Future phosphorus: advancing new '2D' allotropes and growing a sustainable bio economy

Jarvie, Helen P.
Flaten, Don
Sharpley, Andrew N.
Kleinman, Peter J. A.
Healy, Mark G.
King, Stephen M.
Jarvie, Helen P., Flaten, Don, Sharpley, Andrew N., Kleinman, Peter J. A., Healy, Mark G., & King, Stephen M. (2019). Future Phosphorus: Advancing New 2D Phosphorus Allotropes and Growing a Sustainable Bioeconomy. Journal of Environmental Quality, 48(5), 1145-1155. doi: 10.2134/jeq2019.03.0135
With more than 40 countries currently proposing to boost their national bioeconomies, there is no better time for a clarion call for a new bioeconomy, which, at its core, tackles the current disparities and inequalities in phosphorus (P) availability. Existing biofuel production systems have widened P inequalities and contributed to a linear P economy, impairing water quality and accelerating dependence on P fertilizers manufactured from finite non-renewable phosphate rock reserves. Here, we explore how the emerging bioeconomy in novel, value-added, bio-based products offers opportunities to rethink our stewardship of P. Development of integrated value chains of new bio-based products offer opportunities for co-development of P-refineries to recover P fertilizer products from organic wastes. Advances in material sciences are exploiting unique semiconductor and opto-electrical properties of new P allotropes (2D Black Phosphorus and Blue Phosphorus). These novel P materials offer the tantalising prospect of step-change innovations in renewable energy production and storage, in biomedical applications, and in biomimetic processes, including artificial photosynthesis. They also potentially offer an antidote to the P paradox that our agricultural production systems have engineered us into, and expand the future role of P in securing sustainability across both agroecological and technological domains of the bioeconomy. However, there remains a myriad of social, technological and commercialization hurdles to be crossed before such an advanced circular P bioeconomy could be realized. The emerging bioeconomy is just one piece of a much larger puzzle of how to achieve more sustainable and circular horizons in our future use of phosphorus.
Crop Science Society of America with American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland