Limited Global Supply Spurs Research to Conserve and Reuse Vital Nutrient
While Some Seek To Bury (P) In Pond Bottoms Others Strive to Salvage It.
Without phosphorus there would be no life. It is critical from the cell membrane level to plant roots and branches, and human bones and limbs. Phosphorus is found in the earth and rocks, it is globally necessary but easily accessible deposits are not distributed evenly across the world. Some places on earth seemingly have, or use, an excess amount and others have not enough.
A recent on-line article in Science News (Feb. 23, 2013; Vol. 183, #4) titled “Salvage Job With fertilizer prices skyrocketing, scientists scramble to recover phosphorus from waste” describes the global effort of scientists to conserve this vital nutrient. Research includes efforts to create plants more efficient at using phosphorus; to recovering phosphorus from waste treatment plants; re-use the recovered phosphorus as fertilizer; to converting algae to a biofuel.