This webinar is part of a series where we focus on various aspects of individual chemical elements and is a result of our EuChemS Periodic Table highlighting element availability and vulnerability.
Phosphorus is a key component of our bodies applied to crops using phosphate fertilisers. Phosphate rock is a finite resource. Many reserves are likely to be exhausted before the end of this century with serious consequences for the exponentially growing and often malnourished global population.
Poor farming practices lead to a build-up of phosphorus in agricultural soils in arable lands and large flows of phosphorus to surface water, causing eutrophication (algal blooms) in aquatic ecosystems. Reduced use and recycling of phosphorus from agricultural runoff could be ways to reduce the environmental impact on water resources. In addition, the recovery of phosphorus from wastewater and sewage sludge, could provide a contribution to a circular economy of this essential element.
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