01 January 2018 – 31 March 2021


Phosphorus (P) is an essential and irreplaceable nutrient for humans and nature. This is a limited resource, especially in Europe which depends to 92% of its needs from a handful of countries, including politically unstable countries like Morocco (Western Sahara). Thus, it becomes essential to secure the P supply in Europe by finding secondary sources and recycling end-of-life products. Municipal wastewater is one of those, as it contains 15% of the European mineral phosphorus demand.

PhosForce’s up-scaling into a market-ready solution will be made possible through an industry-driven European Consortium covering five different countries. Various entities of the Veolia group will perform prototype and full-scale demonstrations on one German WWTP. Two research partners will complement the development through lab tests and modeling work (New University of Lisbon), required to increase the replication potential of the concept on diverse types of WWTPs, as well as product characterization and Life Cycle Assessment (Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Science).

Specific attention will be paid to marketing/market take-off with the following actions in the last year of the project:

  • Design up‐scaling will be described in technical guidelines and “market ready” standards
  • Life Cycle Analysis and Costing of selected designs will be performed by MEERI, respectively Krüger
  • A marketing and communication plan will be developed by OEWA and Krüger.

The solution (technology)

Germany will make phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge mandatory for all Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs) larger than 50,000 person equivalents (p.e.). This project aims at giving a solution to German middle-sized WWTPs by up-scaling a new phosphorus recovery process scheme in WWTP sludge stream and demonstrating its technical and economical performances at large scale. The process targets > 50% phosphorus recovery and will be cost-effective, easy to implement, eco-friendly and will present low health safety risks.

The advantages of the solution will be highlighted and communicated through appropriate vectors. The principal communication target will be the 400 German WWTP operators that will need to prepare an implementation plan for P‐recovery by 2023. A final international workshop will be organized at Schönebeck WWTP to present life the pioneer unit and the results gathered in the project.


  • Oewa Wasser und Abwasser GmbH, Germany (Lead partner)
  • Krüger AS (KRG), Denmark
  • Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences (MEERI), Poland
  • New University of Lisbon – Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT NOVA), Portugal
  • Veolia Deutschland GmbH, Germany
  • Veolia Environnement SA (VESA), France
  • Veolia Recherche et Innovation (VERI), France