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Recovery of Phosphorus from Sewage Sludge and Sewage Sludge Ashes with the thermo-reductive RecoPhos-Process

Objective

Natural phosphate sources low in heavy metals are getting scarce. Containing about 15 mass-% of P2O5, sewage sludge ash can be considered a secondary phosphorus (P-) source. The P-content in the European sewage sludge could currently replace roughly 15% of the phosphate imports into the EU.
Hence already for many years, almost decades, it has been tried to recover phosphorus from sewage, sludge and ashes in various ways of which none has yet been realised at industrial scale. The reason for this failure lies firstly in the wet chemical approach, meaning complex and little efficient processes with liquids hard to handle; and secondly in the use of liquid or dewatered sludge as well as waste water, which results in a further decrease in efficiency mostly because of high mass flow and matrix effects.
The RecoPhos process is a thermal process using ash from sludge mono-incineration. The principle of the used so-called InduCarb process is similar to the one of the known Woehler process; dried sludge can be added as heat source or reducing agent as an option. The phosphate (amongst other constituents) is reduced on an inductively heated coke bed to white phosphorus, which is later condensed and thus separated from other gaseous reaction products; white phosphorous is the most valuable form of phosphorous and highly asked for by the industry. Further products are an iron alloy as well as a heavy metal mixture, both usable in steel industry; a silicate slag for the use in cement ovens as well as a high calorific gas.
The RecoPhos process uses an innovative reactor (InduCarb) designed for the reductive recovery of steel work dusts. By the use of ashes the material flow is minimal; if only sludge is available, it can be also used as input, adding flexibility to the concept. If additives are needed, suitable industrial wastes can be used.
The innovative RecoPhos process has never been realised before. It is planned to apply it for a patent .

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/fossil energy/gas
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/waste management/waste water
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/metals

Call for proposal

FP7-ENV-2011-ECO-INNOVATION-TwoStage
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP - Collaborative project (generic)
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Coordinator

MONTANUNIVERSITAET LEOBEN
Address
Franz Josef Strasse 18
8700 Leoben
Austria
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 976 782
Administrative Contact
Harald Raupenstrauch (Prof.)

Participants (9)

UNIVERSITAET STUTTGART
Germany
EU contribution
€ 662 240
Address
Keplerstrasse 7
70174 Stuttgart
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Matthias Rapf (Mr.)
SGL CARBON GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 340 800
Address
Werner-von-siemens-strasse 18
86405 Meitingen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Herbert Keßler (Mr.)
MAL METALLBAU ANLAGENSERVICE - LEITUNGSBAU GMBH
Austria
EU contribution
€ 294 159,20
Address
Industriepark 11
8682 Murzzuschlag Honigsberg
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Ingrid Nutz (Ms.)
INERCO INGENIERIA, TECNOLOGIA Y CONSULTORIA, SA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 344 800
Address
Calle Tomas Alba Edison 2
41092 Sevilla
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Juan Santos (Mr.)
INSPYRO NV
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 170 568
Address
Kapeldreef 60
3001 Leuven
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Sander Arnout (Dr.)
HARIRI DANIEL - HARIRI CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEERING
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 350 040,80
Address
Hauptstrasse 16
4132 Muttenz
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Daniel Hariri (Mr.)
EDLINGER ALFRED/METALURGY & INORGANIC TECHNOLOGY MIT
Austria
EU contribution
€ 131 000
Address
Dalmaweg 13
6781 Bartholomaberg
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Alfred Edlinger (Mr.)
GESELLSCHAFT FUR CHEMISCHEN UND TECHNISCHEN UMWELTSCHUTZ MBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 150 800
Address
Heidehofstrasse 39
70184 Stuttgart
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Elisabeth Schönherr-Thomanetz (Ms.)
JELOGA ENGINEERING SARL

Participation ended

France
Address
Rue Principale 29 B
68520 Burnhaupt Le Haut
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jean-Louis Gasser (Mr.)