Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sewage could help solve coming phosphate fertilizer shortage

According to the article linked below, "peak phosphate" may be a more urgent issue for our world than "peak oil." Rock phosphate mined from a few dwindling reserves is vital in world food production. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a method for extracting nutrients from municipal sewage in a form that is useable on farms. It could also provide a valuable revenue source for municiple sewage plants around the world. The sewage plant carries the sweet smell of valuable phosphorus: "'Phosphate production is going to peak around 2035 and then tail off,' Dr. Ashley said. 'If we don't do something we are looking at mass starvation.'"

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