Project: Phosphorus and magnesium recovery from waste streams for production of high-value renewable fertilizers

Acronym PHOSTER (Reference Number: JTC-2021_077)
Project Topic To comply with sustainable development goals, fertilizers and related supply chains based on primary raw materials are considered a major challenge in terms of sustainability and security of supply. Similar challenges are emerging also within established waste-management practices, revolving around increasing adoption of wastewater sludge incineration across EU as well as extensive disposal of mining by products. PHOSTER tackles these challenges simultaneously and delivers a sustainable, replicable and scalable circular economy solution (TRL 4) for the recovery of secondary minerals and metals from incinerated sludge ashes and mining industry by-products to substitute primary critical raw materials (phosphate rock, phosphorus, magnesium) in the manufacturing of fertilisers. The methodology is based on an integrated assessment of the production process for high value finished product recovery aimed at optimising technical, economic, environmental, and social performance of the production process and recovered products already from the inception phase onwards. The redeveloped concept for critical material recovery on which PHOSTER focuses encompasses co-precipitation of phosphorus extracted from mono-incinerated sewage sludge and magnesium-rich mining by-products for recovery of nutrient-rich material. All relevant stakeholders (i.e., waste producers and managers, mining industry, fertiliser manufacturers, technology developers, experts in sustainability. PHOSTER aims to (i) develop a new manufacturing route for high-value secondary resources in fertiliser industry obtained from waste streams, (ii) improve the environmental performance of sewage sludge disposal by introducing a circular loop closure through sustainable recycling of phosphorus to the food chain, (ii) improve the environmental performance of involved production chains, and (iv) create locally replicable circular supply chain.
Network ERA-MIN3
Call ERA-MIN3 Joint Call 2021

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Politecnico di Milano Coordinator Italy
2 University of Ljubljana Partner Slovenia
3 Timac Agro Italia S.p.A. Partner Italy
4 Magnesitas Navarras, S.A. Partner Spain
5 REA Dalmine SpA Partner Italy
6 MM Spa Partner Italy