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Nutrients are essential to ensure global food security. Taking into account the growing world population, increasing protein diets and the use of biomass for fuels, the demand for nutrients increases. However, the increasing demand causes a pressure on the availability and cost. The problem arises particularly for phosphorus. The stock of phosphoric ore is limited and will be exhausted in the foreseeable future. Moreover, 90% of reserves are located in five countries (especially the US, China and Morocco), which will give rise to major geopolitical uncertainty.

On the other hand, there is currently in Flanders a large amount of nutrients available (nutrients present in manure, organic biological waste, waste water, sewage sludge, etc.). The treatment of these flows, mainly to reduce the environmental impact (eg eutrophication), however, bring with it increased costs. By wise closing the nutrient cycle, Flanders can bend the above two challenges (global versus local scarcity of supply) into an opportunity and manifest itself as a leader in this new green sector.

In the nutrientplatform entrepreneurs, researchers and government join forces in Flanders into a top region for efficient nutrient management.

The long term objectives of the nutrients consultation are:

  • More efficient use of Nutrients;
  • Maximum recycle of the available Flemish nutrients with maximum reuse within the Flemish economy (self-sufficiency) and marketing by export of nutrients;
  • Valorize successful Flemish knowledge and technology in the field of recovery and reprocessing raw materials at home and abroad

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