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A German company has developed a technology to gain phosphoric acid from primary and secondary resources containing phosphorous. The concept is modular and allows flexible adaptation to various feedstocks (e.g.struvite gained from sludge treatment process, calcium phosphates as residues from industrial processing, and sewage sludge ashes). The flexibility of the process allows processing of primary phosphates. Joint venture, research cooperation or technical cooperation agreements are envisaged.
A German spin-off that is doing research in terms of recovery of phosphoric acid from organic residues and chemicals by electrochemistry has developed an optimal, tailor-made solution for the extraction of phosphorus from primary and secondary raw materials. The young company consists of an interdisciplinary team that owns sound chemical, procedural and business management skills. Because of a strong connection to university the client still has access to scientific infrastructure and latest scientific knowledge that will be involved into their projects.
There is a great variety of mass flows containing phosphorus reaching from primary (apatite) to secondary resources (residues from industrial phosphate treating processes, from sewage sludge treatment, such as struvite or calcium phosphates, as well as from sewage sludge ashes) which together deliver the potential for the production of phosphoric raw materials or phosphoric products.
The developed solution can process raw materials such as struvite gained from the sludge treatment process, calcium phosphates as residues from industrial processing, and sewage sludge ashes.
Next to secondary raw materials, the flexibility of the process even allows the processing of primary phosphates such as apatite (rock-phosphate), too.
After acid digestion as the fist process step and filtration as the second, the main product phosphoric acid remains in the digestion solution and is separated from the solution in an electrochemical step (electrodialysis) to gain a raw phosphoric acid which in subsequent steps is concentrated and if desired purified.
One core component of the technology comprises a specific arrangement of ion exchange membranes within an electrodialysis stack to differentiate between the monovalent anion chlorides from the hydrochloric acid used in the digestion step and trivalent phosphate ions.
The subsequent step of vacuum evaporation is necessary to concentrate the acid from approx. 15 wt% to receive commonly traded industrial product concentrations (75 wt% to 85 wt%).
Now the client is looking for cooperation with constructors in the fields of machinery and equipment to further develop the technology in terms of technical cooperation or joint venture agreement.
They further are interested in cooperation with partners from R&D institution and Universities as project owners, which need experience and technological concepts processing material streams containing Phosphates in terms of a research cooperation agreement.
Phosphorus has been declared as critical raw material by the EU. Reasons are, that there are no deposits in the EU, that imports are affected by geopolitical conditions and the increasing pollution of raw phosphate.
Advantages of the phosphoric acid recovery from organic residues and chemicals by electrochemistry:
a) technically sound method and safe technology for phosphorus recovery
b) cost-covering method
c) allows different tailor-made concepts
-> process steps are based on standard components, which are combined in an innovative way
-> components themselves are readily available on industrial goods market
d) allows Co-combustion
e) can be adopted to a broad variety of feedstocks, easily
-> - it is possible to recover phosphoric acid from ashes and other residues (e.g., MAP (Magnesium ammonium phosphate) / Struvit)
f) legally compliant
-> it fulfils statutory recovery obligations (especially in Austria, Swiss)
-> it allows (especially in the field of secondary resources) true recycling, i.e. gaining a phosphoric product that adheres to prime commodity quality, and evading waste
g) higher value utilization of industrial residues
-> production of phosphoric acid
-> basic product with high product value and established market
The described technology was scaled up into an industrially relevant scale in the form of a prototype demonstration plant, commissioned in December 2017. The demonstration plant is available for test runs with different educts (raw material throughput up to 1,000 kg per day).
Exclusive Licence on granted German and applied European patent.
The client is looking for:
- Machinery and Equipment Constructors as partners for development of the technology (e. g. basic, detail engineering and construction services for chemical plants, automation of chemical processes)
- Project partners: R&D institution and Universities as project owners, which need experience and technological concepts processing material streams containing Phosphates; especially scale-up from laboratory to industrial scale for private and/or public funded research and development projects
The client also offers different solutions to comply to legal phosphorus recovery obligations –especially in Switzerland and Austria.