The phosphate balance: current developments and future outlook

RJ Van Enk, LK Acera, RD Schuiling, P Ehlert, JG De Wilt, RJF Van Haren

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


Phosphate is essential for agricultural production and therefore plays a key role in the global production of food and biofuels. There are no agricultural alternatives for phosphate, and a substantial fraction of our annual phosphate consumption is dispersed into the environment where it is largely lost to agriculture. Phosphate is an irreplaceable, and to a considerable extent non-renewable, resource that is being exploited at an ever increasing rate. The ongoing depletion of phosphate resources combined with recently increased phosphate prices urge us to reconsider our phosphate consumption patterns. In addition to economic and geo-political reasons, further reducing phosphate consumption would moreover be beneficial to the quality of our environment. Even if we increase the reserve base, for which there are plenty of opportunities, it is clear that the phosphate industry will sooner or later have to make a switch from a reserve-based industry to a recycling industry
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUtrecht, Netherlands
PublisherInnovation Network
Edition10.2. 232E
ISBN (Print)9789050594141
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

SeriesInnovation Network Reports


  • phosphates
  • agriculture
  • circular balance


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