Ash2Phos – pioneering patent for vital nutrient
Once used, a large proportion of virgin phosphorus, which is classified by the EU as a critical raw material, is to be found in sewage sludge. Ragn-Sells innovation company EasyMining's pioneering Ash2Phos patent makes phosphorus circular by recovering it from the ash after the sludge has been incinerated. The end product is pure, recycled phosphorus that can replace virgin phosphorus in commercial products.
To understand how pioneering and important the Ash2Phos process is, you have to understand how vital phosphorus is. As Yariv Cohen, Head of Research and Development at EasyMining and the brains behind the unique Ash2Phos patent, puts it:
– Without phosphorus there is no life. All energy transfer in biological systems is based on phosphorus chemistry. The fact that we can move at all is thanks to phosphorus.
To ensure that the world's population ingests phosphorus, the essential substance is added via mineral fertilizer. The phosphorus is mined, mainly in Western Sahara, and processed into fertilizers for subsequent use in agriculture for producing food.
– There are a number of problems associated with phosphorus mining. Firstly, the phosphorus deposits have a limited lifespan and will quite simply run out. Secondly, the world is largely dependent on one countries, Morocco including Western Sahara, where 70 percent of all known phosphorus deposits are located, which is also a political problem in itself. Finally, most phosphorus deposits are contaminated with cadmium, which is a major problem as exposure to cadmium can lead to several diseases including osteoporosis and cancer, Yariv says.