Where Sewage Meets ‘Peak Phosphorus’
”PEAK PHOSPHORUS” COULD HIT SOONER THAN ”PEAK OIL.” BUT THERE MAY BE A SOLUTION.
Believe it or not, climate change and “Peak Oil” are not the biggest problems facing the 21st century. “Peak Phosphorus” could hit sooner and harder, threatening food supplies for half the earth’s population. Phosphorus is a fertilizing nutrient that is vital to large-scale agriculture. Currently it can only be mined, but supplies are diminishing.
Fortunately, there may be a solution. Ostara, a Vancouver, Canada company backed in part by environmental advocate Robert Kennedy Jr., has patented a technique to extract valuable chemicals out of waste. (Kennedy, who among other things is president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, is a venture partner with Vantage Point Venture Partners, which invested in Ostara in 2008.) The company calls the result “Crystal Green,” a slow-release chemical fertilizer that contains high levels of phosphorus and is extracted from an abundant, ever flowing resource: sewage.
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