Title: Agronomic efficiency of selected phosphorus fertilisers derived from secondary raw materials for European agriculture. A meta-analysis
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC108973
ISSN: 1774-0746 (online)
URI: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13593-018-0527-1
DOI: 10.1007/s13593-018-0527-1
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Phosphorus (P) is a macronutrient essential for all living organisms. Food production has become highly dependent on mineral P-fertilisers derived from phosphate rock, a non-renewable and finite resource. Based on supply risk and economic importance for the European Union, phosphate rock and elemental P have been identified as critical raw materials. Moreover, P dissipation can lead to adverse impacts on the aquatic environment. The production and use of P-fertilisers derived from secondary raw materials could possibly contribute to a more sustainable agriculture in line with a circular economy. Biogenic and industrial resources and waste streams can be converted into value added materials, such as precipitated phosphate salts, thermal oxidation materials and derivates, and pyrolysis and gasification materials. A condition is, however, that the P must be recovered in a plant-available form and that the recovered P-fertiliser supports plant growth and nutrient uptake in European agroecosystems. Here, we review the agronomic efficiency of selected P-fertilisers derived from secondary raw materials by comparing plant responses relative to those after mined and synthetic P-fertiliser application in settings relevant for European agriculture, using meta-analyses. The major points are the following: (1) precipitated phosphate salts show similar agronomic efficiency to mined and synthetic P-fertilisers, with results that are consistent and generalisable across soil and crop types relevant for European agriculture; (2) thermal oxidation materials and derivates can deliver an effective alternative for mined and synthetic P-fertilisers, but the relative agronomic efficiency is dependent on the feedstock applied, possible post-combustion manufacturing processes, and the length of the plant growing season; (3) the agronomic efficiency of pyrolysis and gasification materials remains indeterminate due to a lack of available data for European settings. It is concluded that the agronomic efficiency of selected P-fertilisers derived from secondary raw materials supports their use in conventional and organic European agricultural sectors.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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