Project title

LCA study to compare fertilizer production from rock phosphate with P-recovery from the wastewater stream

Project initiator

Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH

Project volume

137.800 €

Project start



18 months


Phosphorus is essential for life and an indispensable component of many fertilisers. The European and national legislation calls for the recovery of phosphorus form the wastewater stream in the medium term. Due to the lack of reliable data it has remained unanswered so far to what extent P-recovery can be considered appropriate in ecological and economic terms.

By means of the LCA methodology, the PHORWÄRTS project compares conventional fertiliser production from rock phosphate with selected methods of phosphorus recovery from the wastewater path. Since the informative value of the parameter toxicity is rather limited in conventional LCAs, the project PHORWÄRTS additionally provides a comparative contaminant risk assessment for the fertilizer application for different fertilizers. In this context, the contamination with heavy metals and organic pollutants is spotlighted. This comparison will be completed by a cost estimate of the various production methods.

The project was started in September 2016 and is financed by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in the scope of the Environmental Research Plan issued by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment.


Fabian Kraus (KWB)

Financial support: