The project’s aim, objectives and partners

The EU phosphorus requirements are supplied by import from Mideast, Russia and China. Due to its economic importance and supply risk, the European Union included the phosphorus and phosphate rocks (PR) in the “List of critical raw materials (CRM) for the EU”. Phosphorus is also difficult to be substituted.

One of the most sustainable options to secure future P supply within EU is recovery of P from food production and consumption chain which is also the EU P strategy. The 1st pillar of the strategy is biowastes incineration which will enrich the P-content and at the same time produce green energy. The innovative PHIGO solution aims to optimize the incineration step (the 1st pillar of the strategy) and to develop a sustainable technology for efficient P-extraction from the P-rich ashes (the 2nd pillar of the strategy) and thereby enabling closing the P loop in the EU P-strategy.

The project will be realized via a cross-discipline approach with experts in incineration processes (University of Ege with industrial actors GURES and INEVA, Turkey), material characterizations and evaluation (University of Porto, Portugal), thermal extraction processes (Swerim, Sweden and University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania), evaluation of products, processes and zero waste approaches (GIG and PROGEO, Poland) and sustainability assessment (University of Brescia, Italy).

The main contributions of the PHIGO to the Strategic Implementation Plan of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials and the ERA-MIN3 Research Agenda include:

– Recovery of critical material (CRM) P and reduced import of another CRM phosphate rock

– A sustainable EU P-strategy to secure the P need and close the P-Loop within EU.

The PHIGO solution will also contribute, in the future, to a more secured food supply on a global level as PR is nonrenewable and limited primary resource and P is an indispensable element for the food industry.

Potential and technology relevance

The PHIGO project addresses main topic No. 4 of ERA-MIN3 Call “Recycling and Re-use of End-of-Life Products”, and subtopic 2.1 “Product design for increased raw material efficiency”, Sub-Topic 3.2 “Increase resource efficiency through recycling of residues or remanufacturing of used products and components”, Sub-Topic 4.4 “Recovery of raw materials from End-of-life products”, Sub-Topic 5.1 “New business models (implementing circular economy aspects)”

“End-of-life products pre-processing” and subtopic 4.3 “Recovery of raw materials from End-of-life products”. The project focused on an efficient characterization, separation and recovery of metals/non-metals from LIBs via innovative approaches and covers the technology readiness level (TRL) 1-6 including basic principles, formulation of technology concepts, experimental proof and technology validation in lab and pilot scale.     

The PHIGO concept will be proved and validated by experimental test in lab scale. The achieved results of DEASPHOR project will be used as a milestone for the PHIGO project. The PHIGO project will start with TRL 2 and the target is TRL 4.

The project is suited to be a part of an integrated research program for exchange of experiences, scientific inter-disciplinary and other common activities between partners from universities, research institutes and industrial sectors. The project consists of partners that in a European perspective are the best suited enterprises and organisations to contribute to the objective of this project with high experience in their respective specialty and excellent reputation in research and development. The research institutes and academia in this consortium have already participated in several R&D projects with the industrial stakeholders mentioned above in this field.

Project leader

  • The Project coordinator: Dr. Guozhu Ye, Swerim.
  • Executive project manager: Dr. Elsayed Mousa, Swerim.

Project partners


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