Matilda Sirén Ernström
Matilda Sirén Ernström View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Norrbotten Academy's first sustainability award

Published: 27 September 2017

Matilda Sirén Ernström got the award for her thesis in which she looked at how clean phosphorus, which can be used as fertilizers, is a limited natural resource. It also contributes to eutrophication problems in oceans, lakes and rivers.

A sustainable cycle of phosphorus between town and country is therefore one of Sweden's 16 environmental and recycling of phosphorus from sewage sludge is a key issue for the municipal wastewater treatment plants.

"I think it's really important that there is a sustainable price. We are moving towards a society where we actually need new ideas on how we can stop the cycles, and this gives a push in the right direction. It's very time that the Norrbotten Academy awards a sustainability prize", says Matilda Siren Ernström.

Foundation Norrbotten Academy started in 1988 and has as its primary mission to promote education and research at Luleå University. Prices of SEK 10 000 has over the years become more and this year added Norrbotten Academy shelf price.

Jury statement

Pure phosphorus that can be used as fertilizers is a limited natural resource, but also contributes to eutrophication problems in oceans, lakes and rivers. A sustainable cycle of phosphorus between town and country is therefore one of Sweden's 16 environmental and recycling of phosphorus from sewage sludge is thus a key issue for municipal wastewater treatment plants. In her work, Matilda Siren Ehrnström studied the basic conditions for the recovery of phosphorus from heat-treated and digested sewage sludge. The results have shown that up to 90% of the phosphorus content of the treated sludge can be picked by leaching under acidic conditions. From the resulting leach solution is then almost 100% of the phosphorus to extract by precipitation with calcium ions. Matilda has made a significant contribution in an area of great importance for the development of a sustainable society. The work has been performed admirably and can contribute significantly to the development of a standard method for phosphorus recovery. Therefore, she is a worthy recipient for the price.