A Green and Sustainable Solution to Global Phosphorus Depletion by Don Mavinic

2,387 views

Published on

A Green and Sustainable Solution to Global Phosphorus Depletion
November 17 2010
Green and Sustainable
Presenter: Don Mavinic

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,387
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
33
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
47
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

A Green and Sustainable Solution to Global Phosphorus Depletion by Don Mavinic

  1. 1. A Green and Sustainable Solution to Global Phosphorus Depletion Donald S. Mavinic, Ph D., P. Eng. Professor of Civil Engineering The University of British Columbia, B.C., Canada November 17, 2010
  2. 2. Presentation Outline <ul><ul><ul><li>Phosphorus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>History </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Global Issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solutions and Technology Transfer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations for Canadian Policy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ Phosphorus is a key link in the global food chain , an essential nutrient for life and the biggest natural resource shortage you have never heard of. Earth has a limited supply of phosphorus and once it is gone, life as we know it will be gone as well.” </li></ul><ul><li>James Elser </li></ul><ul><li>Professor of Life Sciences, Arizona State University </li></ul><ul><li>September, 2010, WE&T Magazine </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><ul><ul><li>Phosphorus (P) was discovered * in Hamburg, Germany by alchemist Hennig Brand in 1669 by heating urine to high temperatures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brand thought he had discovered the Philosopher’s Stone , which turned lead into gold </li></ul></ul></ul>* The origin of elemental phosphorus is shrouded in mystery and possibly was discovered in ancient Greece and Rome and then forgotten again.
  5. 5. What About Phosphorus ? <ul><li>Phosphorus is essential for all living organisms </li></ul><ul><li>Phosphorus is a building block of DNA, cellular membranes and energy metabolism </li></ul><ul><li>The human adult body contains approx. 1.5 kg of phosphorus, mostly in the bones </li></ul><ul><li>There is no known substitute for phosphorus </li></ul>
  6. 6. What About Phosphorus ? <ul><li>Phosphorus cannot be manufactured or extracted from the atmosphere (like nitrogen) </li></ul><ul><li>Phosphorus cannot be destroyed , since it has no gaseous phase </li></ul><ul><li>Humans excrete between 3 – 4 grams daily in urine </li></ul><ul><li>Cows and hogs excrete 20 times that amount daily </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ We may be able to substitute nuclear power for coal, and plastics for wood, and yeast for meat, and friendliness for isolation - but for phosphorus there is neither substitute nor replacement” </li></ul></ul></ul>Isaac Asimov
  8. 8. What About Phosphorus ? <ul><li>Phosphorus is one of the three key components of fertilizers </li></ul><ul><li>It is crucial for the world's food supply </li></ul><ul><li>Approx. 80% of the phosphorus contained in rock mined for food production never reaches the food consumed globally </li></ul>
  9. 9. Excess Phosphorus (P) in water = water pollution and the start of Eutrophication <ul><ul><ul><li>British Parliament was disrupted in the summer of 1858 due to stench from the Thames River, known as </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Big Stink ” </li></ul></ul></ul>Faraday giving his card to Father Thames , caricature commenting on a letter of Faraday's on the state of the river in the Times in Summer 1855
  10. 10. <ul><li>Canadian limnologists were at the forefront of the eutrophication debate </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental Lakes Area in Northwestern Ontario, run by the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg, show impact of Phosphorus </li></ul>N and C on the top N, P and C on the bottom Dave Schindler, Jack Vallentyne, John Stockner, Staffan Holmgren, Everett Fee
  11. 11. <ul><ul><ul><li>Environment Canada report by Vollenweider, and Vallentyne’s “The Algal Bowl” summarized eutrophication situation - 1960’s </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Led to legislation reducing P in detergents and waste water </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>US Clean Water Act introduced </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in 1972 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Lake Winnipeg has become severely eutrophic in the 1990s due to Phosphorus pollution
  13. 13. Shuswap Lake System - Algae Bloom
  14. 14. Phosphorus Facts Collectively, Morocco, China, South Africa and the US hold over 80% of known , high quality, economically-recoverable phosphate rock .
  15. 15. Phosphorus Facts <ul><li>Morocco holds approximately 40% of Global reserves , followed by China at about 27% </li></ul><ul><li>US production of phosphates has already peaked and known reserves are expected to be depleted within 20-25 years </li></ul><ul><li>Canada has no significant reserves and is heavily dependent on US supplies </li></ul>
  16. 16. Phosphorus Facts <ul><li>Global phosphate rock extraction is “expected” to peak between 2030 and 2040 </li></ul><ul><li>THEN WHAT ? </li></ul><ul><li>Global demand will exceed supply between 2025 – 2030 ( based on a 3.1- 3.2% per year growth demand) </li></ul><ul><li>IMPLICATIONS ?? </li></ul>
  17. 19. Struvite (trade name) – what is it? <ul><li>A form of inorganic fertilizer containing phosphorus </li></ul><ul><li>Forms as a solid matrix in many biological Waste Water Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Plants (WWTPs) </li></ul><ul><li>Leads to serious plugging </li></ul><ul><li>of pipes and pumps </li></ul>
  18. 20. Struvite (Trade name) – what is it? <ul><li>Chemical composition: Mg NH 4 PO 4 . 6 H 2 O </li></ul><ul><li>Known as Magnesium-Ammonium-Phosphate = MAP </li></ul><ul><li>Contains no organic material, hence is not a biosolid </li></ul>
  19. 21. UBC Pilot Scale Reactors
  20. 22. Full Scale Process
  21. 23. <ul><ul><ul><li>Many nations are now vigorously pursuing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>P recovery </li></ul></ul></ul>North America’s largest P recovery reactor, in Edmonton March/07 UBC Patented Design November 2009
  22. 24. <ul><li>Full scale P recovery reactor, in Edmonton </li></ul><ul><li>Serves 200,000 people </li></ul><ul><li>Recovers about 400 kg of P per day </li></ul><ul><li>4 more reactors potentially </li></ul><ul><li>coming on line 2011 </li></ul>
  23. 25. Struvite – Commercial Name <ul><li>Crystal Green ® (Ostara Inc) </li></ul><ul><li>5-28-0 + 10 % Mg </li></ul><ul><li>Easily Blended with </li></ul><ul><li>other pellets </li></ul><ul><li>Size: 0.5- 5 mm crystals </li></ul>
  24. 26. Crystal Green ® <ul><li>A sustainable, recoverable resource from human and agricultural waste streams </li></ul><ul><li>A slow-release fertilizer , that also generates Greenhouse Gas Credits during production </li></ul>
  25. 27. Fertilizer to food
  26. 28. <ul><li>Three full scale P recovery reactors, Tigard (Portland) </li></ul><ul><li>Serves 500,000 people, </li></ul><ul><li>Recovers about 500 tonnes of Phosphorus per year </li></ul><ul><li>Struvite can command premium prices on </li></ul><ul><li>world markets </li></ul>
  27. 29. Robert Kennedy Jr. is on the Ostara Board of Directors Kennedy has stated every large WWTP in the USA must have P recovery
  28. 30. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The “Nutrient Pump” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>Salmon “pump” nutrients uphill against the force of gravity Salmon are ~ 0.3% as P and ~3% as N (wet weight) <ul><li>Salmon carcasses provide nutrients including phosphorus for the health of the rivers and ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>When they are absent the river needs added nutrients </li></ul><ul><li>BC using P recovered from waste stream to replace the missing nutrients </li></ul>
  29. 31. Proceedings from the 2001 Salmon Nutrient Conference, Eugene Oregon Available: www.fisheries.org
  30. 32. Stream Rehabilitation using Crystal Green ® <ul><li>Replacing absent salmon </li></ul><ul><li>carcasses - Helicopter </li></ul>
  31. 33. The Outcome
  32. 34. Stream Rehabilitation using Crystal Green ® - t he hard way
  33. 35. The Outcome
  34. 36. BC Rivers fertilized with Crystal Green ® in 2010
  35. 37. <ul><li>International Conference held in Vancouver May 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Global review of current technology in Phosphorus Recovery </li></ul><ul><li>Attended by government officials and researchers from 32 countries </li></ul>Phosphorus - the Global Issue
  36. 38. The Conference generated Global discussion on the looming Phosphorus Shortage
  37. 40. <ul><ul><ul><li>Recent European Community directives recommend P recovery/recycling from farms and biological waste water treatment plants (WWTP) </li></ul></ul></ul>P can be recycled endlessly
  38. 41. GPRI Declaration Accepted by the UN Environment Committee
  39. 42. <ul><li>The Next Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Recovery of P from animal manure </li></ul><ul><li>Represents a huge opportunity to recover P and protect the environment </li></ul><ul><li>The planet has 6.7 billion people , but 70 billion livestock !! </li></ul>
  40. 43. Okanagan Winter Spreading
  41. 44. Summary <ul><li>Global phosphate reserves are rapidly being depleted , threatening the world’s future ability to produce food </li></ul><ul><li>Phosphate rock , the basis for large scale fertilizer production, is a non-renewable resource </li></ul><ul><li>Cheap fertilizers are a thing of the past as global demands begin to outstrip the available supply of high-quality, economically recoverable P reserves </li></ul>
  42. 45. Summary <ul><li>Many countries are now limiting phosphate rock exportation and are mandating P recovery and reuse </li></ul><ul><li>Phosphorus removal and recovery from domestic treatment plants is now a reality </li></ul><ul><li>Phosphate removal and recovery from agricultural wastes (e.g. cattle and hogs) shows great promise. </li></ul>
  43. 46. Implications for North America <ul><li>Begin thinking differently NOW </li></ul><ul><li>Shift the paradigm from phosphorus removal to phosphorus removal / recovery and reuse </li></ul><ul><li>View Waste Streams (human and agricultural) as a resource , a sustainable source of phosphorus and Green House Credits </li></ul>
  44. 47. Implications for Canada <ul><li>Recommended actions: </li></ul><ul><li>Mandate a national policy for major biological waste treatment plants, including nutrient removal and recovery (especially P) </li></ul><ul><li>Implement a CCME directive to begin addressing this NEW PARADIGM </li></ul>
  45. 48. <ul><li>“ Phosphorus is a key link in the global food chain , an essential nutrient for life and the biggest natural resource shortage you have never heard of. Earth has a limited supply of phosphorus and once it is gone, life as we know it will be gone as well.” </li></ul><ul><li>James Elser </li></ul><ul><li>Professor of Life Sciences, Arizona State University </li></ul><ul><li>September, 2010, WE&T Magazine </li></ul>
  46. 49. … . and the last word from Herr Doktor Brand… Recycle P!

×