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.