2020-09-04 05:36Press release

Ragn-Sells and Gelsenwasser seal partnership to recover phosphorus from sewage sludge ash


Swedish environmental company Ragn-Sells and German utilities company Gelsenwasser have agreed to expand their cooperation with the primary goal to construct a major new facility for extracting phosphorus from incinerated sewage sludge. The plant will be the first in Germany to utilise the Ash2Phos technology for recovering this valuable resource, and is the first of several such facilities planned.

– We are very pleased to expand our partnership with Gelsenwasser, a leading force in municipal services, water and energy supply, to begin the process of building this unique facility. Together, we will make sure that valuable phosphorus is put to new use as fertiliser in the fields, instead of going to waste, says Lars Lindén, CEO of Ragn-Sells Group.

The planned facility will utilise the Ash2Phos technology to extract more than 90 percent of the phosphorus from the ashes of incinerated sewage sludge. This process, developed and patented by EasyMining, an innovation company in Ragn-Sells Group, also removes nearly all contaminants from circulation, rendering the cleanest phosphorus product on the market and enabling a circular flow of phosphorus.

– Very soon, cities across Germany have to decide how to recover phosphorus from their sewage sludge in order to comply with new regulation. This facility will offer a sustainable, circular solution for urban environments and make it easy for local governments to meet the new requirements in a safe, simple and cost-effective way, says Henning R. Deters, CEO of Gelsenwasser AG.

In 2017 Germany introduced a law making phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge mandatory for wastewater treatment facilities serving 50,000 people or more. Cities have until 2023 to decide which technology they will implement to meet the demands.

The first plant will be able to treat 30,000 tonnes of ash every year, recovering more than 90 percent of the phosphorus content. It is the first in a planned series of Ash2Phos-based plants in Germany.

– Our aim is to lay the groundwork for several phosphorus recovery facilities in Germany over the next few years. Together with Gelsenwasser we look forward to continuing talks with municipalities and others looking for a truly circular solution for their sewage sludge, in Germany and elsewhere, says Jan Svärd, CEO of EasyMining.

In addition to recovering phosphorus, the Ash2Phos process enables recycling of a much larger share of the sludge ash than any competing technology, making it a powerful tool for waste reduction. Industrial iron and aluminium compounds are also recovered, while the bulk of the ash is left as silica sand, a potential construction material, instead of going to landfill.

For more information, please contact

Lars Lindén, CEO Ragn-Sells Group, +46 70-927 27 78, lars.linden@ragnsells.com 
Jan Svärd, CEO EasyMining, +46 70-978 64 74, jan.svard@ragnsells.com 
Ragn-Sells Media Services, +46 70-927 24 00, medialinjen@ragnsells.com 

Facts: Phosphorus
Without phosphorus as a fertiliser, the global food production would be cut in half. Today, phosphate rock is supplied by mining. The world's largest deposits are in Morocco and Western Sahara where the mineral is tainted with toxins, which are then absorbed by the crops grown in the fields. Sewage sludge is abundant and very rich in nutrients such as phosphorus, but only a minor part of the phosphorus in the sludge is put to agricultural use today.
Read more: https://www.easymining.se/article-startpage/the-story-of-phosphorus/

Facts: Ash2Phos
EasyMining’s process for recirculating phosphorus from sewage sludge ash is called Ash2Phos and is a wet chemical process that uses ash from incinerated sewage sludge. The main advantage of Ash2Phos is that the process can produce pure commercial phosphorus products called mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP) or di-calcium phosphate (DCP) and at the same time separate heavy metals, such as for example cadmium, from the sludge.
Read more: https://www.easymining.se/technologies/ash2phos/

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