This could also recycle estrogen, etc.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jason Evans
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 8:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Blogging the periodic table

Interesting piece on that dives into the importance of fertilizers, and a European toilet designed to recycle phosphorus:

So even though the phosphorus atoms never disappear, they're not available as fertilizer. The world has between 4 billion and 8 billion tons of phosphate reserves, and we extract one-eighth of a billion tons per year.
So simple arithmetic says we could "run out" of phosphorus in about 30 years. The end could come even sooner if we ramp up biofuel production, since switchgrass, corn, and other biofuel crops will require loads of phosphorus-rich fertilizer. And unlike nitrogen, there's no other ready source than mining.

What can we do? There's scrimping, of course, but humans almost never do that well, (See peak oil.) We prefer technical solutions. One promising strategy calls for recycling P. And the easiest way to do so is to recycle pee-through a European technology called NoMix toilets...