius provides several advantages: The resulting fertiliser source material does not contain any organic pollutants e.g. drug residues because they are destroyed at high temperatures. Compared to conventional mineral fertilisers, the exposure to metals such as cadmium or uranium is significantly lower.
Environmentally friendly and suited to the purpose: fertilisers of the future
The phosphorus-containing source material recovered from sewage sludge ash is not water-soluble but can be readily taken up by plants. Both properties are beneficial for use in fertilisers because the nutrient lands where it is needed: in the plant and not in groundwater. „In the future fertilisers should release the nutrients in sync with plant growth,“ emphasised Christian Adam. „Our thermochemically treated sewage sludge ash can play an important role in the development of this new product generation.“
Christian Adam and his team have been cooperating with international partners for many years on the topic fertilisers of the future and their collaboration has led to joint patents with industrial companies.
BAM at the Hanover Messe 2018
At the BAM stand C 51 in Hall 2 Research & Technology visitors can receive additional information about this topic.
For more information about what BAM is presenting at the Hannover Messe, please visit www.bam.de/hannovermesse_en.
Venio Quinque, M.A., LL.M./LL.B.
Head of Section Corporate Communications
Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (BAM)
Unter den Eichen 87
T: + 49 30 8104-1002
F: + 49 30 8104-71002
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