Sustainable Phosphorus Management

A Global Transdisciplinary Roadmap

  • Roland W. Scholz
  • Amit H. Roy
  • Fridolin S. Brand
  • Deborah T. Hellums
  • Andrea E. Ulrich

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Roland W. Scholz, Amit H. Roy, Deborah T. Hellums
    Pages 1-128
  3. David A. Vaccari, Michael Mew, Roland W. Scholz, Friedrich-Wilhelm Wellmer
    Pages 129-151
  4. Ingrid Watson, Peter van Straaten, Tobias Katz, Louw Botha
    Pages 153-182
  5. Ludwig Hermann, Willem Schipper, Kees Langeveld, Armin Reller
    Pages 183-206
  6. Robert L. Mikkelsen, Claudia R. Binder, Emmanuel Frossard, Fridolin S. Brand, Roland W. Scholz, Ulli Vilsmaier
    Pages 207-246
  7. Masaru Yarime, Cynthia Carliell-Marquet, Deborah T. Hellums, Yuliya Kalmykova, Daniel J. Lang, Quang Bao Le et al.
    Pages 247-274
  8. Olaf Weber, Jacques Delince, Yayun Duan, Luc Maene, Tim McDaniels, Michael Mew et al.
    Pages 275-299
  9. Roland W. Scholz, Amit H. Roy, Deborah T. Hellums
    Pages E1-E3

About this book


This book describes a pathway for sustainable phosphorus management via the Global Transdisciplinary Processes for Sustainable Phosphorus Management project (Global TraPs). Global TraPs is a multi-stakeholder forum in which scientists from a variety of disciplines join with key actors in practice to jointly identify critical questions and to articulate what new knowledge, technologies and policy processes are needed to ensure that future phosphorus use is sustainable, improves food security and environmental quality and provides benefits for the poor. The book offers insight into economic scarcity and identifies options to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impacts of anthropogenic phosphorus flows at all stages of the supply-demand chain.

The opening chapter provides a comprehensive survey describing “what is wrong with the current anthropogenically driven phosphorus cycle, based on a material flow analysis”. Five chapters address such challenges of sustainable phosphorus as understanding the dynamics of reserves and elaborating when economic scarcity may become physical scarcity, the multiple costs of mining and the challenge of innovation in fertilizer products and production. Chapters on use and on dissipation and recycling establish that phosphorus has a dissipative structure and shows low use efficiency and high losses along the entire length of its value chain, and go on to identify constraints and options for closing the anthropogenic phosphorus loop. A concluding chapter on trade and finance discusses the causes of price volatility of phosphorus products.

Fifty key stakeholders from industry and scientists from different disciplines have contributed to this volume, writing full chapters and related spotlights on critical points. Their wide-ranging expertise helps to establish a transdisciplinary perspective as they identify the knowledge and the key stakeholders which must be included in a successful transition from current phosphorus management toward sustainability.


environmental impacts food security supply-demand chain analysis sustainable phosphorus management transdisciplinary process

Editors and affiliations

  • Roland W. Scholz
    • 1
  • Amit H. Roy
    • 2
  • Fridolin S. Brand
    • 3
  • Deborah T. Hellums
    • 4
  • Andrea E. Ulrich
    • 5
  1. 1.Inst. Material Recycling & Resources StrategiesFraunhofer IWKSAlzenauGermany
  2. 2.International Fertilizer Development CenMuscle ShoalsUSA
  3. 3.ETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  4. 4.International Fertilizer Development CenMuscle ShoalsUSA
  5. 5.ETH Zürich Institute for Environmental DecisionsZürichSwitzerland

Bibliographic information