The circular economy of phosphorus on Radio 24

Phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge among was selected as one on the four innovative technologies to give value to waste and processing waste selected by the editorial staff of Radio 24 for a special edition of "Smart City", a weekly broadcast about urban innovation

On August 19 a special edition of "Smart City" was broadcasted on Radio 24, the radio of Il Sole 24 ORE; the special broacast was a collection of four 2019's intervention dedicated to innovative technologies to give value to urban waste and processing waste.
Roberto Canziani, Full Professor of Environmental Health Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, spoke in the program to talk about the prospects for the circular phosphorus economy, in an intervention in which he synthetically illustrate state of the art technologies for phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge ashes; the research conducted in PerFORM WATER 2030 by the work group he is coordinating were also described as part of the future possibilities.
The other innovations reported concern a process to transform the wet fraction of urban waste into liquid fuel similar to biodiesel, a technology that allows to obtain methane and hydrogen from the waste from the pressing of the olives and a technology to transform steel mill waste into a stable material that can be used in construction.

Energy from waste: steps forward for the circular economy

Smart City
Broadcast on August 24 2019

Special edition of "Smart City" with the most significant broadcast in 2019 (italian language only)

Why would future phosphorus mines be made from ashes

Smart City
Broadcast on April 3 2019

Original transmission with the intervention of Prof. Canziani on the circular economy of phosphorus (italian language only)

Why recover phosphorus from sewage sludge?

In terms of circular economy, phosphorus plays an important role. It is in fact included among the elements for which limited availability from traditional mineral sources is expected in the next few years: phosphate rocks, are in fact located in specific areas of the planet, all non-European and often located in politically unstable areas (eg Syria).

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Phosphorus is the fertilizer that allows to maintain high production of food crops and it is in fact in human excrements that a significant fraction of what is used in agriculture is concentrated. For this reason the phosphorus contained in the sewage sludge was therefore considered one of the main resources to be exploited in the near future.

An extensive review of the available phosphorus recovery technologies and their costs is reported in the article freely downloadable from the site at this

Learn more about PerFORM WATER 2030's activities regarding phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge ashes

Learn more about the problem of Element Scarcity on

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