Recovery of phosphate from animal manure and sludge and its effect on soil fertility and water quality on a regional scale

The phosphate use efficiency (PUE) is determined by losses in the food chain, including losses in the phosphate (P) supply to land (especially manure) and the removal of P in sewage sludge. The project is subdivided on two parts. (i) The objective of part one is to develop methods for the recovery of P from manure and sewage sludge.


In 2017, part one will focus on the recovery of P from cattle manure and sewage sludge. For manure, the objective is to recover P as a mineral fertilizer which can be exported to regions with a shortage of P. For sewage sludge, P recovery aims at reducing current losses of P due to thermal sludge treatment. (ii) The objective of part two is to evaluate the environmental and economic impact of the changed application of manure and the introduction of new manure and sludge products at the farm level and regional and national scale. This will lead to insight into market demands and product criteria for manure products (mestwaarderingssysteem) and to insight into the economic impact at the farm level as well as for the whole sector. The environmental effects will be assessed through the modelling of nutrient flows (P, N and C) under various scenarios and the effects thereof on soil quality/fertility (organic matter balance, N and P availability) and water quality (N and P runoff).