Nutrient recovery from manure

Manure is a waste product that is produced on a large scale in agriculture. However, it contains valuable nutrients and valuable substances - not without reason has it always been used as a fertilizer. The Fraunhofer IGB is developing processes for the further use of liquid manure, in particular for the recovery of valuable ingredients such as phosphorus or nitrogen.

Recovery technologies

Phosphorus recovery

The fact that liquid manure is used as fertiliser is due to its high phosphorus content. Since this can be used even more effectively in its pure form, the Fraunhofer IGB is developing technologies for recovering phosphorus from liquid manure.

Nitrogen recovery

In addition to phosphorus, nitrogen is also a valuable component of liquid manure, which is used as a fertilizer, but also plays an important role in organic chemistry for industry, for example.

Stabilization through drying, torrefaction or carbonization

In the production, preparation and processing of solids, drying is usually an essential process step. Drying processes are used, for example, to stabilize the shape of granulates, pellets or powders.

Torrefaction aims to increase the mass-related energy density and thus the calorific value of the raw material. It also increases the transport and storage capability of the raw material.

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Reference projects

PhosKa-Demo –

Further development of a sustainable process for phosphorus and potassium recovery from liquid waste through to market maturity


In the project "PhosKa-Demo" funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), we have scaled up a sustainable process for the treatment of liquid manure and tested it in continuous operation. A fertilizer containing phosphorus and potassium that demonstrably enhances the properties of plants is recovered from manure by precipitation. The process concept had previously been developed as part of the EU-funded BioEcoSIM project.

Duration: December 2015 – November 2017

Pig manure as a valuable resource – BioEcoSIM


The project aims to convert the constituents of the slurry into various fertilizers: biochar as a phosphorous-rich organic soil improver as well as mineral fertilizers such as ammonium sulphate, calcium phosphate and magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite).


Duration: October 2012 – September 2016

Recovery of nutrients and organic matter from agricultural residues


At the moment, the decline of soil fertility is only masked by the overuse of synthetic fertilizers without the replacement of organic matter. However, in the longer term, the reduction in soil fertility will impact on food security, especially taking into account that soil is a nonrenewable resource.

abonoCARE® –

Materials and technologies for nitrogen recovery from aqueous material streams


In the “abonoCARE®” project, nine small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have joined forces with six research institutions in order to develop economic value chains for nutrient recycling from organic residues and to offer sustainable high-performance fertilizer products for efficient agriculture. For this purpose, different technologies for the processing and formulation of organic residues are being developed.