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The 3rd European Nutrient Event (ENE3) will take place at the ECOMONDO 2018 green technology expo, 8 - 9 November 2018, Rimini, Italy
www.smart-plant.eu/ENE3 Rimini, on the Adriatic coast, is 1h45 train from Bologna airport and 2h10 train from Milan central.

Day1: phosphorus and nutrient recycling in Italy and the Mediterranean region, the new Italian Phosphorus Project.
Day 2: new nutrient recycling R&D projects, updates on current major projects, nutrient management in Horizon Europe, potential “Mission on Nutrients”.

Register here:
www.eventbrite.it/e/3rd-european-nutrient-event-registration-49310903239 (free ECOMONODO ticket included)

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

Please subscribe www.phosphorusplatform.eu/Subscribe 
Link to www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews026
Download as PDF

Register for the 3rd European Nutrient Event
Regulatory and policy
Progress on STRUBIAS and Fertilisers Regulation
Reference on regulations on anaerobic digestion and nutrient recovery
Sweden introduces atmospheric nitrogen emissions tax
New ESPP Member
PEGaSus project – phosphorus in the poultry and pig value chain
Success stories
Ostara announces further struvite recovery installations
Fertilisers and biostimulants from animal by-product processing
LKAB and EasyMining to test recovery from iron ore mine waste
Mavitec EcoChar from manures and other organic materials
Research
WETSUS ViviMag iron(II) phosphate recovery (vivianite)
Need for EU soil protection legislation and greener CAP
Antibiotics in pig manure and transfer to struvite, China
Excess magnesium in certain struvite can inhibit maize
Report on demand trends for Critical Raw Materials
Over half of China arable fertiliser application is surplus
Czech Republic Phosphorus Platform project
EWWM12: challenges of waste water phosphorus management
Facing tomorrow’s phosphorus discharge consents
Innovative biological sewage treatment processes
Reducing ferric handling and CAPEX costs
Priority substances, pharmaceuticals, etc.
EWWM conference conclusions
Stay informed
GPDR & privacy policy
ESPP Members
 

The PeGaSus research project (Phosphorus efficiency in the chicken Gallus gallus and pig Sus scrofa), 2017-2020, will look at the fate of phosphorus in livestock production (in fodder, animals, microbiota, manure slurry, soil and water), model phosphorus management strategies and policy measures, carry out livestock trials of different feed strategies and alternative phosphorus feed sources and laboratory studies to characterise biological factors impacting phosphorus utilisation, assess phosphorus recycling potential (manure, bone meal), model phosphorus deficient/surplus areas within selected eutrophication Sensitive Areas, and propose policy measures to reduce phosphorus losses and increase recycling. PEGaSus is a project within the European Research Area NETwork on Sustainable Animal Production (ERA-NET SusAn), a network of 36 national research councils, national food and food safety agencies or similar, agricultural ministries and other organisations, which pool funds for transnational calls for research into sustainable animal production.

PEGaSus www.pegasus.fbn-dummerstorf.de and www.sei.org/projects-and-tools/projects/pegasus-phosphorus-management-eu SusAn (European Research Area on Sustainable Animal Production) www.era-susan.eu

The ESPP catalogue of nutrient recycling and stewardship research, development and innovation projects has been updated and can be downloaded here.

Please put your R&D project to the list, complete gaps and send corrections if necessary and send you input to

You can find complete information about the ESPP R&D activities at our R&D website section: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/R&D

The ESPP stakeholder meeting, Brussels, 5th September 2018, showed a shared concern that the new EU Fertilisers Regulation be rapidly finalised. The meeting also showed general satisfaction with progress on many questions on STRUBIAS, that is the proposed EU-fertiliser criteria for recovered phosphate salts, ashes, biochars (which should be integrated into the new Fertilisers Regulation once this is adopted). Presentations by Fertilisers Europe (mineral fertilisers), ECOFI (organo-mineral fertilisers), Growing Media Europe and EFPRA (animal by products) outlined the importance of the new Fertilisers Regulation for the Circular Economy, progress made, and the need to resolve some outstanding questions (by-products, conformity assessment procedures, …). Companies and industry federations present called on ESPP to catalyse joint action to ask decision makers (European Parliament, Member States in Council) to finalise the Fertilisers Regulation, because companies need it to enable development of new recycled nutrient products and to remove obstacles to placing Circular Economy fertilising products on the market. The importance of maintaining the European Commission “delegation” to adjust Regulation annexes to take into account innovation and new data was underlined by all. Workshop discussions between stakeholders and a webinar with direct dialogue with JRC Seville underlined the considerable positive progress made in the new “Pre-Final” STRUBIAS report (online at www.phosphorusplatform.eu) and identified some significant outstanding questions: need to not exclude Cat1 Animal By-Product Ash (this would block a major phosphorus recycling route which is today operational in the UK, Portugal, The Netherlands, Switzerland …), sewage sludge as input to biochar/pyrolysis/gasification (need for data to show safe elimination of organic contaminants), absence of justification for 3% organic carbon limit for recovered phosphate salts (for coherence, refer instead to limits for “Mineral” and “Low-Carbon” fertilisers in PFCs), proposals for clarification of wording to make understanding easier for industry and users. One important question raised has much wider impacts for implementation of the new Fertilisers Regulation. JRC proposes definitions of “derivates” and “intermediates”, that is chemical processing of a recovered material to produce a fertilising product. This is essential, as was emphasised by ESPP in response to the first STRUBIAS proposals last year: safety criteria for ashes used directly on fields (which must be safe and have agronomic value, e.g. animal by-product disposal ash, poultry manure ash) are different from criteria for ash which is chemically reprocessed (contaminants removed, nutrient forms modified). JRC’s proposal is very positive, but dialogue is needed with industry and legal experts to ensure that the wording is legally unambiguous and compatible with real case examples of recycling – production processes and chemicals used.

JRC “Pre-Final” report and proposed Fertilisers Regulation criteria for recovered phosphate salts and derivates (including struvite), for thermal oxidation materials and derivates (ashes) and for pyrolysis & gasification materials (including biochars). Available for comment at www.phosphorusplatform.eu Deadline for input = final STRUBIAS working group meeting, Sevilla, 25th September. Working Group Members (only) can submit comments until 14th September. So you should ensure that you get your comments to Working Group Members (e.g. ESPP) before then (comments should specify to which line number of report they refer).

JRC webinar presentation, speakers slides and key points from STRUBIAS stakeholders workshops on phosphate salts, biochars and ash criteria: www.phosphorusplatform.eu

Comments on STRUBIAS Pre-Final Report to:

The European Commission has opened a public consultation, to 19th October 2018, on how the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWT 91/271/EEC) has affected sewage collection and treatment and contributed to the quality of water bodies and the environment. The objectives are to gather general public views and also expert opinion and detailed information, in addition to the first consultation which took place already in 2017. ESPP will respond to the consultation, based on our input to this first consultation (9/11/2017). We invite you to both respond directly online to the EU consultation and send any comments to ESPP to include in our input (comments on our 2017 input)


EU “Public consultation on the Evaluation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive” open to 19th October 2018 https://ec.europa.eu/info/consultations/public-consultation-evaluation-urban-waste-water-treatment-directive_en

ESPP input to 2017 consultation on the UWWT Directive www.phosphorusplatform.eu/images/download/ESPP-input-UWWTD-consultation-SUBMITTED-TEXT%209_11_17.pdf

ESPP has commissioned an independent journalist to prepare an outline “Mission” on nutrients, to input to the EU FP9 (Horizon Europe) R&D programme preparation process. This document is based on input received from stakeholders consulted by SYSTEMIC, Biorefine, ESPP, ESPC3 and INMS (international nitrogen management system). The two page synthesis was submitted to the European Commission on 20th July 2018 in order to start discussion, and aims to provide an accessible overview, for strategic consideration in the EU programme content definition process. You are invited to already contact your National R&D Contact Points (list here: https://erc.europa.eu/national-contact-points) to ask them to support towards the EU the inclusion of nutrients in FP9 Horizon Europe. Input and comment is welcome to adjust and develop this nutrients Mission proposal.

“Proposal for a Horizon Europe mission on nutrients. Grand challenge: Healthy people and planet. Mission: To halve the nutrient footprint of food by 2030, for more resilient farms, healthier diets and a better environment” www.phosphorusplatform.eu/R&D Comments and input welcome to

European Commission proposed legislative text for FP9 Horizon Europe, 7th June 2018
https://ec.europa.eu/info/designing-next-research-and-innovation-framework-programme/what-shapes-next-framework-programme_en

On 1st June 2018, the European Commission published the legislative proposal for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020. Objectives are announced as fairer funding targeting (including limiting payments to 100 000 € per farm), higher environment and climate action objectives (in particular: preserving carbon rich soils such as wetlands, obligatory farm nutrient management tool, crop rotation) and tighter food safety (reducing pesticides, antibiotics). Art. 3 fixes that Member States shall establish a system of “Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients” and this is specified in Annex III “Rules of conditionality” (GAEC 5) – see detail below. The payment conditionality requirements (Annex III) also include (SMR 1) respect of the EU Water Framework Directive (and specifically “Article 11(3)(e) and Article 11(3)(h) as regards mandatory requirements to control diffuse sources of pollution by phosphates”) and (SMR 2) respect of the EU Nitrates Directive, as well as (GAEC 4) buffer strips (both within and outside Nitrate Directive Vulnerable Zones), tillage management (GAEC 6) and no bare soil in most sensitive periods (GAEC 7). Nutrients are also included in the CAP indicators (Annex I): “I.15 Improving water quality: Gross nutrient balance on agricultural land” and “1.16 Reducing nutrient leakage: Nitrate in ground water - Percentage of ground water stations with N concentration over 50 mg/l as per the Nitrate directive”.

In Annex III, footnote 2, it is specified that the Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients “shall provide at least for the following elements and functionalities”:

a) Elements

  • Relevant farm information based on LPIS and IACS (Integrated Administration and Control System and Land Parcel Identification System);
  • Information from the soil sampling, on an appropriate spatial and temporal scale;
  • Information on relevant management practices, crop history, and yield goals;
  • Indications regarding legal limits and requirements relevant to farm nutrients management;
  • A complete nutrient budget.

b) Functionalities

  • Automatic integration of data from various sources (LPIS and IACS, farmer-generated data, soil analyses etc.) as far as possible, to avoid data input duplication for farmers;
  • Two-way communication between PA/MAs and farmers allowed;
  • Modularity and possibility to support further sustainability objectives (e.g. emissions management, water management)
  • Respect of EU data inter-operability, openness and re-use principles;
  • Guarantees for data security and privacy in line with best current standards.

The CAP legislative proposal will now go to discussion by European Parliament and Council, a process in which stakeholders (including ESPP) will make input and representations.

 

* Annex III conditionality definitions: SMR = Statutory Management Requirement and GAEC = Standards for good agricultural and environmental condition of land
Legislative text proposal for a Regulation “establishing rules on support for strategic plans to be drawn up by Member States under the Common agricultural policy (CAP Strategic Plans) and financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) …” COM(2018) 392 final and 2018/0216 (COD), 1st June 2018 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM%3A2018%3A392%3AFIN and presentation page https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/future-cap_en

The European Commission JRC has circulated the pre-final STRUBIAS report, proposing EU Fertilisers Regulation criteria for phosphate salts and struvite, biochars - pyrolysis and gasification materials, and thermal oxidation materials (ashes). JRC has circulated the report to members of the official STRUBIAS Working Group and it can be consulted on the ESPP website here. It will be presented and discussed, as well as an update on the EU Fertilisers Regulation proposal, at the stakeholder meeting organised by ESPP in Brussels on 5th September. Please note that JRC will only accept comments on this report from members of the STRUBIAS Working Group (this includes: ESPP, DPP and several other ESPP members), so we invite comments to by 3rd September latest.

This “pre-final” report (450 pages …) includes report, annexes, market study and (pages 34-39) proposals for CMC requirements, labelling and conformity assessment for EU Fertiliser label eligibility of STRUBIAS materials (and for materials derived from them). The 450-page document was circulated on 13th August, and ESPP is now only starting its analysis. Many of the comments made on the “interim” and “market” reports of 2017 are taken into account and JRC has clearly done a lot of work to do this. ESPP wishes to express our recognition and appreciation of this. Many aspects of the proposed criteria for the STRUBIAS materials are considerably different from the 2017 version, taking into account comments, and in ESPP’s view greatly improved. ESPP already notes the following proposals (as we understand it so far … our analysis is still underway):

  • Sewage and sewage sludge are accepted as input materials for phosphate salts and for ashes, but not for biochars;
  • Raw manure is accepted as input substrate for all three STRUBIAS materials;
  • For all phosphate salts and all ashes, the criteria are widened to include “derivate” materials, that is: not only direct use of e.g. struvite or ash onto fields as a fertiliser or liming material (after granulation or blending), but also use of these materials as inputs to fertiliser production processes (with chemical processing);
  • This chemical processing can include reaction with any “intermediate” (as defined in REACH: any substance produced for and consumed in chemical processing to produce another substance), without any specific (additional) REACH registration requirements for these intermediate chemicals;
  • Phosphate salts (e.g. struvite) precipitated from industrial wastewaters (e.g. fertiliser industry, phosphate rock processing, biofuel production…) appear to be excluded;
  • No nutrient plant availability criteria are specified for any of the STRUBIAS materials – this avoids duplicating the proposed Fertiliser Regulation product function categories (PFC) criteria which define such criteria for fertilisers (or neutralising and reactivity criteria for liming materials);
  • Minimum phosphorus content of phosphate salts = 16% P2O5, maximum organic carbon = 3%, minimum dry matter = 90%;
  • Maximum iron + aluminium content of phosphate salts = 10% (Fe+Al);
  • Cat1 Animal By-Product ash is excluded, despite being a known, effective, safe and significantly used fertiliser product;
  • For most ashes, the only specific contaminant limits (beyond those applicable to all products in PFCs) are limits for chlorine, for PAH (poly aromatic hydrocarbons) and for dioxins (PCDD/F);
  • Similarly, the only specific limits for pyrolysis materials are chlorine, PAHs, dioxins and PCBs;
  • A PAH limit is fixed for phosphate salts precipitated from sewage;
  • No minimum temperature is defined for biochar – pyrolysis – gasification processes: the H/Corg ratio < 0.7 (under specified testing conditions) is considered sufficient to show that the process ensures pyrolysis;
  • All three STRUBIAS materials will be under Module D1 (Annex IV) conformity assessment procedure, that is production process quality assurance system is required, with a quality control system which is validated by a national notified body.

The above are points initially identified by ESPP. These remain to be verified and completed, for which your input is important. Overall, the report concludes that “many STRUBIAS materials provide plants with nutrients, especially P, with a similar agronomic efficiency to mined phosphate rock and processed P-fertilisers”, that they provide an “added value material” for both conventional European agriculture and organic farming, and that they offer the potential to replace 17-31% of mineral phosphate fertilisers” in Europe.


“Pre-final STRUBIAS Report. DRAFT STRUBIAS recovery rules and market study for precipitated phosphate salts & derivates, thermal oxidation materials & derivates and pyrolysis & gasification materials in view of their possible inclusion as Component Material Categories in the Revised Fertiliser Regulation”, European Commission (JRC), circulated 13th August 2018, download online at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory comments to ESPP by 3rd September 2018 and discussion at stakeholders meeting Brussels and webinar 5th September www.eventbrite.ca/e/eu-fertilisers-regulation-and-strubias-tickets-47156434164

 

Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).

Please subscribe www.phosphorusplatform.eu/Subscribe 
Link to www.phosphorusplatform.eu/eNews024
Download as PDF

 
Upcoming ESPP events
Calls for information and input
Data on recycled nutrient products from manures for JRC study
Global call for a science initiative on phosphorus
Meetings
EFPRA Congress: phosphorus in animal by-products
IWAMA Nutrient Reduction and Recovery workshop
Policy & regulation
Sweden enquiry into sewage sludge use and P-recovery
Member States warned of legal action over Water Framework Directive
HELCOM Ministerial Declaration commits to nutrient recycling strategy
Germany condemned by European Court for nitrates pollution
Netherlands Nitrate Directive exemption renewed
EU Waste legislation updated
Circular Economy in EU Cohesion Funding
Netherlands refuses subsidy to biogas nitrogen recycling project
Research and projects
Open and upcoming EU research funding calls related to nutrients
Improving sewage biosolids quality
SYSTEMIC recycled nutrient product Fact Sheets open for comment
Pondus plans nutrient recovery pilot plant
Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Economy for Food in Cities
Nano calcium phosphates inhibit cancer cell proliferation.
Stay informed
GPDR & privacy policy
ESPP Members

 

Upcoming ESPP events

Stakeholders meeting on EU Fertilisers Regulation and STRUBIAS
(phosphate salts, biochars, ash-based products), including webinar with JRC on STRUBIAS final draft report (TBC)
Wednesday 5th September 2018, 9h00 - 17h15, Brussels (webinar 14h - 15h30)
Registration: www.eventbrite.ca/e/eu-fertilisers-regulation-and-strubias-tickets-47156434164


3rd European Nutrient Event at ECOMONDO 2018 green technology expo
8 - 9 November 2018
, Rimini, Italy - Website
Phosphorus and nutrient recycling and management in Italy, the Mediterranean region and in EU research, development and innovation.

 
See more events at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/upcoming-events
 

Calls for information and input

Data on recycled nutrient products from manures for JRC study

Please be reminded of the call for data on processed manures to input to the EU Commission / JRC study for the Nitrates Directive. Please send – as soon as possible - any data relevant to nutrient leaching, agronomic performance, LCA or quality/safety of recycled nutrient products. Also, we remind of the JRC call for manure runoff field test site candidates.
Submission of existing data or publications on nutrients or contaminants in runoff or groundwater following application of manure, processed manure or biosolids – as soon as possible, and by end August latest – to SYSTEMIC and ESPP If product or trial information is confidential, please contact these emails so that we can arrange direct transfer under confidentiality agreement to JRC. See www.phosphorusplatform.eu/scope-in-print/news/1700-call-for-data-jrc-nitrates-directive-study
Deadline to propose field sampling sites to JCR = 31st August 2018 to “Call for participation in an EU-wide monitoring campaign of manure” https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/science-update/call-participation-eu-wide-monitoring-campaign-manure
See www.phosphorusplatform.eu/scope-in-print/news/1701-jrc-call-for-manure-runoff-field-test

Global call for a science initiative on phosphorus

Launched by the “Our Phosphorus Future” project with support from United Nations Environment. Read the text of this global call and sign up at www.opfglobal.com
 

Meetings

EFPRA Congress: phosphorus in animal by-products

About 400 animal by-products processing professionals met at the annual EFPRA Congress (European Fat Processors and Renderers Association), Barcelona, 20-23 June. Sebastian Csaki, International Feed Industry Federation presented GFLI, indicated that around one billion tonnes of animal feeds are produced annually, with considerable international trade dependency: e.g. the EU only produces around 42% of its animal feed protein needs, the rest is imported (in particular soya). The Global Feed LCA Initiative “Global metrics for sustainable feed” aims to develop recognised LCA data to respond to global purchasers’ and regulators’ demands for information. The system is backed by FAO Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership (LEAP) and is EU PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) compliant. ESPP summarised objectives for sustainable phosphorus management, and outlined implications of the new EU Fertilisers Regulation for the rendering industry. Questions and discussion showed the interest of renderers to accelerate the inclusion of ABP products into the Fertilisers Regulation (CMC11, STRUBIAS), in particular to confirm that Cat1 derived ash (after ABP End Point incineration) can be used as fertilisers, to ensure the inclusion of Cat2 and Cat3 derived fertilisers products in the Regulation (see e.g. SARIA France below). Other challenges include enabling more flexible use of bovine-derived protein products in animal feeds, where safety has been demonstrated. Marius van Krimpen, Wageningen University & Research presented EFPRA supported studies showing that pig PAP (processed animal protein, see SCOPE Newsletter n°122) can replace 20% (finishing) - 40% (starter) of soya in broiler chicken diet with positive impacts on growth and no negative impacts on bird health.
EFPRA congress website www.efpra.eu/congress-2018
ESPP presentation at EFPRA congress www.slideshare.net/NutrientPlatform/circular-economy-opportunities-and-challenges-for-abps-in-fertilisers-efpra-congress-2018-european-fat-processors-and-renderers-association-56-september-2018

IWAMA Nutrient Reduction and Recovery workshop                                       

The IWAMA Interreg project (2016-2019) aims at improving the resource efficiency and sludge handling in wastewater management of the Baltic Sea Region, with consortium members in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden. The project seminar in Kalmar, Sweden, 14th June 2018, looked at different technologies for nutrient recovery and recycling including overviews by Matthias Barjenbruch, Technical University of Berlin, Germany, and by Ludwig Hermann, Proman, ESPP President. Technology presentations included PCS Airprex (struvite recovery), PONDUS (N-recovery from sludge by thermos-chemical sludge hydrolysis, improved biogas production and vacuum degassing), PAKU (thermal treatment of sludge and use of ash at the NEVE fertiliser plan), Ekobalans (struvite and ammonium sulphate recovery). Also the Finland Ekolaari sewage sludge certification and traceability system was presented, which aims to increase farmer confidence in sewage biosolids used to return organic carbon and nutrients to soil. Other innovative approaches presented included filter-based technologies for nutrient removal and biological solutions such as mussel production.
IWAMA (Interactive Water Management) Interreg project www.iwama.eu
ESPP presentation www.slideshare.net/NutrientPlatform/european-sustainable-phosphorus-platform-history-scope-achievements-iwama-workshop-on-nutrient-reduction-recovery-1315-june-2018

 

Policy & regulation

Sweden enquiry into sewage sludge use and P-recovery

On 13th July, the Swedish Environment Minister, Karolina Skog, announced an enquiry into a possible ban on agricultural use of sewage biosolids and into proposals for a legal requirement for phosphorus recovery for recycling from sewage sludge. The Government suggests that today only 30% of Sweden’s sewage sludge is used in agriculture, whereas the majority goes to landfill or landscaping and states “The aim of the inquiry is to ensure that phosphorus is recycled from sewage sludge in a non-toxic and safe manner and can be used to a greater extent in agriculture”. The Minister cites the problems of pharmaceutical residues, metals and microplastics in sewage sludge, and states that the objective is not to prevent the production of biogas (sludge methanisation). The enquiry will be led by Gunner Holmgren, former Governor of Västernorrland County and Director-General of the Defence Materiel Administration, and experienced in leading government enquiries.
“Inquiry to propose ban on spreading sewage sludge on farmland and a phosphorus recycling requirement”, Swedish Government website 13th July 2018 www.government.se/press-releases/2018/07/inquiry-to-propose-ban-on-spreading-sewage-sludge-on-farmland-and-a-phosphorus-recycling-requirement

Member States warned of legal action over Water Framework Directive

The European Environment Agency’s latest assessment of water quality status across the EU shows that less than 40% of surface waters (rivers, lakes, coastal waters) are achieving good quality status, despite this was the legal objective for 2015 under the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). Very many Member States have applied for exemptions to this obligation, delaying until 2021 or 2028. The biggest pressures on surface waters are hydromorphological modifications (40%), diffuse pollution particularly from agricultural nutrients and pesticides (38%) and atmospheric deposition of chemicals (e.g. mercury) (38%). This is despite important actions taken to address nutrient pollution over recent decades, including a 50% reduction in agricultural phosphorus surpluses from 2000 to 2013 (7% reduction for nitrogen) and even more important reductions in point source emissions through improved sewage collection and treatment. DG Environment has promised a report in November 2018 making clear recommendations to improve implementation of the Water Framework Directive and assessing whether exemptions are really justified, and has indicated that legal actions against Member States will be engaged over implementation failures. The Commission has also announced a public consultation on the Water Framework Directive in September 2018.
“European waters. Assessment of status and pressures 2018”, EEA Report No 7/2018 www.eea.europa.eu/publications/state-of-water/at_download/file

 

HELCOM Ministerial Declaration commits to nutrient recycling strategy

The Baltic Sea Commission (HELCOM: 8 EU Member States, plus Russia and the EU) annual Ministerial Meeting 2018 has committed to elaborate, by 2020, a “Nutrient Recycling Strategy aiming to reduce nutrient inputs to the Baltic Sea”.  The Ministerial Declaration acknowledges progress in reducing Baltic pollution, but reminds that the Baltic is “still heavily affected by eutrophication” and that maximum allowable phosphorus and nitrogen inputs are exceeded in most sub-basins. The Nutrient Recycling Strategy is one of 10 actions agreed, along with eutrophication, hazardous substances, underwater noise, climate change, litter – circular economy, seabed damage, biodiversity, ecosystem approach and governance. The Nutrient Recycling Strategy will focus on measures at source, recycling of nutrients in manure and sewage sludge, ensuring environmentally safe recycling, develop guidance on risk assessment and on technological processes, identify Baltic regional challenges and identify common visions and objectives for nutrient recycling.
HELCOM 2018 Ministerial Declaration, 6 March 2018 www.tinyurl.com/yb4pwfry

Germany condemned by European Court for nitrates pollution

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on 21st June 2018 that Germany is breaking EU law by allowing excessive use of manure as fertiliser, so causing nitrate pollution of groundwater. This follows action against Germany engaged by the European Commission in October 2016. Official data shows that nearly 30% of Germany’s groundwater exceeds the 50 mg nitrate/litre limit set by EU legislation. The ECJ has ruled that despite tighter limits for fertiliser and manure application fixed by Germany’s fertiliser ordinance in 2017, this is not sufficient. The Court states that the Germany ordonnance “allows farmers to over-fertiliser … to exceed the real nitrogen needs of crops, which can result in nitrate inputs to water. This is contradictory to the principle of balanced fertilisation”. The ECJ concludes that the German ordonnance allows excessive application of manure beyond the Nitrates Directive limit of 170 kgN/ha. Germany had claimed that because the nitrogen in manure was mostly in organic form it was unlikely to be rapidly leached to groundwater. The ECJ rejects this argument as supported by no scientific evidence. The ECJ further concludes that German Länder rules in many cases do not oblige farmers to have adequate manure storage facilities (to allow spreading of manure on land only when needed and appropriate). It should be noted that Germany updated its fertiliser ordonnance in 2017 to address the issues raised above. However, a recent study by the University of Kiel for BDEW (German federation of water and energy industries) also concludes that the updated 2017 German fertiliser ordonnance still allows spreading of manure beyond EU legal limits and environmental limits, with “widespread disregard for all agricultural and environmental science-based recommendations”.
European Court of Justice ruling C 543/16 http://curia.europa.eu/juris/celex.jsf?celex=62016CJ0543 (in German or French). BDEW – Kiel University report www.bdew.de/presse/presseinformationen/duenge-verordnung-weitere-nitratbelastungen-vorprogrammiert

Netherlands Nitrate Directive exemption renewed

The European Commission has agreed to extend the Netherlands exemption to Nitrates Directive manure spreading limits, allowing Dutch farms to continue to apply up to 250kgN/ha on grassland, instead of the 170 kgN/ha limit fixed by the Nitrates Directive. However, the exemption will only apply until the end of 2019, whereas the Netherlands requested until end 2021. The Netherlands continues to be obliged to limit total phosphorus and nitrogen in manure production to 2002 levels. The exemption comes with requirements for an “enhanced enforcement strategy”, to be in place by end September 2018, to prevent manure fraud, including an independent assessment of the scale of deliberate non-compliance, enhanced field inspections and controls, and a methodology for establishing “dissuasive penalties and sanctions”. This Commission decision follows approval in December 2017 of the Netherlands Phosphorus Emissions Trading Scheme (see ESPP eNews n°19)
Netherlands Phosphorus Emissions Trading Scheme 19 December 2017 www.europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-5362_en.htm               
European Commission Implementing Decision 31 May 2018 granting a derogation requested by the Netherlands pursuant to Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2018.137.01.0027.01.ENG


 

EU Waste legislation updated

As part of the EU Circular Economy Package, updates of four key EU waste Directives were published on 14th June 2018: Directives on waste, landfill, end of life vehicles and batteries, and packaging waste. Member States will have to recycle 55% of municipal waste by 2025 (and 65% of packaging), rising to 65% by 2035. Bio-wastes will have to be separately collected by 2023 (bio-wastes are defined as “biodegradable garden and park waste, food and kitchen waste from households, offices, caterers, retail, food processing etc. Food waste should be reduced by 50% at the retail and consumer levels by 2030, as well as addressing food waste losses throughout the production and supply chain.
All four updated EU waste Directives: EU Official Journal L150 vol. 61, 14th June 2018 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2018:150:TOC

Circular Economy in EU Cohesion Funding

The European Parliament has adopted a report asking for the development of indicators to assess how EU Cohesion Funds (European Structural and Investment Funds = ESI) contribute to the circular economy and suggesting a significant increase in climate and circular economy related spending in Cohesion Funds. The report highlights “ex-ante conditionalities” of Cohesion Funds such as environment and resource efficiency and requests that the conditionalities be developed to take into account the waste hierarchy and the circular economy. The Parliament proposes that “circular economy” as such be added to the ESI “Intervention Fields”. The need for EU-level taxation and other tools to ensure that secondary materials are market competitive is noted. Synergies between ESI support to the circular economy and actions funded through LIFE, SME funding (COSME) and R&D programmes should be improved. The importance of regional and city actions for the circular economy, and of the bioeconomy are underlined.
European Parliament resolution of 13 June 2018 on cohesion policy and the circular economy (2017/2211(INI)) P8_TA-PROV(2018)0254, (Davor Škrlec report) www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P8-TA-2018-0254&language=EN

Netherlands refuses subsidy to biogas nitrogen recycling project

The Netherlands Government has refused a subsidy to the OCI Nitrogen (fertiliser producer) and Re-N Technology project (Zitta project, Chemelot, Limburg Province, Netherlands). The project would be the biggest biogas plant in the Netherlands, treating 700 000 ton/year of pig manure and producing biogas (40 million m3/year), dried manure pellets and purified water as well as recovering nitrogen. The cost would be around €80 million (plus €10 million to integrate into the existing fertiliser factory). The Netherlands Government Sustainable Energy Regulation (SDE) rejected the subsidy proposal because of “insufficient confidence”, whereas the companies underline that the economic risk in such an ambitious and innovative project is precisely why public support is needed. The companies indicate that they continue to hope to realise this project but consider subsidy necessary.
News (in Dutch) www.processcontrol.nl/oci-nitrogen-krijgt-geen-subsidie-voor-biogasinstallatie and www.ocinitrogen.com/NL/newscenter/Pages/Subsidie-biogasinstallatie-niet-toegekend%20-%20OCI-Nitrogen-en-Re-N-Technology-teleurgesteld-.aspx
 

Research and projects

Open and upcoming EU research funding calls related to nutrients

Several Horizon 2020, INTERREG and LIFE EU research funding calls are open or will be opened soon for which nutrient recycling and stewardship fits in. Seven open calls under Horizon 2020 at this moment are related to the biobased industry (BBI) with a submission deadline soon of 6 September 2018, with two focused specifically on nutrients. One call (BBI.2018.SO1.D2) has a focus on finding solutions to dilution, pollution and content diversity challenges to turn mixed urban bio-waste into sustainable feedstock for the bio-based industry. The other call (BBI.2018.SO3.D4) has a focus on producing biopesticides or bio-based fertilisers as components of sustainable agricultural management plans. The other five calls have more general biobased industry focus. Other interesting Horizon 2020 calls with a focus on nutrients should be published on 16 October 2018, with a submission deadline 23 January 2019. These calls will focus on closing nutrient cycles (CE-RUR-08-2018-2019-2020), high-quality organic fertilisers from biogas digestate (CE-SFS-39-2019), circular bio-based business models for rural communities (CE-RUR-10-2019), integrated water management in small agricultural catchments (SFS-23-2019), and sustainable European aquaculture 4.0 nutrition and breeding (DT-BG-04-2018-2019). A call on building a water-smart economy and society including reuse of wastewater and recovery of nutrients (CE-SC5-04-2019) should open 14 November 2018, submission deadline 19 February 2019. In the same period several calls will be opened with a focus on more sustainably primary and secondary sourcing of critical raw materials (CRMs, e.g. phosphate rock and white phosphorus) and on soil management. INTERREG North Sea region and North West Europe region have submission deadlines in September and November 2018 respectively. The Integrated Projects and Preparatory Projects under the LIFE sub-programmes for Environment have deadlines in September 2018. Horizon 2020 SME instrument has cut-off dates in October, February, May and September. ESPP is interested  to collaborate in existing and upcoming research projects and can help in networking, dissemination and communication activities. Please contact Kimo van Dijk for more information and possibilities (). See our ESPP list of EU research funding calls and also the ESPP list of running and finished EU and national funded nutrients research projects.
ESPP list of EU research funding calls
www.phosphorusplatform.eu/images/download/ESPP-list-nutrient-related-EU-research-funding-calls-2018-07-13.pdf
ESPP research activities and ESPP nutrient related R&D project list www.phosphorusplatform.eu/R&D
Contact for ESPP research, development and innovation activities Kimo van Dijk

Improving sewage biosolids quality

The EU-funded (ERDF, Interreg BSR) project BEST (Better Efficiency for Industrial Sewage Treatment, 2017-2020) will assess the status of industrial wastewater inputs to municipal sewage works in the Baltic Sea region, and make recommendations for process and management improvement. Objectives include to improve sewage biosolids quality by reducing contaminants from industrial discharges (also improving potential for reuse on farmland) and to avoid discharges from industries (including food processing) which can disrupt sewage works operation (by high flows, varying or specific organic contents), so deteriorating the quality of discharge effluent achieved by the sewage works. The project is led by the City of Helsinki and involves 16 organisations in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Poland and Russia.
Best project website https://projects.interreg-baltic.eu/projects/best-119.html


 

SYSTEMIC recycled nutrient product Fact Sheets open for comment

EU Horizon 2020 project SYSTEMIC has published Fact Sheets on four recycled nutrient products derived from manure for use as fertilizers: Ammonium nitrate, Ammonium sulphate, Mineral Concentrate and Struvite. The Fact Sheets outline, for each product, the typical recycling/production process, average chemical and physical composition (e.g. water content, nutrient contents and forms), agronomic and environmental aspects and current regulatory status. Contaminants are not addressed. The Fact Sheets do not give ranges for values of nutrient content, water content / concentration or organic carbon, and do not yet suggest “cut off” limits for what levels could be acceptable in defining the product: e.g. mineral concentrates are indicated as having “average” 33.4 g/kg dry matter (96.7% water), but it is not suggested what lower limit of dry matter could still be considered to be a “concentrate”. However SYSTEMIC will bring out a report with more information and for this SYSTEMIC is interested in additional information regarding the factsheets and/or further comments and suggestions (). SYSTEMIC has also published Fact Sheets presenting the project’s five demonstration sites (Groot Zevert Vergisting, AMPower, Acqua&Sole, Friday Eggs, BENAS) and eleven outreach sites (GreenGas, SOM Energia, Biogastur, BioGas Bree, Waterleau New Energy, SCRL Kessler, GMB, Emerude, WaterNet, Bojana, Atria) summarising biogas feedstocks and production, status of digestate use today, and objectives for digestate valorisation within the project.
SYSTEMIC recycled nutrient product Fact Sheets – for comment: under “Downloads” and then “Publications” at www.systemicproject.eu
SYSTEMIC biogas plant site Fact Sheets under “Plants” at www.systemicproject.eu


 

Pondus plans nutrient recovery pilot plant

Pondus proposes to recover nitrogen from sewage sludge by a combination of thermos-chemical hydrolysis, enhanced anaerobic digestion and vacuum pump ammonia stripping. The sludge is first treated to pH 11, 65°C (using waste heat from CHP). After 2 hours, the pH returns to around 7. Then it is mixed with fresh sludge before anaerobic digestion, which significantly improves biogas production (+20 to +30%) because of higher temperature and free COD, as well as reducing sludge viscosity and polymer consumption in dewatering. This process is operational at a number of sites including in Germany (e.g. Gifhorn), USA and China, up to 50 m3/hour. Pondus is now working to combine this process with vacuum degassing (during dewatering) of the digested sludge, followed by gas washing to recover ammonia sulphate, and with phosphorus recovery by struvite precipitation. This nitrogen recovery process has been laboratory tested, and a 50-100 litre/hour pilot plant is planned with KWB in Berlin for 2019 in the Horizon 2020 project “Circular Agronomics”.
Presentation at IWAMA workshop Kalmar Sweden June 2018 www.iwama.eu/material/videos/video-activating-digester-thermal-chemical-hydrolysis-and-recovering-nitrogen and Pondus website www.pondus-verfahren.de

Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Economy for Food in Cities

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) has launched an initiative called “Cities and the Circular Economy for Food”, at a meeting in London 20th June 2018 attended by ESPP Board Member, Andrea Gysin of Ostara. This follows the Foundation’s “Urban BioCycles” initiative 2017, which seems to be now shelved (see ESPP eNews n°9, April 2017). EMF suggest that cities worldwide throw away 600 million tonnes of organic materials, that nutrient recovery could nearly three times replace fertilisers and that improved diets could save 1.4 billion US$ on healthcare in the USA alone. Like the “Urban BioCycles” project, the new initiative seems to mainly target nutrient recycling in cities. Despite the fact that most food is produced in rural areas, the scope extends to peri-urban agriculture and not beyond. However, concepts cited include “regenerative agriculture” (holistic agriculture, without pesticides or artificial fertilisers, which cultivates soil health and ecosystem services), as well as organic waste recycling, closing nutrient loops and protein substitution. Case studies cited include Agriprotein (black soldier fly larvae conversion of organic waste to protein, see ESPP eNews n°15 September 2017, 40 000 t/y waste recycled at a first site in South Africa, other projects underway), LUFA rooftop farms (3 installations in Canada, total 1.3 ha) and Toast Ale (since 2015 a total of 18 tonnes of bread cut-offs discarded from sandwich making used in breweries) and Winnow (data on food waste in commercial kitchens). The outputs will be launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos 2019.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation programme “Cities and the Circular Economy for Food” www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/programmes/systemic-initiatives/cities-and-the-circular-economy-for-food


 

Nano calcium phosphates inhibit cancer cell proliferation.

Recent studies (in vitro and in vivo) suggest that nano-particles of calcium phosphates can inhibit proliferation of human cancer cells, whilst having much less effect on normal cells. Nano tri calcium phosphate (nTCP) showed to more inhibitive than nano hydroxyapatite (nHAP). Nano-particles of size of 60-70 nm were more effective than larger particles. Authors suggest the effect may be related to negative surface charge of cancer cells and both positive and negative binding sites on the nano calcium particles. Calcium phosphates are widely present biological molecules (e.g. in bones) so could possibly provide a future cancer treatment with low risks of side effects.
Inhibitory Effect of Tricalcium Phosphate Sintered at Different Temperatures on Human Breast Cancer Cell Line MCF-7, M. Rahmanian et al., Multidisciplinary Cancer Investigation, January 2017, Volume 1, Issue 1 http://mcijournal.com/article-1-39-en.html
Different Inhibitory Effect and Mechanism of Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles on Normal Cells and Cancer Cells In Vitro and In Vivo, Y. Han et al., Nature Scientific Reports, 4-7134, 2014 https://doi.org/10.1038/srep07134

 

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ESPP Members

Copyright © 2018 European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, All rights reserved.

Several Horizon 2020, INTERREG and LIFE EU research funding calls are open or will be opened soon for which nutrient recycling and stewardship fits in. Seven open calls under Horizon 2020 at this moment are related to the biobased industry (BBI) with a submission deadline soon of 6 September 2018, with two focused specifically on nutrients. One call (BBI.2018.SO1.D2) has a focus on finding solutions to dilution, pollution and content diversity challenges to turn mixed urban bio-waste into sustainable feedstock for the bio-based industry. The other call (BBI.2018.SO3.D4) has a focus on producing biopesticides or bio-based fertilisers as components of sustainable agricultural management plans.The other five calls have more general biobased industry focus.

Other interesting Horizon 2020 calls with a focus on nutrients should be published on 16 October 2018, with a submission deadline 23 January 2019. These calls will focus on closing nutrient cycles (CE-RUR-08-2018-2019-2020), high-quality organic fertilisers from biogas digestate (CE-SFS-39-2019), circular bio-based business models for rural communities (CE-RUR-10-2019), integrated water management in small agricultural catchments (SFS-23-2019), and sustainable European aquaculture 4.0: nutrition and breeding (DT-BG-04-2018-2019). A call on building a water-smart economy and society including reuse of wastewater and recovery of nutrients (CE-SC5-04-2019) should open 14 November 2018, submission deadline 19 February 2019.

In the same period several calls will be opened with a focus on more sustainably primary and secondary sourcing of critical raw materials (CRMs, e.g. phosphate rock and white phosphorus) and on soil management. INTERREG North Sea region and North West Europe region have submission deadlines in September and November 2018 respectively. The Integrated Projects and Preparatory Projects under the LIFE sub-programmes for Environment have deadlines in September 2018. Horizon 2020 SME instrument has cut-off dates in October, February, May and September.

ESPP is interested to collaborate in existing and upcoming research projects and can help in networking, dissemination and communication activities. Please contact Kimo van Dijk for more information and possibilities (). See our ESPP list of EU research funding calls and the ESPP list of running and finished EU and national funded nutrients research projects.

ESPP list of EU research funding calls www.phosphorusplatform.eu/images/download/ESPP-list-nutrient-related-EU-research-funding-calls-2018-07-13.pdf

ESPP research activities and ESPP nutrient related R&D project list www.phosphorusplatform.eu/R&D

Contact for ESPP research, development and innovation activities Kimo van Dijk

The European Commission (Joint Research Centre, JRC) has published a call for field testing sites to sample and analyse drainage/runoff waters following applications of manure (or compost, digestate, etc from manure). The activity can be embedded into ongoing field trials. JRC will cover full costs of sampling: 5 - 10 litre samples will be required, from ground and surface water, samples will be collected, stored and shipped according to JRC specifications and with supplied sampling equipment. JRC will ensure analysis and data evaluation. This is part of the JRC study to support DG Environment work on “manure in a processed form” under the Nitrates Directive. JRC’s stated objective is to assess possible risks of veterinary medicinal products (VMPs), including anti-microbial resistance (AMR), veterinary antimicrobial agents (AMA) and biocides (used for stable disinfection) following application of manure and processed manures. JRC considers that there is a data gap on the drainage of nutrients which have been irrigated with wastewater or fertilised with animal manure (or derived biosolids, such as compost or digestate). It would seem appropriate to also collect samples of the applied manure/biosolids, and to have ‘control’ fields (without application), but these are not specified in the JRC call. Given that the JRC call identifies a data gap, it would also be appropriate for any party having relevant existing data to JRC – email below (data or publications on nutrients and contaminants in runoff/ground water following manure or biosolids application, in particular for VMPs and AMR). Analysis of such existing data could, presumably, modify JCR’s specifications for possible field sampling.

Deadline to propose field sampling sites to JCR = 31st August 2018 to “Call for participation in an EU-wide monitoring campaign of manure” 31st May 2018 https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/science-update/call-participation-eu-wide-monitoring-campaign-manure (includes link to Participation Form) and “EU-wide monitoring of manure supporting the development of safe processed manure criteria”, 31st March 2018, Joint Research Centre JRC Ispra, Water and Marine Resources Unit https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files/20180531-notice_of_call_expression_of_interest.pdf

ESPP and the EU Horizon 2020 project SYSTEMIC are collecting data, scientific reports or other relevant information to input into the EU study launched on (nitrogen-containing) recycled nutrient products produced from manures. This study aims to inform the European Commission as to which products might be exempted from limitations applicable to “manure in a processed form” under the Nitrates Directive. Objectives of this study are summarised below (SYSTEMIC workshop article).

Submission of existing data or publications on nutrients or contaminants in runoff or groundwater following application of manure, processed manure or biosolids – by 29th July latest – to SYSTEMIC and ESPP If product or trial information is confidential, please contact these emails so that we can arrange direct transfer under confidentiality agreement to JRC.

ESPP is organising a stakeholder meeting to discuss the EU Fertilisers Regulation and STRUBIAS, 5th September 2018, all day in Brussels. The meeting will update on trilogue progress on the Fertilisers Regulation and outstanding issues, questions around implementation, accompanying standards. The meeting will include a webinar with JRC, 14h00 – 15h30, to discuss the draft final STRUBIAS report proposing EU Fertiliser Criteria for recovered phosphate salts and struvite, biochars and pyrolysis materials, and ashes (used directly as fertilisers, or used as ingredients in fertiliser production processes). This will enable preparation of the final STRUBIAS Working Group meeting, 25-27 September (closed meeting, STRUBIAS WG members and Member States only).

Wednesday 5th September 2018, Brussels, 9h00 – 17h15

Programme here.

  • update on triloue progress on the EU Fertilisers Regulation and outstanding issues, e.g. mineral and organic by-products, definition of mineral and low-carbon fertilisers, contaminant limits, animal by-products (ABPs CMC11) …
  • questions around implementation (3 year period?), guidance and accompanying standards
  • workshops on the three STRUBIAS draft criteria
    • struvite and recovered phosphate salts
    • biochars and pyrolysis materials
    • ashes, for direct application to soil, and as ingredients to fertiliser production processes
  • webinar with EU Commission JRC to discuss the draft final STRUBIAS report and proposed EU Fertiliser Criteria, in preparation for the final STRUBIAS meeting end September (closed meeting, STRUBIAS WG members and Member States only).

Participation = 96,84 € (inc. VAT) to cover meeting room and catering costs. Venue information will be sent to you on registration

Free for ESPP members, governments, policy makers – request free access code from Access online to webinar only (14h-15h30 only) is also free, but registration is obligatory.

Both the all-day Brussels event and the 14h - 15h30 webinar are open to STRUBIAS group members and to other interested stakeholders by online registration

Registration: www.eventbrite.ca/e/eu-fertilisers-regulation-and-strubias-tickets-47156434164

The third European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC3), co-organised by BSAG and ESPP in Helsinki, 11-13 June was a success. Nearly 300 participants from 30 countries, significantly increased from ESPC1 (Brussels 2013) and ESPC2 (Berlin 2015). Highlights included input from the European Commission (DG Environment and DG Research), Finland national government (ministries of the Environment and Agriculture and Forestry). international organisations (HELCOM, Rhine Commission), company and nutrient management success stories. An active discussion addressed proposals for including nutrients in the next EU R&D funding programme (Horizon Europe, which will follow on from Horizon 2020). With UN-Environment support, the “Global call for a science initiative on phosphorus” was launched, please participate by signing at www.opfglobal.com. A full summary of the ESPC3 conference will be published in coming months in ESPP’s SCOPE Newsletter.

ESPC3 presentation slides and posters will be online soon at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/ESPC3

Sign the Global call for a science initiative on phosphorus at www.opfglobal.com

The European Commission has started preparation of FP9 (Horizon Europe) the Research & Innovation funding programme 2021-2028 which will follow on from Horizon2020. The new programme has an announced budget of nearly 100 billion € and the draft Regulation text (outlining structure and objectives) was published 7th June. As already communicated (eNews n°21), it is proposed to include in FP9 “Missions” (art. 5 of published Regulation) which will be horizontal, across the “Challenges” (thematic R&D funding). There are expected to be only a “small number” of missions over the whole of FP9, with up to 10 year duration. Possible examples cited are: fight against cancer, clean transport, plastic-free oceans. Meetings have been organised on 30th May by DG Research, SYSTEMIC, Biorefine Cluster Europe, ESPP and INMS (international nitrogen management system) and a further meeting at the European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference 3 (ESPC3) on 11th June, with DG Research, BSAG and ESPP, to discuss proposing a possible “Mission” relating to nutrient sustainability. Such a “Mission” could concern all five of the FP9 thematic “Challenges”: health, inclusive and secure society, digital & industry, climate and food & natural resources. Proposed input and ideas for content and vision of such a “Mission” on nutrients should be sent to

FP9 regulation proposal published 7/6/18 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-4041_en.htm
and https://ec.europa.eu/info/designing-next-research-and-innovation-framework-programme/what-shapes-next-framework-programme_en

Criteria for defining and selecting FP9 “Missions”, see the Mazzucato report https://ec.europa.eu/info/designing-next-framework-programme/mission-oriented-policy-next-research-and-innovation-framework-programme_en
and summary https://t.co/wAb5gNmBqB

You are invited to send your ideas for a nutrients “Mission” (R&D needs, themes and content, vision and objectives …) to

Over 200 people attended the session on tighter sewage phosphorus removal requirements and phosphorus recycling at IFAT 2018, Munich, organised by DPP (the German Phosphorus Platform) and ESPP (European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform).

Monika Kratzer, Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection, noted that Bavaria depends strongly on imports of raw materials, including phosphorus for agriculture. Phosphorus recycling from sewage can contribute to reduce this dependency. The new German legislation sets objectives, and it is now important to identify which technologies are effective.

Pete Vale, Severn Trent Water UK, summarised key results of the UK national water industry trials of technologies to achieve very low phosphorus discharge limits, which will progressively come into force because of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Limits of 0.2 mgP/l will be introduced in the next couple of years, with further tightening possible in the future. Considerable progress has been made in reducing phosphorus emissions from sewage works in the UK, with a 60% reduction 1990-2009, with over UK£ 2 billion investment, but phosphorus remains the most common cause of WFD quality objective failure in England. The industry national trials tested optimisation of existing technologies in place, new technologies already operational at sites elsewhere in the world and “novel” technologies. Conclusion is that optimisation can reduce discharge to 0.5 mgP/l, but not 0.1 mgP/l. Some of the new and novel technologies can achieve 0.1 mgP/l, but not always reliably without other installation and operational changes. Full results will be published shortly, including discharge performance data, whole life cost and carbon/energy costs. These will be used both to define the UK water industry’s investment cycle and to input to defining the Environment Agency discharge permitting regime.

Daniel Klein, Emscher Genossenschaft / Lippeverband, Germany, indicated that this water board is also preparing for 0.1 mgP/l discharge limits, and is looking at costs and performance, especially of “add-on” technologies (filtration/flocculation). Currently around 90% of the board’s total sewage inflow phosphorus goes to sludge (and 10% is lost in discharge), and nearly all sludge goes to mono-incineration. Important questions need to be addressed concerning the impact of tighter P-removal on P-recovery, possibly synergies and costs, with major investments expected in the coming ten years. The water board is testing different approaches for phosphorus recovery with the aim of identifying cost-effective solutions.

Christian Hubert & Christian Schaum, Munich Bundeswehr University, presented some general ideas on the theoretical value of resources in sewage (based on Westerhoff 2015), energy and interest of cooperation between sewage treatment organisations on sludge processing/incineration.

Bruno Barillon, Suez, indicated that the company’s objective is to improve economic sustainability of sewage treatment by recovery of resources, water reuse and energy production – but that sludge management will still represent a significant net cost. Suez’ Phosphogreen struvite recovery process, enables recovery of 15-45% of inflow phosphorus in biological P-removal sewage works, with 5-10 year RoI (return on investment) resulting from struvite sales (350€/t in Denmark) and 15-50% reduction in ferric consumption, as well as reducing the environmental footprint (-10% CO2). Suez has now five references: three plants in Denmark (Aarhus, Herning, Marselisborg ) and two in France (Villiers Saint Frédéric, Sausheim). See SCOPE Newsletter n°121.

Ralf Czarnecki, Remondis (Rethmann group), indicated that the company manages some 1.5 million ton/year of sewage sludge (wet weight of dewatered sludge), of which 1.2 mega ton is incinerated and 0.3 mega ton is used on land. He presented the company’s Tetraphos process, for phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge mono-incineration ash. A 20 000 ton ash/year Tetraphos P-recovery plant will be operational in Hamburg in 2020: see summary above and in SCOPE Newsletter n°126. Further pilot trials are planned with several water boards including Emscher/Lippeverband.

Mathias Staub, Veolia, considered that the new German phosphorus recovery legislation will oblige construction of some new sludge mono-incineration capacity, but that in some regions continuing use of co-incineration or cement works disposal will be economically and environmentally preferable, subject to recovering phosphorus upstream in the sewage works. Veolia’s PhosForce system, especially adapted for medium size works (50 – 500 000 p.e.), aims to achieve more than 50% P-recovery, by combining bio-acidification of sludge upstream of anaerobic digestion and struvite and/or brushite (calcium phosphate) recovery (StruviaTM system). A 3 m3/day pilot is operational at Schönebeck and a full scale plant is planned for 2019. The system is designed to operate with both chemical and biological P-removal sludges with limited use of chemicals, to enable low phosphorus discharge levels and to facilitate nitrogen recovery by stripping.

Discussion with speakers was led by Daniel Frank, German Phosphorus Platform, and summarised by Ludwig Hermann, ESPP, concluding that:

-       Some new sludge mono-incineration capacity will be needed to meet the new German phosphorus recovery regulation obligations, especially in urban areas, but in other regions continuing use of existing co-incineration routes may be preferable;

-         Costs of tighter phosphorus discharge consents and of P-recovery will be passed on to water consumers, but in time may be partly covered by resource recovery;

-         New technologies for both phosphorus removal and recovery have been developed over recent years and now information is needed from operating trials in sewage works on costs and in-the-field reliability;

-         Long-term contracts with sewage works operators and technology developers and supplies are needed to enable investment;

-         Cooperation between water boards and WWTP-operators is crucial to identify and implement economic and operational solutions to meet the new phosphorus removal and recovery regulations.

“Phosphorus Special IFAT 2018. Phosphorus removal, phosphorus recycling and the circular economy: contradiction or opportunity?”, organised by DPP, ESPP with IFAT, the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Munich, 17th May 2018.

 

Meeting slides are available at www.deutsche-phosphor-plattform.de/information/dokumente under Präsentationen der IFAT-Veranstaltung „Phosphor-Special“

Full speakers summary can be found in this PDF

Confirmed lead speakers include: Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment (video message), Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament, Jonathan Trent, adjunct professor University of California at Santa Cruz, Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of city of Helsinki, Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, Will Brownlie, CEH Edinburgh (Our Phosphorus Future), International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine, HELCOM, Newtrient (US dairy industry), Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (North America), Netherlands Government, Fertilizers Europe, European Commission DG Environment and companies, R&D and projects including: SARIA, Nijhuis, WETSUS, Ostara, Italpollina, Kemira, EasyMining, Yara, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Baltic Slurry Acidification, Cooperl, Svenskt Vatten, Helsinki Region Environmental Services HSY, Metsä Group / Biolan Oy, and LIFE DOP.

ESPC3 Helsinki Speakers summary crop

Secanim Ltd is part of the Saria Group, and specialises in the safe treatment and disposal of Category 1 Animal By-Products. The company was established in 1948, as Granox, and today has four operational sites in the UK and provides a full service to farmers and businesses across the country, as well as similar operations in Europe. Secanim uses an innovative incineration process to produce a sustainable, recycled phosphate fertiliser with proven agronomic performance. Category 1 Animal By-Products must be treated to strict standards laid down by European legislation, and the derived material, Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), produced by this treatment must then be disposed of via incineration. Secanim’s plant at Widnes Cheshire, features two incinerators which safely incinerate the Category 1-derived material, producing a waste ash. Since 2014, this ash has benefitted from an End of Waste Position granted by the Environment Agency, and is now marketed as KalFos, a slow release, low cadmium, calcium phosphate and trace element fertiliser. This provides a sustainable alternative to landfilling, and replaces the use of phosphate rock-derived fertilisers. KalFos is sold across the UK and Europe either as a standalone fertiliser, or as a material for blending with other fertilising products to produce multi-nutrient blends. The incineration process also produces renewable electricity (sold to the National Grid) and heat (steam used on site in the rendering process). As part of the incineration process, waste liquids are used to control the calorific value of the MBM and provide a safe recycling route for traditionally “hard to handle” wastes that cannot go to anaerobic digestion or water treatment works.

More information about Secanim activities www.kalfos.co.uk

The new edition number 126 of the SCOPE newsletter is now online here: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/images/scope/ScopeNewsletter126.pdf

Earlier edition can be found here: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/SCOPEnewsletter

To subscribe: www.phosphorusplatform.eu/subscribe


In this SCOPE newsletter

Plant materials and organic by-products
Challenges of ensuring that organic material recycling routes are not excluded in the new EU Fertilising Products Regulation, that innovation and industrial feasibility are facilitated, and that safety of products from secondary raw materials is ensured (hygiene, non-dissemination of plant pathogens or invasive plant species).
Closing nutrient cycles in organic farming
Summary of the ESPP – IFOAM EU stakeholder meeting on closing nutrient cycles and uptake of recycled fertilisers
Swiss – German phosphorus recycling conference
Update on the new regulatory obligations for phosphorus recovery in Switzerland and in Germany, and on available technologies
European nutrient recycling R&D meeting
25 nutrient recovery research and demonstration projects meet to discuss project coordination and research needs
Dietary phosphorus and health
Major new book assesses nutrition and health aspects of phosphorus in food

 

Yara International ASA, a Norwegian company established in 1905, is a globally leading mineral fertiliser manufacturer and provider of environmental solutions. Yara is the only EU-based fertiliser manufacturer owning phosphate mines, in Finland and Brazil. Our mining operations and manufacturing processes maximize production efficiency and minimize losses to the environment. Internal recycling of energy, water and raw materials, as well as symbiosis with other industries and sectors, are an integral part of our industrial DNA. Our product and nutrient stewardship efforts extend beyond our factory gates. World-wide we help farmers to use our products safely, profitably and sustainably, through on-site training and by developing and promoting precision fertilisation tools and solutions. We recognize that recycled nutrients are an integral and growing component of future nutrient solutions, and that major fertiliser companies such as Yara can play a meaningful role in better closing nutrient loops. Yara welcomes the concept of circular economy and explores opportunities to advance safe and commercially viable circular nutrient solutions. We actively engage with nutrient platforms such as ESPP to exchange knowledge and develop novel partnerships. We foresee that nutrient streams will need to become aggregated and recovered by waste management companies and other intermediaries. Under such conditions, Yara can leverage its production and crop nutrition knowledge, to help build business cases based on transforming recycled nutrients into efficient and marketable fertiliser products.

More information about Yara www.yara.com and their position on Circular Economy www.yara.com/this-is-yara/sustainability/commitments-and-policies/our-opinions

A tender is open to 9th May (12h00) for “expressions of interest” to provide phosphorus (P) recovery technology (design, construct, commission, operate) for the biggest wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Dublin, Ireland, (Ringsend WWTP, Irish Water) which is being upgraded to Nereda bio-P removal. The plant currently operates anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge, followed by thermal drying. The objective stated is to “provide for the fixation and recovery of Phosphorus (P) in a form suitable for use as an agricultural fertiliser or as a raw material for mineral fertiliser formulations”, indicating “most likely” as struvite.

See more information in the tender: https://irl.eu-supply.com/ctm/Supplier/PublicTenders/ViewNotice/202381

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