potential market for electrochemical phosphate recovery technology and its products

Identifying potential market for electrochemical Phosphate recovery technology and its products

Title: Identifying potential market for electrochemical Phosphate recovery technology and its products

Type of project: Thesis / Internship.

Duration: minimum 4 months (preferably 6+ months), starting from January, 2024.

Location: Wetsus, European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology, Leeuwarden / Idee Techniek Engineering, Sneek.

There are a few possibilities for allowances:

– The allowance for students is € 200,-. The student can apply for ‘Wetsus Grant’ allowance (€ 200,-  extra; an internal committee decides if the allowance will be granted).

– Students can apply for Erasmus; (if the Erasmus grant is less than € 400,- the student can apply for the Wetsus Grant).

*The Wetsus Grant allowance is not guaranteed and must be approved by the Grant Committee.

Background and project description:

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient that is mainly extracted from phosphate rock. Unfortunately, phosphate rock is a finite and non-renewable resource. Furthermore, the European Union (EU) does not have easily accessible and significant reserves of P. For this reason, phosphate rock was declared a critical raw material in 2014. P is also an important pollutant. Therefore, it is necessary to establish the P circular economy to address the above issues. A novel technology has shown very promising results in the treatment of cheese wastewater at laboratory scale. Therefore, we want to scale up the technology.

Together with our industrial partner Idee Techniek Engineering we want to get a better feeling for the business  potential of this new technology.

To achieve this we foresee the following activities:

⦁             Perform a market survey to understand how big the potential market would be with a first focus on cheese factories.

⦁             Interact with Dutch cheese factories to better understand their main drivers and concerns to implement such a technology.

⦁             Understand the potential savings that the technology would bring to be able to evaluate acceptable investment costs for the technology.

⦁             Develop a business model canvas.

⦁             Use this information to define a go-to-market plan and/or business & technology roadmap.


– Background in Industrial Engineering & Management.

– Interest in technology development from a business point of view.

– Fluent in English and good English writing skills.

– EU citizen or non-EU citizen already enrolled in a Dutch university and living in the Netherlands.


  • Work in an international and lively environment.
  • Working on emerging environmental challenges.
  • Possibility to experience both an R&D environment at Wetsus as well as an industry perspective at Idee Techniek Engineering.
  • Possibility of having the Wetsus grant up to € 400,-.


Please upload your CV (max. 2 pages), a motivation letter (max. 1 page) (in English). Do not hesitate to contact Simona Pruiti ( if you have further questions or need more information.

Identifying potential market for electrochemical Phosphate recovery technology and its products