The pontes pabuli process produces high-quality and standardised granular fertiliser from ashes containing phosphate. These fertilisers not only comply with the German Fertiliser Ordinance (DüMV) and match conventional mineral fertilisers in terms of quality and performance, but also meet the strictest requirements in agriculture.
Our various types of fertilisers are suited to crops' respective nutrient requirements and can be applied in the same way as conventional mineral fertilisers using the existing technology.
Since our phosphate recovery process yields a high-quality product which has a large existing market with clearly defined qualities and prices, our process is both economical and calculable in the long term. We can therefore already offer a phosphate recovery process that is profitable in today's market conditions.
Our process produces a variety of fertiliser types, catering to specific needs of different crops and soils. Precise nutrition for plants as specified.
Our pontes pabuli process converts ashes containing phosphates, such as sewage sludge ash, into high-quality, standardised granular fertilisers. The phosphate nutrient in these ashes is made available to plants. This yields a phosphate fertiliser.
Our process then allows us to add various additional raw materials. In this way, we are able on the one hand to ensure the consistent quality of the end product, and on the other hand to create precisely defined nutrient compositions for different types of fertilisers.
For example, in the case of phosphate fertilisers with additional phosphate components we maintain a fixed P2O5 content. Our customers can specify according to their needs, be it for superphosphate, double superphosphate or even triple superphosphate.
Complex fertilisers cover a broad spectrum, typically featuring as main nutrients nitrogen, potassium, sulphur and magnesium in addition to phosphate. Depending on the nutrient requirements of individual crops, various fertiliser compositions have been established. By adding different nutrient components, we can fine-tune these compositions and thus deliver ready-to-use complex fertilisers.
Not only the main nutrients but also trace elements are required for good growth. We can of course add these in exact quantities, much as with nutrient components.
We are opening up an untapped domestic source of raw materials, making our agriculture less dependent on geopolitical battles over the distribution of raw materials.
It is impossible to imagine modern agriculture without phosphorus as a basis for fertilisers. Annually, approximately 160 million tons of phosphate is extracted from the mineral apatite. Depending on which study you read and assuming consumption remains unchanged, known reserves would last around 100 years. However, phosphate fertilisers are likely to become scarce much sooner. For one thing, the world's population is growing continuously, dramatically increasing the demand for food. Secondly, more and more impurities are found in phosphate ore, making fertiliser production increasingly complex and thus more expensive. Moreover, the use of phosphate as a fertiliser is becoming increasingly competitive with other industries, accounting for around 80% of the volume produced today. For example, in the manufacture of batteries for electric cars.
The erratic distribution of phosphate reserves worldwide exacerbates this dramatic situation. Around 80 per cent of all reserves are concentrated in Morocco, China, South Africa and Jordan. Geopolitically, Europe is currently about 90 % dependent on imports, yet at the same time we are leaving a gigantic nutrient potential of organic and inorganic residues untouched. Sewage sludge and sewage sludge ashes alone contain enough phosphate to cover around half of Germany's domestic demand for phosphate fertilisers.
Our pontes pabuli process opens up a home-grown, reliable source of phosphate, ensuring that our agriculture becomes a bit less dependent on geopolitical markets and struggles for resources. This ensures price stability while avoiding long transport routes and environmentally harmful mining.
Conventional mineral fertilisers as well as sewage sludge and ashes release high levels of heavy metals into the environment. Heavy metals can be removed using our process.
The routes heavy metals take to enter the environment and the food chain are many and varied. Fertilisers play a very important role alongside atmospheric deposition. The concentration of pollutants such as cadmium and uranium in mineral fertilisers is particularly crucial. For example, studies have attributed over 70% of discharges of heavy metal cadmium into the environment to mineral fertilisers. Increasingly, public awareness of uranium as an environmental problem is rising alongside cadmium. Uranium is primarily discharged into the environment in fertilisers, where it is found in higher concentrations, especially in phosphates of sedimentary origin, where uranium typically reaches concentrations of up to 200 mg U / kg P2O5.
German Fertiliser Ordinance even permits a maximum value for cadmium in mineral fertilisers of 50 g/t P2O5, although about half of the mineral fertilisers used in Germany today exceed this limit. This is made possible by the fact that these are EC fertilisers, for which the German Fertiliser Regulation's labelling and limit value rules do not apply. There is no limit value at all for uranium, despite many years of recommending a cap of 50 mg U / kg P2O5 and an obligation to label products containing over 20 mg U / kg P2O5.
Our pontes pabuli method enables us to remove heavy metals from the ashes containing phosphate if required. The process controls can be flexibly adapted to target and deplete particularly critical heavy metals to an economically viable extent.
With our method we strike a balance between undernourishment due to poor accessibility and the danger of major washout because of instant solubility.
In our P-recovery process pontes pabuli, the poorly soluble phosphates are separated from the phosphate-containing ashes by means of a transformative reaction with acid. We can achieve different levels of solubility of the phosphate through our process controls and varying the type and concentration of the acid.
This is necesarry because what works for one doesn't work for all. In order to determine the soluble phosphate content, a variety of extraction methods have been developed using various solvents such as water, ammonium citrate, citric acid, formic acid and mineral acids, with each method resulting in varying degrees of solubility to suit the phosphorus absorption of crops.
Only high proportions of water- and ammonium citrate-soluble phosphate can guarantee that the majority of the fertiliser phosphate is actually available to the plant in the short and medium term. The neutral ammonium citrate-soluble phosphorus content can be used as an indicator of the medium-term bioavailability of the fertiliser phosphorus, i.e. over a period of about one crop rotation. The readily accessible phosphate content of a fertiliser is determined by its solubility in water; the higher this proportion, the faster or easier it is for the plant to access the nutrient.
Planting and cultivation experiments have demonstrated a solid correlation between the neutral ammonium citrate soluble phosphate content and plant growth. In this case, the water-solubility to plants is less informative. High water solubility means that phosphate is quickly available in large quantities, which the plant may not be able to completely absorb during growth, leaving it unused and possibly washed out. Today, scientific opinion unanimously agrees on the superiority of neutral ammonium citrate-soluble phosphate fertilisers for the conservation of resources. This adjustment is made possible through our process, resulting in a sustainable and crop-friendly phosphate fertiliser.
Our special process produces a nutrient substrate, which is added to humus to produce a nutrient-rich plant substrate for gardening and landscaping.
Plants grow particularly well in humus. That is why humus is the indispensable basis for plant cultivation, gardening and landscaping. However, both humus as well as nutrients are required for excellent plant growth.
We provide tailor-made, vital nutrient components for humus soils. Our cooperating partner supplements humus with these nutrient components and thus creates a humus substrate with enriched nutrients that is a perfect foundation for gardening and landscaping.