Department. The vast majority of fertilisers nitrogen, phosphorus, etc. are currently produced from non-renewable resources (mining, atmospheric nitrogen conversion plants, etc.). We must offer fertilisers arising from the circular economy, from recycling. This is the case with Phosphogreen, a SUEZ process that recovers phosphorus from wastewater as a fertiliser. This is fundamental to preserve phosphate reserves, which are heading for exhaustion and constantly increasing in price. Twenty percent of today s global demand for phosphorus could be fulfilled by recovering it from wastewater.
Regarding the treatment of organic waste (urban and industrial sewage sludge, biowaste, etc.), returning organic matter to the soil provides a virtuous soil conditioner that reduces the production of chemical inputs and guarantees 100% recycling of organic waste, declares Laurent Galtier. Thus, to remain at the forefront of the organic waste recovery market, SUEZ Organique, a Group subsidiary, has partnered with the Avril group3 in the Terrial joint venture to become a leading player in the fertiliser and organic soil improvers market in France. Our sector makes it possible to produce organic soil conditioners, commonly known as compost, but it contains a paradox: there are soil conditioning seasons for farmers, but waste is produced all year round, so
supply and demand are not continuously balanced, explains Anne-Valérie Goulard, CEO of SUEZ Organique. Thanks to the expertise of the Avril group, the partnership will help us facilitate market access to our composts and better understand the needs of farmers and agricultural cooperatives. The challenges for this partnership are to balance demand and develop the value of compost through a wider range of enriched organic soil conditioners. It also addresses the growing challenge of sustainable production and exploitation of food resources, while limiting chemical and artificial inputs.
Aside from the composting sector and the successful marketing of compost, our links with the agricultural world are intensifying with the development of anaerobic digestion. We are working more and more with farmers, both to supply their biogas plants and to find opportunities to use their co-products, cereal residues, straw, corn husks, etc. in our own anaerobic digestion plants. Finally, cooperation with the farming community is essential to ensure a long-term success for soil conditioning with organic matter while strengthening the traceability of spreading still further, continues Mrs Goulard.
Digital technology at the heart of the agricultural transition
Among the solutions for recovering organic waste, SUEZ has developed Organix, the first digital marketplace for biomass. Producers of organic waste including farmers can use Organix to contact users and anaerobic digestion plant operators, who transform the waste into energy. It s like a kind of Gumtree or eBay for organic waste. This is a first step towards using digital technology to monetise the ecosystem services provided by various farming activities, summarises Pierre Achard.
3 - Avril is an agro-industrial and finance player in the oil and protein crop sectors. It is present in France and internationally in sectors as diverse as human foods, animal feeds and expertise, renewable energy and chemistry.
Twenty percent of today s global demand for phosphorus could be fulfilled by recovering it from wastewater.