We all know plants need nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, according to an article by the American Society of Agronomy. To give crops a boost, they are often put on fields as fertilizer. But we never talk about where the nutrients themselves come from. Phosphorus, for example, is taken from the Earth, and in just 100-250 years, we could be facing a terrible shortage. That is, unless scientists can find ways to recycle it.
Scientists at Tel Hai College and MIGAL Institute in Israel are working on a way to make phosphorus fertilizer from an unlikely source — dairy wastewater.
Additionally, they are taking the element from the wastewater with another unlikely character. They are using the leftovers that comes from making clean drinking water, which contain the element aluminum.