Phosphorus is one of the world's most rare vital resources - and cannot be replaced by anything. The element phosphorus is an essential component of all life on earth. Among other things, phosphorus is contained in the DNA and RNA strands in the cell nucleus and is part of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the "energy diet" of living cells. In natural ecosystems, this vital element is not lost, but is involved in a cycle.
However, in modern agriculture and industrialized world losses are constantly occurring and phosphorus is increasingly deprived of natural circulation by the thermal disposal of waste. The result is an increasing use of mineral fertilizers and thus diminishing the reserves. It is already clear today that "Peak-Phosphorus" will still concern us more than "Peak-Oil".
The growing awareness of the finite nature of the non-renewable, non-substitutable phosphorus resource has encouraged state and private institutions to reuse the phosphorus, which has been excreted in sewage sludge, as raw material.
We have developed a process based on hydrothermal carbonization that offers a clever and economic solution for this global challenge. As a result, the phosphorus is not recovered from the sewage sludge or from the ash from sewage sludge Monoblock plants, but directly from the HTC coal. This technology provides considerable advantages.