The main output of the FlashPhos process, white phosphorus (P4), is a critical raw material (CRM). The European Commission has published a list of CRMs that is being regularly reviewed and updated. To count as CRM, materials must fulfill two criteria:
- High importance to the EU economy
- High risk of disruption of the supply to the EU
White Phosphorus as Critical Raw Material
White phosphorus is irreplaceable for key industries, for example in the food, pharmaceutical and electronic sector. Currently, the EU is completely dependent on white phosphorus imports from Kazakhstan, Vietnam and China, which puts a steady and reliable supply to the EU at risk. FlashPhos will significantly contribute to bringing white phosphorus production back to Europe. As P4 will be recovered from sewage sludge, FlashPhos will also avoid that equivalent P4 will be produced in other places, consuming natural mined Phosphate Rock, which is a finite world resource and CRM itself.
Critical Raw Materials & A Circular Economy
As highlighted in the Report on CRMs and the circular economy published by the European Commission, there is high potential of applying a circular economy approach to CRMs. This is just what FlashPhos is all about: Reducing waste generation and closing gaps in the circular economy by means of a real zero-waste process, returning all output mass and energy flows to the industrial cycle, thus enhancing resource efficiency, energy savings and reduction of (hazardous) waste.