Stockholm, Sept. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —
EasyMining has been announced as one of six finalists for the 2022 Curt Bergfors Food Planet Prize.
EasyMining, a Ragn-Sells Group innovation company, has been announced as one of six finalists for the 2022 Curt Bergfors Food Planet Award. The nomination is recognition of EasyMinings technologies for recycling key fertilizer nutrients from waste. The two final winners will each receive a prize worth US$2 million, making the Food Planet Prize the largest environmental prize in the world.
The entry for the award consists of three distinct and patented methods of recovering and recycling the three main nutrients crucial for agricultural fertilizers: Ash2Phos for phosphorus, Aqua2N for nitrogen and Ash2Salt for potassium. Without these three key nutrients, it would be impossible for farmers around the world to grow the food we need, especially as Earth’s population is expected to continue growing rapidly.
– The current supply and handling of these three nutrients is deeply problematic. It contributes heavily to climate change, pollutes the environment, crosses crucial planetary boundaries and creates addictions. With our methods, we want to contribute to a profound reform of the entire global food system, says Anna Lundbom, Marketing Director at EasyMining.
- Phosphorus comes from phosphate mines. In addition to the significant climate impact of this mining method, most of the world’s known phosphate reserves are polluted with heavy metals such as cadmium and uranium. Yet the majority of phosphorus-rich sewage sludge ends up in landfills. Ash2Phos technology extracts over 90% of phosphorus from incinerated sludge, while removing pollutants.
- Nitrogen fertilizer is produced by fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere. The standard method is over 100 years old and runs on fossil gas, contributing to huge greenhouse gas emissions. But the nitrogen contained in wastewater is simply released into the air by treatment plants. Aqua2N technology captures nitrogen at the plant level in a form that can be applied instantly as fertilizer, creating a loop.
- Potassium, like phosphorus, is mined, mainly in Canada, Russia and Belarus. Instead, Ash2Salt technology extracts potassium from fly ash, a by-product of energy production from waste incineration. Until now, fly ash was simply buried, resulting in a waste of its resources. The first large-scale Ash2Salt facility is about to start operations near Stockholm, and the technology is available in 12 countries through a licensing agreement with global cleantech company Hitachi Zosen Inova.
– According to the UN, the world is heading towards a hunger crisis of historic proportions, partly fueled by a shortage of fertilizers. We are extremely proud that the jury recognizes our efforts to produce fertilizing nutrients from waste streams available in every country on the planet, says Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability at Ragn-Sells.
Finalists are announced over the course of two weeks, three each week. The other known finalists so far are Apeel and Wonderbag. The final decision on the two winners is made by a jury of ten experts in various fields, co-chaired by the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Johan Rockström, and the Michelin-starred chef and director of the MAD Academy, Magnus Nilsson.
The Curt Bergfors Foundation was established in 2019 by Swedish entrepreneur Curt Bergfors, founder of the MAX Burgers restaurant chain. The Curt Bergfors Food Planet Prize is now the largest environmental prize in the world, aimed at accelerating the transition to sustainable food systems.
For more information please contact
Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability at Ragn-Sells, +46 70-927 29 63, [email protected]
Anna Lundbom, Marketing Director at EasyMining, +46 70 927 28 29, [email protected]
Emma Ranerfors, Press Officer at Ragn-Sells, +46 10-723 24 16, [email protected]
The Curt Bergfors Food Planet Award
Launched in 2019, the Curt Bergfors Food Planet Prize is the largest monetary award in the field of the environment. It rewards innovative solutions that can help the world move to sustainable food systems within ten years. The aim is to recognize the visionaries who are working to reimagine, redesign and reshape our food systems and enable them to have an impact. The two winners of the Food Planet Prize are selected by a global jury of ten members, including co-chairs Johan Rockström and Magnus Nilsson, and receive a prize of 2 million USD.
Facts: EasyMining’s Circular Nutrient Solutions
Ash2Phos: The Ash2Phos process treats ash from incinerated sewage sludge. The ashes have a high concentration of phosphorus, iron and aluminum, but also contain unwanted heavy metals such as cadmium. The high metal content is an obstacle to the treatment of ash with conventional methods. In the Ash2Phos process, sludge ash is treated in a wet chemical process for the recovery of phosphorus, aluminum and iron as clean commercial products. Cadmium and other unwanted elements are separated for disposal.
Ash2Salt: When the flue gases from waste incineration are scrubbed and filtered, fly ash is formed and captured. These ashes are classified as hazardous waste due to high levels of pollutants, but also contain several desirable compounds, such as potassium and sodium salts. In the Ash2Salt process, the fly ash is washed and three commercial salts are extracted from the washing liquid: sodium chloride, potassium chloride and calcium chloride. The ash residue that remains after treatment does not have to be placed in special landfills for hazardous waste, and several industrial applications may be possible; research is ongoing.
Aqua2N: To prevent eutrophication, wastewater treatment plants remove nitrogen from wastewater. This is done using bacterial methods which release nitrogen into the atmosphere. Aqua2N technology, on the other hand, is a chemical method applied to the mud liquor that forms when water is separated from the mud solids. Here, the nitrogen in the form of ammonium is captured by an adsorption chemical. Then, the captured ammonium is recovered in a conversion plant for use as fertilizer, and the adsorption chemical is regenerated for reuse.
Detailed information on Ash2Phos, Ash2Salt and Aqua2N technologies can be found on the EasyMining website.
About Easy Mining
EasyMining is an innovation company dedicated to closing nutrient cycles. We belong to the Swedish environmental company Ragn-Sells. Our goal is to create new circular material flows in a commercially efficient way. To do this, we invent and implement new technology that uses chemical solutions to recycle important materials.
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