Why is Phosphorus a Critical Element?
- Supply chain loss
- Supply & demand
80% of phosphorus is lost or wasted in the supply chain from mine, to field, to fork. Most phosphorus is ultimately lost to water bodies via agricultural runoff and waste water. Excess phosphorus in water causes algal blooms and eutrophication. It’s estimated that eutrophication costs the United States $2.2 billion annually.
Peak phosphorus is estimated between 2025 and 2084, after which high-quality sources of phosphorus will diminish and become harder and more expensive to extract. At the same time, phosphorus demand is rising with most demand coming from developing countries. There are no substitutes for phosphorus in agriculture.
Solving the phosphorus problem is critical to meeting U.N. Sustainable Development Goal #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.