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3R pyrolysis technology converts un-exploited biomass resources into bio-phosphate

3r flowchart

Type of organisation or company:

Kajaszo-Biofarm Agri Research Station

Language for original content:

Project elaborated in partnership: 
Submitted by: 
Edward Someus
Start/End date: 
06/2018 to 12/2020
Expected end date: 

Type of funding:

Terra Humana Ltd - Edward Someus

Contact details


Intensive farming and other human activities have negatively affected the availability of resources critical to agriculture, most notably by disturbing the natural cycles of plant nutrition in agricultural productions. Phosphorus (P) is a key element in food crop and animal production and cannot be substituted. Traditionally, chemo-synthetically processed phosphate rocks are used as fertiliser, but these are contaminated with Cadmium and Uranium.

European agriculture relies on the continuous inputs of mined and non-renewable P and synthesised N, but over 88% of all P-fertilisers on the EU market are being mined and imported from third countries. Europe is especially vulnerable to price fluctuations and political instabilities in producing countries, which is exacerbated by phosphate rock resources with low heavy metal content already being exhausted on global level. When taking into consideration the 700% price increase that occured in the phosphate sector in 2008 and further price volatility expected in 2018-2020, it shouldn't surprise that the European Commission recognised P as a critical raw material in 2017.

In 2019, Terra Humana finalised the development of its 3R zero emission and high temperature pyrolysis technology to recover Bio-Phosphate made from food grade animal bones. Such Bio-Phosphate contains >30% P2O5 and works well as a controlled release fertilizer, effectively supporting the industrial implementation of the new EU Fertilising Products Regulation objectives.

The Bio-Phosphate offers potential to substitute approximately <11% of all imported mineral phosphate in EU agriculture before 2030 and can be a strategic resource for organic farming sector already before 2025. This technology also fills a need for large-scale bio-fertiliser production in the EU and contributes to securing demand for bio-based nutrients and flows thereof between European regions.

Main results: 

Demonstrated, EU-certified and economical innovative technology at high TRL/IRL, which meets both the requirements of the new EU Fertilising Products Regulation and all other industrial norms and standards far beyond 2020. Implementation of the 3R zero emission technology projects in an industrial franchise model would enable the conversion of 20,800 t/y per unit food grade animal bones into high Phosphorus concentrated animal bone char for organic farming and adsorbent applications.