Burgeoning innovation and scalability activities for phosphorus recovery from wastewater treatment facilities

Raed A. Al-Juboori, Farah Ejaz Ahmed, Noman Khalid Khanzada, Muzamil Khatri, Muayad Al-shaeli, Yazan Ibrahim, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phosphorus has been described as life's bottleneck due to its finite source and indispensable role in sustaining living cell functionalities. The paradigm shift from recycling to linear phosphorus consumption that transpired after the Green Revolution brought about one of the most concerning recent environmental challenges-eutrophication. Many recovery technologies have been developed to reinstate phosphorous recycling in sophisticated and safe ways. This study critically reviewed the current state of global phosphorous natural reserves and pollution. It also discussed forecasted consumption trends and how the recovery could assist in meeting the increasing phosphorous demands. The current phosphorous recovery processes were reviewed. A multi-criteria comparison of the technologies within their technology redness levels (TRLs) groups was carried out using the PROMETHEE ranking approach. The comparison criteria focused on efficiency, product quality, and energy and chemicals consumption. The processes with the highest preference scores in their respective TRL groups employed chemical leaching and struvite precipitation. This study also presents patent analyses of P recovery technologies over the past 8 years. These analyses showed that China is at the forefront of patent production, while Europe leads in commercialization. Biochar modification and electrode materials development dominate recent innovations in P recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00907
JournalSustainable Materials and Technologies
StatePublished - Jul 2024


  • Multicriteria ranking
  • Natural reserves
  • Patent analysis
  • Phosphorus recovery
  • Technology redness levels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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