Clean technology, Press Release, R&D

Phosphorus from municipal sewage

The AVA cleanphos pilot plant began operating at the beginning of July 2016 © AVA-CO2 Schweiz AG

The AVA cleanphos pilot plant began
operating at the beginning of July 2016
© AVA-CO2 Schweiz AG

AVA-CO2 recently announced that its cleanphos pilot plant in Karlsruhe, Germany, came online early this month. The cleanphos process enables efficient and cost-effective recovery of phosphorus from sewage sludge compared to existing phosphorus recovery methods.  The pilot unit will be tested in the coming weeks and months with two project partners, the University of Hohenhelm and the Project Group for Material Cycles and Resource Strategy at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research.

The cleanphos process reportedly involves conversion of municipal sewage sludge into HTC-coal before the phosphorus is isolated. This creates two potential products: a valuable fertilizer and phosphorus-free HTC coal. In the future, this CO2-neutral HTC coal could be used as a direct substitute for lignite, which would lead to substantial CO2 emissions reductions.

The first results of the cleanphos plant will be made public later this year.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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