2022-06-02 11:26Press release

New initiative launched to foster recovery of clean phosphorus in Germany

Photo: GELSENWASSER AG / StudioLoske / Paul-Gerhard Loske(From left) Jürgen Eschment (PTC Engineering und Consulting), Peter Fröhlich (PTC ), Christian Kabbe (EasyMining Germany), Lars Lindén (Ragn-Sells Group), Dirk Waider (GELSENWASSER), Martin Braunersreuther (PGS), Leo Homann (MSE)

EasyMining Germany has joined together with several other companies to create an initiative Sauberer Phosphor 2029 (Clean Phosphorus). The initiative will work to champion and advocate for phosphorus recovery and recycling processes in Germany that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Each member* of the initiative is a company that deals with either wastewater management or phosphorus recovery.

- Nutrient recycling is essential but can only be considered if conducted in a sustainable way. This is why this initiative is so important, says Christian Kabbe, CEO EasyMining Germany. Three things matter when it comes to phosphorus recycling; quality, volume and reliability, he continues.

The initiative relates directly to the German Sewage Sludge Ordinance, which was amended to begin requiring the recycling of phosphorus from sewage sludge ash in 2029.

Phosphorus is a vital ingredient in fertilisers and an essential additive for livestock feed. Its primary source is phosphate rock, a non-renewable resource that’s mainly mined outside of Germany. But new processes to recover phosphorus from incinerated sewage sludge are being developed and implemented into large scale operations. Sewage sludge ash is not only a potential circular source of phosphorus but a domestic one as well.  

In creating the initiative, its members collaborated on a position paper entitled “Sauberer Phosphor 2029”. The paper outlines seven agreed-upon qualities for clean phosphorus recovery. 

The Sauberer Phosphor 2029 asserts that phosphorus recycling must be a process that:

  1. The defined targets and intentions for phosphorus recovery in accordance with the Sewage Sludge Ordinance can be achieved;
  2. Does not cause any additional accumulation of pollutants on fields, arable land, or cultivated areas;
  3. Separates phosphorus recovery into product and residual material fractions in a manner that assures quality regardless of the composition and pollutant load of the starting material;
  4. Fosters independence from the import of phosphorus through reliance on domestic sources;
  5. Produces clean and universally applicable, marketable phosphorus products that are needed and further processed in the established structures of the phosphorus processing industry;
  6. Removes the pollutant substances from the material cycle;
  7. Enables separate recovery of as many valuable materials as possible from the ashes.

These key positions will be featured prominently in public advocacy efforts by the initiative and its members.

*Initiative members of Sauberer Phosphor 2029: Gelsenwasser, MSE Mobile Schlammentwässerungs, PTC-Parforce-Technology Cooperation, Parforce Engineering und Consulting, KSR Klärschlammrecycling Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Phosphorgewinnung Schkopau and Ragn-Sells.

About EasyMining

EasyMining is an innovation company dedicated to closing nutrient cycles. We are owned by the Swedish environmental company Ragn-Sells. We are passionate about inventing new technology that uses intelligent chemical solutions to close nutrient cycles. Our objective is to create new circular material flows in an efficient commercial way.


Anna Lundbom
Marketing and Product Sales Manager
Anna Lundbom