Waste and Resource Network Denmark

Programme (incl. links to the presentations)

Phosphorus a Limited Resource - Closing the Loop

Join us in making more efficient use of the world’s limited and non-renewable phosphorus resources!

Better use of phosphorus as a resource is necessary because phosphorus is a critical and limited resource for the production of our food. This is also an important component in developing the circular economy with positive impacts on consumption, climate change and eutrophication of our waters.

Phosphorus is essential for agriculture and food production. At the same time phosphorus is a non-renewable resource and has no substitutes. About 90% of the global phosphorus mining production is used as fertilizer in food production and as global demand for food increases the need for phosphorus continues to grow. At the present increasing demand for phosphate rock we will deplete the world’s cheap and high quality reserves within 50-100 years leaving more expensive and lower quality reserves for the next generation. Phosphate rock reserves are located in only a very few countries in China and the US and mainly in Morocco/West Sahara (75% of the global reserves).

About 80% of the mined phosphorus is lost by the stage it is in the form of consumable food and this has major impacts on the amounts of P consumed in fertilizer and food production and the losses to the environment. Phosphorus is the principle cause for eutrophication of freshwater and the deterioration of surface water quality in rivers, lakes and coastal zones in much of Europe and around the world.

Phosphorus can be recovered and reused from both solid and liquid waste systems within certain economic and technical limits. In the Nordic countries we can contribute know how in using phosphorus more efficiently while also applying a circular economy perspective promoting P recovery within the EU and on the international agenda. The Nordic countries have a strong historical foundation in reuse and recycling when it comes to strategic focus, experience and cooperation including technology development and successful implementation. Through the Nordic Council of Ministers, this conference will explore and demonstrate the possibilities of more efficient and optimal use of the phosphorus resources.

With this conference we will create a meeting space for exchange of knowledge, best-practices and experience plus focus political attention to the local, national, regional and international levels.


11.30-12.15 Registration

12.15-13.00 Lunch

13.00-13.15 Opening by the Nordic Council of Ministers
By Mikael Höysti, ‎Head of department for Culture and Resources, Nordic Council of Ministers´Secretariat

13.15-13.45 Status of the Phosphorous Situation in the Nordic Countries
By Helen Ann Hamilton, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

13.45-14.45 Strategies and Reuse Initiatives in the Nordic Countries
13.45-14.00: Linda Bagge, Danish EPA
14.00-14.15: Terje Farestveit, Norwegian EPA
14.15-14.30: Anna-Maria Sundin, Swedish EPA
14.30-14.45: Mikko Rahtola, LUKE

14.45-15.10 Coffee break

15.10-15.40 Phosphorous and the SDGs: The Key to Life the World Forgot
By Achim Halpaap, UNEP

15.40-16.00 How to transform the way we produce food
By Julie Hill, Green Alliance, UK

16.00-16.30 Global Phosphorous Status
By Arno Rosemarin, Stockholm Environment Institute
16.30-17.00 Towards a circular economy for phosphorus: EU policies and business success stories
By Chris Thornton, European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform

17.00-17.30 Panel discussion: Transition to Circular Phosphorous Economy in the Nordic Countries – How?

17.30-17.45 Completion of day 1

19.00- Conference dinner at the hotel




08.30-08.40 Presentation of the Day Program

08.40-09.05 Phosphorus use and recycling in organic farming in Denmark
By Margrethe Askegaard, SEGES, Denmark

09.05-09.30 How to Bridge the Gap Between Town and Country
By Jean-Benoit Bel, ACR+

09.30-09.40 Questions and introduction to parallel sessions

09.40-10.00 Coffee Break

10.00-12.30 Parallel Sessions:

1. How Can Municipalities Embrace Circular Nutrient Economy?

10.00-10.20: The Magical Factory
By Ketil Stoknes, Lindum, Norway
The biogas plant is the central component of a "magic" ecosystem which makes possible real climate action and circular economy in the region. The "magic" project optimizes the use of nutrients through integrating a closed greenhouse system. The pathways of nitrogen and phosphorus will be illustrated.

10.20-10.40: Billund Refinery – Danish Experiences
By Bjarne Bro, Billund Refinery, Denmark

10.40-11.00: Phosphor recycling – simple & safe!
By Sune Aagot Sckerl, BGORJ, Denmark  

11.00-11.20: Solutions and costs for public facilities
By Line Diana Blytt, COWI

11.20-11.50: Discussion

2. What quality - in farming land and food - do we aim at?

10.00-10.20: The revision of the EU Fertilisers Regulation (underway): opportunities and issues of a completely new legal framework
By Chris Thornton, European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform

10.20-10.40: Risk Assessments of Sewage Sludge
By Kersti Linderholm, Silvberg, Sweden

10.40-11.00: REVAQ - Swedish Certification System
By Anders Finnson, Svenskt Vatten, Sweden

11.00-11.20: Quality Requirements and Biogas
By Ola Palm, JTI - Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Sweden

11.20-11.50: Diskussion

3. Technologies and Solutions

10.00-10.25: Performance of nine technologies for phosphorus recovery from wastewater- Overview from the European P-REX project
By Anders Nättorp, University of applied science and arts, Northwestern, Switzerland
Project contributors: Anders Nättorp and Jan Stemann, FHNW, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Christian Remy and Christian Kabbe, KWB, Berlin Centre of Competence for Water, Verena Wilken, IASP, Hannes Herzel, BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing.

10.25-10.45 Struvite - a technique for P recovery

By Gunnar Thelin, Ekobalans, Sweden

10.45-11.05 Sewage Sludge Incineration - ash and P recycling
By Rob de Ruiter, Ecophos, Netherlands

11.05-11.25 Anaerobic digestion – a key for CO2 neutral energy and sustainable food production/Biogas 2020 status - the role of anaerobic digestion for P recovery succes
By Per Wennerberg, Biogass Oslofjord, Norway

11.25-11.50 Discussion

11.50-12.05 Break


12.05-12.20 Results from each session 

12.20-12.55  Panel discussion: P Circulation in Biological Systems
- Sune Aagot, BGORJ
- Bruno Sander Nielsen, Branceforeningen for biogas, Danmark
- Kari Ylivainio, Natural Resources Insitute, Finland
- Per-Göran Andersson, Hushallningsalskapet, Sweden

12.55-13.00  Conference final

13.00-14.00 Lunch