Phosphorous is an essential nutrient for plant growth, along with nitrogen and potassium. It is a key component in DNA and plays an essential role in plant energy metabolism. Without it, crops would fail, causing the human food chain to collapse.
Phosphate production is predicted to peak around 2030 as the global population expands to a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050. And unlike oil, where there are renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuels, there is no substitute for phosphorus, according to the US Geological Survey.
As imported rock phosphate becomes more expensive and may one day run out, there could be a solution much closer to home, says Professor Brian Chambers, a leading UK soil scientist.
Professor Chambers is calling on the government to respond to the threat of peak phosphate by recovering nutrients from household compost, livestock and human manure and municipal waste.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc