Phosphorus Recovery from Wastewater: Bioavailability of P Bound to Calcareous Material for Maize (Zea Mays L.) Growth

Solvei Mundbjerg Jensen*, Chiara Esposito, Dennis Konnerup, Hans Brix, Carlos Alberto Arias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


(1) Phosphorus (P) is an essential plant nutrient, and P deficiency negatively affects plant growth and development. Furthermore, P is a finite and nonrenewable resource, and there is an urgent need to recover P from some of the important waste streams in society. Newly engineered calcareous materials (sol–gel coated cat litter (CATSAN®)) can bind P from wastewater in decentralized treatment systems and potentially enable P recycling into agricultural production by direct addition of the P saturated material. (2) The effects of the addition of two P-enriched calcareous materials as fertilizers for maize (Zea mays L.) growth were investigated in a mesocosm experiment. We compared fertilization with the P-enriched materials at rates of 6, 12, 25, 50, 100 kg P ha −1 yr −1 with fertilization with commercial NPK fertilizer. (3) The P fertilization by the P-enriched materials had a significant positive effect on plant height, biomass, maximum light-saturated photosynthetic rate, respiration rate, and total P content in biomass. However, plants fertilized by the commercial NPK fertilizer performed significantly better in the majority of measured parameters at identical fertilization rates. (4) The bioavailability of the P bound to the calcareous material was very low. However, the studied material has the potential to be used as part of a decentralized treatment solution to remove and subsequently recover and recycle P from wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Phosphorus Recovery from Wastewater: Bioavailability of P Bound to Calcareous Material for Maize (Zea Mays L.) Growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this