A selection of business opportunities at a glance: sewage sludge treatment
In 2014, 38 percent of the sewage sludge generated in Germany was used in agriculture. (Federal Statistical Office, 2017). Germany’s sewage sludge ordinance (AbfKlärV) regulates the application of sewage sludge on agriculturally or horticulturally used soils. It lays down conditions for its use, maximum pollutant contents, and monitoring standards. According to the ordinance, the application of sewage sludge for fertilization will be terminated and the recovery of phosphor and other nutrients will become compulsory.
Key points in the ordinance include:
- Further significant reduction of pollutants in soil
- Phosphorus recovery
- Comprehensive requirements for phosphorus recovery: Duty to recover phosphorus as of 2029 for wastewater treatment plants covering more than 100,000 inhabitants; Duty to recover phosphorus as of 2032 for wastewater treatment plants covering more than 50,000 inhabitants
- Exception from the duty to recover: Sewage with a low phosphorus content (< 20 g phosphorus per kg sewage; dry weight)
- No specific recovery technologies are defined. This leaves scope for the application and development of innovative recovery procedures.
The new provisions of the amended ordinance have led to high demand for new sewage treatment solutions. This is the right time to approach this market in Germany.
Sewage Treatment in Germany
© GTAI calculations based on Federal Statistics Office 2016
A selection of business opportunities at a glance: fishing for litter
Numerous resolutions and action programs have been adopted on several political levels to tackle marine litter.
Under German leadership, action programs were set up in 2016 and 2017. Those included several research activities such as PLAWES, a new project jointly coordinated by the University of Bayreuth and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), which investigates microplastics contamination across ecosystems. For the first time, all scientific data published on marine litter was compiled in a single, comprehensive database called Litterbase (www.litterbase.org). Furthermore, Germany established a national action plan called “Oceans Without Polluting Waste”.
The plan includes:
- The reduction of existing waste via the “Fishing for Litter” initiative. To date 14 harbors in the German North and Baltic seas have joined the initiative (UBA, 2017).
- Reduction of emissions and discharges of microplastics particles. The plan aims to abolish the use of microplastics in cosmetics by 2020 at the latest (UBA, 2017).
Lastly, the federal government and the federal states have set up a round table with government representatives and specialists, scientific organizations, and fishery and environmental associations with the aim of combatting marine litter. There is therefore no better time to approach the German market along the entire water value chain.