2018-10-03 11:13Press release

Ragn-Sells and Gelsenwasser enter partnership on phosphorus recovery in Germany


EasyMining, a subsidiary of the Swedish environmental company Ragn-Sells, has signed a letter of intent with the German utilities company Gelsenwasser AG. Under the agreement, a pilot study will be carried out with the objective to create a facility for phosphorus recovery from incinerated sewage sludge in Germany, based on EasyMining’s patented Ash2Phos technology.

– Germany is the most ambitious state in Europe concerning phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge. We are proud and excited to work with Gelsenwasser in applying our unique Ash2Phos technology and recover valuable phosphorus from sewage sludge. More countries will follow the German example and demand innovative solutions to make use of the resources in their waste, says Ragn-Sells Group CEO Lars Lindén.

The pilot study intents to lay the groundwork for a possible investment in Germany´s first facility where phosphorus is extracted from incinerated sewage sludge using the Ash2Phos technology. The plant will be located in Bitterfeld-Wolfen in the eastern part of Germany and it is scheduled for opening in 2023.

Today, phosphate rock for fertilizer is mined, often in the world's largest phosphorus deposits in Western Sahara where the mineral is tainted with heavy metals, which are absorbed by produce grown in the fields. The European Union depends on imports for 90 percent of its phosphorus. However, sewage sludge from water treatment plants contains large quantities of phosphorus, of which only a minor part is recovered and put to agricultural use today. Using EasyMining´s Ash2Phos technology, more than 90 percent of the phosphorus can be extracted from sewage sludge ashes. The recovered phosphorus is very pure and virtually all contaminants are removed in the process, paving the way for a circular flow of phosphorus.

– By cooperating, Ragn-Sells and Gelsenwasser can take advantage of the latest development and use a resource efficient technology to recover a scarce substance. The project is an example of how working together yields sustainable, circular solutions for urban environments, says Dr. Dirk Waider, Chief Technical Officer at Gelsenwasser. It fits perfectly in the resource-saving strategy throughout all our operating fields.

The Swedish government has initiated an official inquiry with the stated purpose of proposing legislation on mandatory phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge. In 2017, Germany introduced a law mandating such recovery for larger wastewater treatment plants, which has led to increased demand for technology that enables meeting recovery requirements. Due to increased interest in EasyMining´s Ash2Phos technology, Ragn-Sells was invited to participate in the UN High Level Political Forum earlier this year.

The European Union has phosphorus on its list of 27 so-called Critical Raw Materials (CRM).

For more information, please contact:

Lars Lindén, Group CEO, Ragn-Sells, +46 70-927 27 78, lars.linden@ragnsells.com

Ragn-Sells Media office, +46 70-927 24 00, medialinjen@ragnsells.com

Read more about the Ash2Phos technology here .


GELSENWASSER AG is a German utilities company operating in the fields of gas, electricity, water and wastewater. The company is one of Germany´s largest in its business and specializes in renewable resources. GELSENWASSER AG is located in Gelsenkirchen and has an annual turnover of 1.2 billion euros (2017).

Facts: Germany’s phosphorus recovery law

In 2017 Germany introduced a law mandating making phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge mandatory for wastewater treatment facilities serving 50 000 people or above. Cities have until 2022 to decide which technology they will implement to meet the demands. 

About Ragn-Sells Group

The Ragn-Sells Group is a privately held corporate group, operating companies in four countries.


Emma Ranerfors
Press Officer
Emma Ranerfors