A quantification of phosphorus flows in the Netherlands through agricultural production, industrial processing and households

A.L. Smit, J.C. van Middelkoop, W. van Dijk, H. van Reuler, A.J. de Buck, P.A.C.M. van de Sanden

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

Abstract

To investigate the possibilities for a more sustainable use of phosphorus it was necessary to have a complete picture of the national phosphorus flows in the Netherlands. In this report a material flow analysis was performed by dividing the national system into a number of subsystems: agricultural subsystems (arable, grazing, intensive livestock) but also non-agricultural subsystems (food industry, non-food industry, feed industry, household, waste management, environment) were included. Quantification of the various phosphorus flows between the subsystems was done for the year 2005 and was based on various data sources. The results showed that in the reference year 2005 a surplus of around 60 Mkg of P existed, roughly half of this amount accumulated in agricultural soil. The remaining part ended up in ground or surface water (around 7 Mkg) or was sequestered in one way or another (e.g. landfill, incineration ashes, sewage sludge etc.). Recycling from society (households and industry) back to agriculture was minimal. Options for a more sustainable use of phosphorus in the Netherlands are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherPlant Research International
Number of pages55
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameRapport / Plant Research International
PublisherPlant Research International
No.364

Keywords

  • phosphorus
  • phosphate leaching
  • nutrient flows
  • nutrient balance
  • flow visualization
  • cycling
  • netherlands

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