Phosphorus Flows in Asia

  • Kazuyo MatsubaeEmail author
  • Elizabeth Webeck


In this chapter, phosphorus resource flow was analyzed to determine the extent of the dependency of Asian countries on other countries to meet their phosphorus requirements. Additionally, a virtual phosphorus flow analysis was conducted to determine the future phosphorus demand in various Asian countries. The future phosphorus scenarios in Asia are also discussed based on the findings of these analyses. The findings on the basis of virtual phosphorus analysis indicated that from the life cycle perspective, Asian growing economy became to need more and more virtual phosphorus and many Asian countries rely strongly on phosphorus imports via the international trade supply chain. Thus, they realize that high economic and political risks are associated with the secured supply of phosphorus. Another important finding is that besides population growth, urbanization and economic growth in Asia are likely to be strong driving forces for higher phosphorus demand in the future. Considering the untapped P in waste streams, it was clarified that the steelmaking slag should be one of a good target to introduce P recycling technology for two big Asian steel producing countries, China and India. Approximately 7% and 5% of the virtual P-requirement for plant-based food and feed production was lost in China and India, respectively.


Asia Food diet Virtual phosphorus Herfindahl–Hirschman index Steelmaking slag 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Studies for Advanced Society, Graduate School of Environmental StudiesTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Metallurgy, Graduate School of EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

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