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Phosphorus is an important raw material. This chemical element is unable to be produced synthetically and practically all of the phosphorus used in Europe has to be imported. REMONDIS has developed some pioneering processes to supply agricultural and industrial businesses with this substance – processes that are already being used and proving to be highly successful.
The German government has decided that sewage sludge should no longer be spread on fields as a fertiliser and that the phosphorus and other nutrients should be recovered from the sludge instead. This decision to stop sewage sludge being used as a fertiliser is controversial. Everyone, however, agrees that efforts to recover and recycle phosphorus must be increased. This is underlined by the findings of a study published recently by the trend:research institute on the future of sewage sludge recycling. According to the study, the research and development work carried out in the area of phosphorus recycling will play a decisive role in how this market will develop in the future.
Around 2 million tonnes of dewatered sewage sludge is generated in Germany every year which contains approx. 60,000 tonnes of phosphorus
Around 2 million tonnes of dewatered sewage sludge is generated in Germany every year which contains approx. 60,000 tonnes of phosphorus. A significant amount, therefore, which could be recovered and recycled – especially as natural reserves around the world are gradually being depleted and the quality of these reserves is deteriorating rapidly. REMONDIS has been looking into this subject for many years now and has developed a number of processes that are creating the groundwork and setting standards for recovering phosphorus. Its intention here is to enable the phosphorus to be used as a fertiliser as well as for it to be supplied to industrial businesses as valuable phosphates.
Thanks to the TetraPhos® process, today’s sewage treatment plants will be supplying tomorrow’s raw materials
The company’s TetraPhos® process demonstrates REMONDIS’ approach to this issue perfectly. Thanks to its patented system, high quality phosphoric acid can be produced from sewage sludge ash. This acid can be used to create phosphate compounds that, in turn, can be used to make fertiliser or animal feed or sent on to the chemicals and metal industry for manufacturing a whole range of different products. Besides the phosphoric acid, the TetraPhos® system also generates gypsum for the building supplies trade and iron and aluminium salts for treating wastewater. A further advantage: TetraPhos® can be operated on an industrial scale making it particularly cost effective.