Material and Energy valorisation of waste in a Circular Economy

Workshop on Nutrient Recovery, Stockholm, May 7, 2019

Date Jun 2019


For a number of years now there has been an increased focus in Europe on the nutrients that are lost through linear use/treatment of waste (specifically food/organic waste fractions in MSW and sewage sludge). Connected with the fact that the market for phosphorus being dominated by Morocco and Western Sahara having around 80% of the reserves (considering what is economically feasible to extract today).

In Europe there are increased demands to collect organic waste separately to close the loop. There are some traditional recovery of nutrients through composting, the use of digestate from AD and the use of sewage sludge on farmlands. Also there are debates around the utilization of sewage sludge as fertilizer. The advantage of closing the loop has to be compared with the risk of contaminating the farmland with heavy metals and pharmaceutical residues (amongst other risks). Different technologies are being developed to recover (primarily) phosphorus and a number of the technologies are connected to thermal treatment of the waste.

The iam of this workshop was to give an overview/status of the nutrient recovery from waste in the member states of the task. Both regarding technology/methods used as well as development and legislation/policy on the matter.  During the workshop we will also try and discuss opportunities and barriers in the member states. The results of presentations/discussions will be presented in a summary report from the workshop.

The workshop was organized by the IEA Task 36 members in conjunction with the first Task meeting at RISE officies in Stockhom. Bo von Bahr expert in the field and researcher at RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) was invited speaker.

The presentations can be downloaded by clicking on the agenda items below: