In order to meet its customers’ expectations and be a source of innovation to them, Prayon is working hard to improve its products, processes and by-products, while keeping a close eye on its environmental footprint at the same time.
Contribution of this pillar to the Sustainable Development Goals
Our key indicator
- Percentage of turnover invested in Research & Development.
Prayon is recognized for its “best available technologies” for phosphoric acid and phosphate salts, while its innovation efforts focus on various areas:
- Projects related to environmental improvements (liquid and gas effluent treatment, energy recovery);
- Projects related to the circular economy (valorization of alternative raw materials containing phosphorus, as well as valorization of manufacturing by-products);
- Core Business: projects concerning the development of our processes and products, or expertise on offer to our internal and external customers;
- Diversification: plans to diversify Prayon’s products and markets;
- Toll Manufacturing: low-volume production via R&D equipment for niche markets and applications.
Through its activities, Prayon also helps improve the social, environmental and climate-related impact of its customers’ products in various areas, such as
- The production of soluble fertilizers that stabilize micronutrients, thus avoiding the use of chelating agents;
- The use of phosphate salts for the development of flame retardants or fireproofing products with a minor ecological impact;
- The valorization of slaughterhouse waste into proteins for animal feed, which reduces reliance on imported soybeans;
- The use of phosphate to stabilize milk and increase its heat resistance, which allows for better collection and redistribution in countries with poor infrastructure.
Prayon has also forged links with various universities to help train students who will be tomorrow’s researchers: ULiège (BE), UMons (BE), ULB (BE), KU Leuven (BE), Université de Lorraine (FR), Ecole des Mines d’Albi (FR), Université Mohamed VI Polytechnique (M).
For several years, Prayon has been working particularly with the Institut Mines-Télécom d’Albi Carmaux, a French Grande Ecole that trains future engineers and managers. Together, they have set up a laboratory that promotes the transmission of knowledge and exchanges. Doctoral students from all over the world are supported in their research by Prayon in order to develop innovations in the field of phosphorus that will help us meet environmental challenges and contribute to a more sustainable world. Prayon’s experience in this field – especially its experience in development of the circular economy – is therefore a significant asset for young researchers.
Our achievements in 2022
- Despite continuous effort, the pillar’s KPI mechanically deteriorated from 1.60% to 0.89% due to increased turnover strongly influenced by rising raw material and energy prices (see Competitivity pillar);
- Redefining Prayon’s strategy (HEATMAP initiative);
- Test campaigns on the extraction of phosphate from municipal waste ash of various origins in order to develop a specific process of valorization of different products from these by-products while minimizing waste;
- As part of WasteEng2022, an international conference on waste and biomass recovery engineering, Prayon awarded a prize to Moroccan student Zainab Afailal for her thesis at the University of Zaragoza in Spain on the recovery of biomass from argan nut husks, the residue from argan oil production.