University of Oulu

Tominc, S., Ducman, V., Wisniewski, W., Luukkonen, T., Kirkelund, G. M., & Ottosen, L. M. (2023). Recovery of Phosphorus and Metals from the Ash of Sewage Sludge, Municipal Solid Waste, or Wood Biomass: A Review and Proposals for Further Use. Materials, 16(21), 6948.

Recovery of phosphorus and metals from the ash of sewage sludge, municipal solid waste, or wood biomass : a review and proposals for further use

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Author: Tominc, Sara1; Ducman, Vilma1; Wisniewski, Wolfgang1;
Organizations: 1Laboratory for Cements, Mortars and Ceramics, The Department of Materials, Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG), Dimičeva ulica 12, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2Faculty of Technology, Fibre and Particle Engineering, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, 90570 Oulu, Finland
3Department of Environmental and Resource Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Brovej, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-08


This review provides an overview of methods to extract valuable resources from the ash fractions of sewage sludge, municipal solid waste, and wood biomass combustion. The resources addressed here include critical raw materials, such as phosphorus, base and precious metals, and rare earth elements for which it is increasingly important to tap into secondary sources in addition to the mining of primary raw materials. The extraction technologies prioritized in this review are based on recycled acids or excess renewable energy to achieve an optimum environmental profile for the extracted resources and provide benefits in the form of local industrial symbioses. The extraction methods cover all scarce and valuable chemical elements contained in the ashes above certain concentration limits. Another important part of this review is defining potential applications for the mineral residues remaining after extraction. Therefore, the aim of this review is to combine the knowledge of resource extraction technology from ashes with possible applications of mineral residues in construction and related sectors to fully close material cycle loops.

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Series: Materials
ISSN: 1996-1944
ISSN-E: 1996-1944
ISSN-L: 1996-1944
Volume: 16
Issue: 21
Article number: 6948
DOI: 10.3390/ma16216948
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
Funding: This research was EU-funded by the ASHCYCLE project, Grant Number 101058162.
EU Grant Number: (101058162) AshCycle - Integration of Underutilized Ashes into Material Cycles by Industry-Urban Symbiosis
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (