The REFLOW Project

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REFLOW is a Marie SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE Horizon 2020 project aimed at phosphorus recovery for fertilisers from dairy waste, which began in January 2019 and will carry on for four years.

The REFLOW project set out with the following goals: (i) to develop and demonstrate processes for the recovery and reuse of phosphorus products from dairy processing waste (DPW), (ii) to establish their fertiliser value and optimum application rates through laboratory protocols and field trials, and (iii) to address the environmental, social, food safety and economical challenges, ultimately finding market-driven solutions for the new processes and fertiliser products. To achieve its goals, the consortium has established an innovative and entrepreneurial training environment for the next generation of researchers in countries such as Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

REFLOW is an multidisciplinary cross-sectoral European Training Network bringing together world-leading scientists and key stakeholders in dairy processing, fertiliser production and phosphorus recycling with early-stage researchers (ESRs) to address important technical and socio-economic challenges associated with the recovery of phosphorus from dairy processing wastewater and its recycling into fertiliser products enabling sustainable expansion of the dairy industry in Europe. This project provides researchers the opportunity to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to develop and deploy new technologies for socially and environmentally responsible innovative management of DPW and to stimulate new markets for recycled phosphorus.

ELO is hosting an ESR enrolled at Ghent University who is focusing on the development of new financial models for the circular (bio)economy. Outputs of this research will include data on the market acceptability of DPW and REFLOW products; an assessment of the potential contribution of REFLOW in providing job opportunities, job quality, and the distribution of social benefits as well as alternative financial models for a sustainable (bio)economy.