2023 journal article

Perspective: Phosphorus monitoring must be rooted in sustainability frameworks spanning material scale to human scale


co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: Phosphate; Cyber-physical systems; Sensor; Decision support
Source: Web Of Science
Added: July 24, 2023

Phosphorus (P) is a finite resource, and its environmental fate and transport is complex. With fertilizer prices expected to remain high for years and disruption to supply chains, there is a pressing need to recover and reuse P (primarily as fertilizer). Whether recovery is to occur from urban systems (e.g., human urine), agricultural soil (e.g., legacy P), or from contaminated surface waters, quantification of P in various forms is vital. Monitoring systems with embedded near real time decision support, so called cyber physical systems, are likely to play a major role in the management of P throughout agro-ecosystems. Data on P flow(s) connects the environmental, economic, and social pillars of the triple bottom line (TBL) sustainabilty framework. Emerging monitoring systems must account for complex interactions in the sample, and interface with a dynamic decision support system that considers adaptive dynamics to societal needs. It is known from decades of study that P is ubiquitous, yet without quantitative tools for studying the dynamic nature of P in the environment, the details may remain elusive. If new monitoring systems (including CPS and mobile sensors) are informed by sustainability frameworks, data-informed decision making may foster resource recovery and environmental stewardship from technology users to policymakers.