Recovery of fertiLisers from dairy processing waste

REFLOW circularization of material flow
  • Grant agreement ID: 814258

  • Total project budget: 3,469,774.68€

  • Start Date: 01/01/2019

    End Date: 31/12/2023

  • Project website:

Project Summary: 

REFLOW is an interdisciplinary cross-sectoral European Training Network combining world-leading scientists and key stakeholders in dairy processing, fertilizer production and phosphorous recycling with early-stage researchers (ESR) to address important technical and socio-economic challenges associated with the recovery of phosphorous from dairy processing waste and its recycling into fertilizer products enabling sustainable expansion of the dairy industry in Europe. REFLOW research will i) mitigate the environmental impact of dairy processing waste on soil and water, ii) provide safe environmentally sustainable, cost effective closed loop solutions for crop nutrient management and iii) meet the demand for skilled professionals to support the technical, regulatory and commercial development of the market for recycled phosphorous fertilizer products in accordance with the deliverables of the Circular Economy Package.  

REFLOW project is coordinated by the University of Limerick (Ireland) and counts with 13 ESRs recruited in a network of 10 beneficiaries and 14 partner organizations from 11 EU countries. 


Our role in the project: 

In the framework of REFLOW, BETA Technological Center is one of the 10 beneficiary institutions, hosting 2 ESRs within the WP1 (Phosphorous accumulation, mineralization, and purification) aiming to optimize phosphorous recovery from DPW, its mineralization, and purification into high value phosphorous compounds. For this purpose, 2 different technological approaches will be appliedi) Enhanced Biological Phosphorous Removal, a process relying on polyphosphate-accumulating organisms to uptake P from DPW and concentrate into biosolids and, ii) Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor which combines the technology of anaerobic digestion with membrane separation. Further, the obtained digested is concentrated by the application of the Freeze Concentration technology to attain the P-rich products. 

Moreover, BETA Technological Center leads the WP4 (Training) whose overall aim is to enhance ESRs with the relevant skillset, to equip them during the course of their research and to increase their career opportunities in industry, research and innovation, regulation and academia.