Holistic sustainability assessment of different regional phosphorus recycling strategies

Phosphorus (P) is an essential element for life and is used especially as a fertilizer. Germany itself has no rock phosphate deposits and the worldwide phosphate rock deposits are also severely depleted, which is why phosphorus is classified as critical raw material. The recovery of phosphorus from wastewater and sewage sludge thus is crucial for the security of supply. The legal framework for phosphorus recycling in Germany was created in 2017 with the amendment of the Sewage Sludge Ordinance.

TransPhoR aims to generate scientifically founded knowledge for the large-scale implementation of phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge within the scope of the funding measure RePhoR. Together with the project partners and implementation projects, different recovery processes are to be examined under real conditions and findings are to be processed for different target groups during the project.

The INaB, together with the implementation projects, is working on an approach for the comparative sustainability assessment of the different technologies for phosphorus recycling. Therefore, general criteria are to be developed, which allow the comparison of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessments (ecology, economy and social aspects) for the different phosphorous recovery processes. The developed catalogue of criteria for the sustainability assessment of regional phosphorus recycling can be used not only by the implementation projects themselves but also, for example, by companies, politics, and NGOs.

Further information about the support measure RePhoR, the accompanying project TransPhoR as well as the involved joint projects can be found on the official website.

Project partners: Research Institute for Water and Waste Management at RWTH Aachen University (FiW) e. V., HGoTECH GmbH, TUTTAHS & MEYER Engineering Company for Water, Wastewater and Energy Management mbH

Project duration: December 2019 – June 2025 

Dr.-Ing. Roland Meyer
Tel.: +49 241 80 22762