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The US Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance will help lead a major phosphorus research centre, with 9 US research institutes, to accelerate fundamental science and develop technologies and practices for sustainable P management. “Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability”, STEPS, is one of six new science and technology centres “to address vexing societal problems” announced by the US National Science Foundation and will receive a total of 25 million US$ in NSF funding over five years, with the possibility of a 5-year renewal. STEPS stems in part from the network of researchers launched in 2011 with the NSF P Sustainability Research Coordination Network RCN (SCOPE Newsletter n°125) and the practitioner network of the Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance(SPA), with strong involvement of Jim Elser and Matt Scholz of SPA.

STEPS research is structured across three themes:

1: Human Technology Scale: physico-chemical materials and biologic material design to develop processes for capturing and releasing phosphorus species;

2: Regional and Global Scale: incorporation of these materials into structures and processes;

3: Convergence Informatics: modelling of phosphorus flows and management scenarios.

STEPS will include education - awareness and research – training actions.

STEPS is led by researchers from North Carolina State University, Arizona State University, the University of Illinois, Marquette University, RTI International, Appalachian State University, and the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

“Alliance Helps Lead Major P Research Center”, 8 September 2021 LINK.

US National Science Foundation announcement.


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