Life Cycle Assessment of Processes for P Recycling

  • Christian RemyEmail author
  • Fabian Kraus


Recent developments and innovations in the field of P recovery and recycling from municipal sewage sludge claim to provide a sustainable and more efficient alternative to the traditional sludge valorization in agriculture. The method of life cycle assessment (LCA) offers a detailed analysis of the potential environmental impacts associated with different technologies, but it needs to be based on sound definitions and validated input data, not only for the specific technologies but also for the methodological framework. Since the relevant ISO standards 14040/44 provide methodological guidance without specifically fixed definitions, the application of LCA leaves a lot of potential for interpretation of results. Within the European research project P-REX, a methodological framework was developed to assess various available technologies for P recovery from sewage sludge, sludge liquor or incineration ash. Decisive definitions are the setting of adequate system boundaries and functional unit, the selection of LCA indicators and their interpretation. The following chapter discusses important definitions of the LCA methodology and provides recommendations towards a consolidated approach for future LCA studies in the field of P recovery from sewage sludge.


Life cycle assessment Phosphorus recovery Sewage sludge Environmental impact assessment 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Berlin Centre of Competence for WaterBerlinGermany

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