Sustainable recovery and recycling of nutrients – safety and efficacy

CircuNuts

Alkamispäivä

23.01.2014

Päättymispäivä

22.03.2015

Tiivistelmä

The nutrient rich by-products, such as manure, sewage sludge and organic household waste form a large stock of resources for e.g. energy, nutrients and organic matter in the Baltic Sea Region. Phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) are the main nutrients from the agronomic and environmental point of views, whereas input of organic matter is important for soil structure and hence, affects both the utilization and leaching of nutrients. Phosphorus is of special importance as it originates from finite phosphate rock deposits outside the EU, thus making EU and BSR dependent on potentially uncertain foreign imports. These currently under-exploited organic by-products tend to concentrate spatially in intensive animal production areas, or in the vicinity of human settlements and municipal waste water treatment plants, biogas plants and landfills. The main objective of the project is to indicate and develop economically and environmentally sustainable and feasible technology chains able to convert organic nutrient-rich raw materials into transportable, easy-to-handle and safe fertilizer products, the properties of which are comparable to commonly used inorganic fertilizers. These chains will be analyzed, technologically developed and preliminarily adapted to different regions in the BSR. Business models for the sanitation sectors and agricultural sectors will be developed and policy recommendations produced to pave the way towards efficient recirculation-society within the BSR. The project is expected to effectively improve the nutrient recirculation in the BSR, thus hindering the accumulation of nutrients into the environment and agricultural soils, and reducing the need for imported nutrients. As a consequence, excessive soil nutrient content will be mitigated, nutrient leaching reduced and hence, the quality of the overall environment and especially of the Baltic Sea will be improved.