Closing the phosphorus cycle

Phosphorus is vital for global food production. Without phosphorus, there is no artificial fertiliser and therefore no food. Like oil and natural gas, however, phosphorus is a finite raw material. That is why Nedmag, in collaboration with the Nutrient Platform, is committed to the recycling of phosphorus. Our product, magnesium hydroxide, plays a key role in this.

The availability of phosphorus is at risk because the phosphorus mines are concentrated in only a handful of countries. Europe is almost entirely dependent on countries outside Europe for phosphorus (Morocco, in particular). In addition to the fact that phosphorus is a finite raw material, there is also concern for the environment. Due to the large amount of phosphorus in residual streams, the Netherlands suffers from eutrophication (excessive algal bloom) in various waters. It is high time to be smarter with phosphorus.

The Nutrient Platform

The Nutrient Platform  is a network organisation comprised of 36 companies, knowledge institutes, and ministries with one common goal: closing the nutrient cycles. By committing itself to the recycling of phosphorus and other nutrients, the Nutrient Platform contributes to turning a disposable economy into a circular economy. After use, raw materials no longer end up in the environment as waste, but are reused instead. Nedmag has been a member of the Nutrient Platform since 2013. Our ambition is to contribute as much as possible to the development of knowledge with regard to the recovery of phosphorus from wastewater systems.

Logo Nutrient Platform
For more information, please visit the Nutrient Platform's website.

Phosphorus recovery with magnesium hydroxide

Nedmag collaborates with various wastewater purifiers to recover phosphorus from wastewater. This is made possible by magnesium hydroxide. Under the right conditions, magnesium hydroxide reacts with phosphorus , forming controlled struvite. Struvite can then be used as a fertiliser. The neutralising power of magnesium hydroxide also reduces the odour nuisance of sewage and, unlike other alkali, is safe to use and safe for the environment.

This page offers a more detailed description of recovering phosphorus from wastewater.