Struvite in fertiliser for maize

For the last few years we and our partners have searched for and found applications for the phosphorus recovered from the municipal wastewater chain (the Water Authorities). Timac Agro has used struvite to develop an innovative and sustainable fertiliser, which recently was used in sowing and fertilising maize fields for the first time. The product is available under the Physiostart P Plus name.

This development necessarily involved research, consultation with chain partners and the elimination of barriers. The collaboration in this chain has been particularly close with the Energy and Resources Factory (EFGF) and the Vallei and Veluwe Water Authority. The result: a fine, local and sustainable application for phosphorus recovered from wastewater.

Although the recovery and reuse of phosphorus is desired by society and supported by policy, it is not that self-evident in practice. Take for instance the fact that the Netherlands does not actually have a phosphorus shortage, but a surplus (because of the manure surplus). Moreover, the legal and regulatory framework is not always as clear as the chain partners would like. And the nature and composition of the struvite is not always suitable for direct application in agriculture – it is for instance a fertiliser that does not contain precisely all the elements that a plant needs.

Three years ago we came into contact with Timac Agro, a company that has for many years been actively renewing and improving agricultural performances that respect the environment. The kind of innovative company we’re glad to work with! The struvite from the Vallei and Veluwe Water Authority was chosen as the best logistical option for this route. A variety of tests were then conducted with the stream. Physiostart P Plus may now be used by derogation farms in the livestock sector, and in agriculture and horticulture.

AquaMinerals is extremely happy with this application. It means we can use the recovered struvite in a local and high-value application. Moreover, the product is developed in such a way that the phosphorus does not leach into water, and therefore does not promote algal growth in surface water. Lastly, thanks to well supervised, precision fertilisation, the risk of overfertilisation is minimal.

See also