We May Soon Be Extracting Phosphorus From Sewage

The world’s supply of phosphorus is rapidly diminishing. While this might not strike terror into your heart, it is actually quite a large issue. Amongst many, many other things, phosphorus is used in fertilizer which helps make the food we all eat.

We actually use quite a lot of phosphorus in our day to day activities without even realising it. In fact, it has been calculated that each person on the earth goes through about 22kg of the base material (the rock is extracted from) per year.

When you add the numbers up it’s quite a staggering figure. And it’s hardly surprising that we are rapidly running out of this vital element.

But humans actually consume, or digest, a very small amount of the phosphorus that we use. In reality, the vast majority of it is washed down the drains, and ultimately out to sea.

But, scientists may have found a way to extract and recycle this waste phosphorus, ultimately cutting down on our need to extract the base material.

By using a specific kind of algae, and suspending them on wool, they have found a way to extract the phosphorus from waste found in septic tanks. The next part of the challenge is to then extract the phosphorus from the algae.

It seems that there is no end to the possible uses for sewage, given that is can now be used as a fuel source amongst many other things.

Alternative Drainage will keep a close on the development of this technology, and the wider reaching implications it may have on the drainage industry.

Alternative Drainage provide drainage services, including installations and repairs, to homes and businesses across the entirety of Yorkshire. To find out how we can help you just call us on 0800 980 1362.