Document Type: Original Research Paper
Diversification of phosphorus sources can bring substantial synergy effects within all the
sustainable development domains: environmental, economic and social, and such an opportunity should not be
overlooked. Urban sinks accumulate phosphorus and other elements and may serve as sources of secondary
raw materials. This paper evaluates phosphorus sources based on their total material requirement (TMR).
Resource requirements and emissions of the conventional phosphorus production from mining through the
acid route processing have been quantified and have been used as a yardstick against which to measure the
performance of two recycling options: spreading of sewage sludge and phosphorus recovery from municipal
solid waste incineration fly ash (MSWA). The sludge spreading had the lowest TMR. Phosphorus extracted
from the MSWAhad four-fold higher TMR than the conventional production. However, method modifications
were suggested and are currently being tested, which reduce the methods TMR well below the TMR of the
phosphorus production from the ore. The entire impact of the Swedish mineral fertilizer demand can be
avoided by recycling urban sinks of phosphorus. Sweden can become self-sufficient in mineral fertilizer
because the phosphorus quantities imported in food and later found in the urban sinks such as food waste,
sewage sludge and MSW incineration residues cover the entire necessary quantity.