Phosphate mine Arenaboulevard

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Purpose of the project

Phosphate is an essential fertilizer for food production and our urinal waste contains plenty of it. Annually, approximately 1.310 m3 of urine is coming from the recreational facilities along the ArenA Boulevard in Amsterdam such as Heineken Music Hall, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam ArenA and Pathé movie theater. Purpose of this project (initiated by Stichting Waternet, the municipality of Amsterdam and Biocompact) is to do a research into the feasibility of on-site collection of urinal waste at car park ‘Uitgaansdriehoek – P6’ underneath the ArenA Boulevard, and the off-site recovery of phosphate from the collected urinal waste.


The case study is conducted at the Heineken Music Hall (HMH) because they already make use of water-free urinals which accelerates the water/urine separation process. First the separation of urine from ‘standard’ wastewater has been investigated. In addition the maximum capacity of the basin is calculated for the weekly urinal waste coming from the HMH. Estimations are made when the system will be scaled up to more facilities around the ArenA Boulevard. Also the separation of phosphate from the urinal waste is investigated, and the problems/bottlenecks the separation has to endure and what alternatives are an option. The amount of space that is necessary for a basin is also calculated, in accordance with the car park operator (the municipality of Amsterdam).



The study shows that the HMH is the ideal starting point (on a short-term) for the collection of urinal waste and separation of phosphate from that waste. However, full cost coverage can still not be guaranteed. Still, when the system gets scaled up, the ArenA Boulevard could become the first (large) testing ground in the Netherlands for separate on-site urinal waste collection and off-site phosphate mining, but the business case should first be feasible for all stakeholders involved.
This research has been conducted in 2014. In the course of this year (2015) it is expected that the system will be installed.


“In becoming a top 3 social responsible investment manager in its core countries, one of Bouwfonds IM’s strategies is to support its clients in realizing their ambitions with both traditional and innovative sustainable products. Facilitating initiatives such as the case study on urine separation and phosphate mining fits within this strategy.”