Potential of sewage sludge phosphorus in plant production and impacts of harmful compounds in sludge on environment and food chain (PProduct)

Sewage sludge is the most significant source of phosphorus (P) that is barely utilized in plant production in Finland. However, it is estimated that easily exploitable P reserves will be depleted in the near future, requiring more efficient utilization of these unused P resources. Low solubility of sewage sludge based P decreases its value as a fertilizer together with occurrence of hazardous substances and pharmaceutical residues, originating from the various domestic and industrial sources. There is also a concern that these harmful organic substances may have adverse effects to soil ecosystem and end up to surface and groundwater resources and to food chain. The purpose of this study is to study the long term fertilizing effect of sludge bound phosphorus, which is not yet fully recognized as a possible alternative resource. One aim is also to study the concentrations of selected hazardous substances (PAH, PBDE, phthalate, acrylamid) and pharmaceutical residues and their impact on the environment. Also bioaccumulation potential of PBDE and of selected pharmaceuticals in oat will be studied.  A novel method for future handling of sewage sludge may be pyrolysis and now also its effect on the above mentioned factors is studied.


2015 - 2018


The Development Fund of Agriculture and Forestry (Makera), Finnish Food Authority, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)

Project group

Kari Ylivainio (Luke)
Päivi Munne (Syke)
Marja Raatikainen (Finnish Food Authority)
Kimmo Suominen (Finnish Food Authority)
Kimmo Rasa (Luke)
Minna Sarvi (Luke)
Eila Turtola (Luke)
Johanna Suomi (Finnish Food Authority)
Jaakko Mannio (Syke)
Päivi Meriläinen (Syke)

More information

Kimmo Suominen, Risk Assessment Research Unit, kimmo.suominen@foodauthority.fi

Page last updated 1/8/2020