SusPhos, a startup company of the University of Amsterdam, has received a convertible loan of € 300,000 from the Innovation Fund Noord-Holland. The loan enables SusPhos to bring technology to market that upgrades phosphate from waste streams into high purity products. SusPhos is led by Dr Marissa de Boer who obtained her PhD with the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS).
Using a patented technology developed at HIMS, SusPhos will mine phosphate from local waste streams to produce high-quality phosphate-containing products that can compete with current products on the market. Marissa de Boer, CEO of SusPhos: "Combined with the support of other investors, this loan allows us to build a pilot plant. This is an important step to bring our technology to market."
The SusPhos process is compatible with several industrial waste streams, including agriculture, communal waste, and the food & beverage industry. It can realize a complete upcycling of phosphate waste streams and thus create a waste-free process. "We focus on reusing all elements", De Boer adds, "so that we do not lose any valuable elements in the process." The first SusPhos products will be high-quality flame retardants and specialty fertilizers, but De Boer is working on a wide range of other high-quality, phosphate-rich products.
SusPhos was established to contribute to a circular economy in phosphate and to establish a sustainable use of this scarce resource. Phosphorus is essential for life on earth and is predominantly used in fertilizers. Phosphate fertilizers approximately double the amount of food that can be produced in agriculture. Adding to this, phosphorus is used in flame retardants and many other products. Because of the waste problem related to phosphorus and the current unrenewable fossil mining, recovery from waste streams is essential to secure future availability of the precious element.
Wouter Keij, director of the Innovation Fund Noord-Holland: "The recovery and purification of phosphates are of great importance. We are pleased that SusPhos has been able to connect various parties to their project. SusPhos thus makes an important contribution to the valorisation of scientific knowledge.”
About the Innovation Fund Noord-Holland
The Innovation Fund Noord-Holland is an initiative of the Province of Noord-Holland, the University of Amsterdam, the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC and Sanquin, with support from the European Union through the European Fund for Regional Development. The Fund supports entrepreneurs in the Province of Noord-Holland with financing of innovation in the Proof-of-Concept phase. The Fund provides convertible loans. The duration of the first fund part is 2018-2023.