Workshop report: Nutrient recovery from waste

Aug 2019

There is increased focus on nutrients in waste streams that are lost through linear use and/or waste treatments. Recovery of nutrients from waste allows a reduced need to extract nutrient resources while diversifying the markets. The case of phosphorus has been in focus in Europe for a few years now. Phosphorus is used in the formulation of chemical fertilizers. It is generally mined from phosphate rock, but phosphorus can also be recycled from food/organic waste fractions in municipal solid waste or from sewage sludge. Nutrient recovery technologies cover traditional methods such as composting to recently developed technologies for recovery of (primarily) phosphorus. Some of these technologies are connected to thermal treatment of the waste.

This report summarizes the conclusions of a workshop organized by IEA Bioenergy Task 36 in Stockholm on May 7, 2019. The aim of the workshop was to provide an overview of the status of nutrient recovery from waste (particularly phosphorus) covering technological, legislative and socio-economic aspects around the world, with emphasis on the countries participating in IEA Bioenergy Task 36.

Link to presentations and summary report: